Star Grants

Achieving higher occupational standards


Who can apply?
Any professional participating in a Cover of Excellence® scheme can apply.

A professional association administering a Cover of Excellence® scheme can apply.

How much time should I allow to complete my application?
Once the round opens, application forms can be commenced any time, and drafts can be saved to return to later. Allow some time as you will need to provide:

  • Detailed budget
  • Evidence of support by relevant professional association
  • Detailed project plans
  • Risk Management strategies for the plan
  • Evidence of the need for the project.

What if I’m not sure about my idea for a grant?
Please contact the Office of the Professional Standards Councils to discuss your idea, or register your interest. A dedicated staff member is available to discuss project ideas and to provide advice for applications.

How long will it take for grants to be approved/assessed?
Approximately three months from the close of applications.

How much funding is available?
There is no specific allocation of funding for the round, instead the Professional Standards Councils will consider all projects on the basis of the assessment criteria, and will be compared against the pool of applications and individual suitability.

In the past grant rounds the Professional Standards Councils has generally considered projects in the range of $10,000 to$100,000. The Councils support projects that can be completed within a 12-month period.

Who decides which projects get funding?
The Professional Standards Councils decide which projects they would like to enter into a Funding Agreement.

The Professional Standards Councils are supported by the Star Grants Committee which reviews and assesses grant applications, makes recommendations to the Councils and oversees acquittal on behalf of the Councils.

The Office of the Professional Standards Councils supports and administers the grants program on behalf of the Star Grants Committee and the Professional Standards Councils.

Are there any projects that are ineligible for funding?
Activities that an occupational association has already noted in its five-year risk management plan under its Cover of Excellence® Scheme may not be eligible. However, enhancements or extension to existing activities may be considered. Similarly, activities that would normally constitute an essential part (core business) of an occupational association’s operations (under PSL or effective association management) are unlikely to be considered. Specific activities that are being funded via another funding source may not be eligible. Part-funding for specific components of a bigger project may be considered.

Individual attendance at training courses to satisfy professionally prescribed CPD training requirements is not eligible.

Star Grants are highly competitive and late applications will not be considered.

How are applications assessed?
The applications will be assessed according to the following criteria.

  • Provision of evidence-based need for the activity.
  • Demonstration of how the activity will contribute to the development or improvement of professional standards and consumer protection in a range of areas (such as, but not limited to: codes of ethics, codes of practice, quality management, risk management, complaints resolution, voluntary mediation, membership requirements, discipline of members and continuing occupational education).
  • Contribution to the development of self-regulation (i.e. improvements for professionals in practice).
  • Ability to enhance risk mitigation strategies identified in the five year risk management plan of an occupational association with a Cover of Excellence® Scheme.
  • Demonstrated ability to complete the activity within the specified time frame (e.g. detailed budget, previous experience with similar projects, adequate resources, and clear goals).
  • Demonstrated ability to improve standards across the profession and/or can be transferred across professions.
  • Objectives are measurable/quantifiable.
  • Activities that that reflect geographic spread of professionals
  • Activities where the results/outcomes can be replicated/ implemented across other relevant industries and professions.
  • Any other additional information that is obtained as part of the process of evaluating the applications.

The Office of the Professional Standards Councils will undertake a preliminary assessment, and seek further clarification as required. The Star Grants Committee will assess the applications and make recommendations to the Councils.

Who can I contact for help with my application?
Please contact the Office of the Professional Standards Councils, or register your interest.

How many projects are likely to receive funding in the next round?
Any grant application that meets the criteria is likely to be supported. In previous years, four grants were awarded each round, but this is expected to increase in the future.

Can I apply for more than one grant?
Yes, provided that you have the ideas and the resources, and can demonstrate the project meets the selection criteria.

What happens if my application is successful?
The Councils will fund the activity based on a formal Funding Agreement. Successful applicants will be required to sign and return two copies of the Star Grants Funding Agreement. This forms a contract between the Professional Standards Councils and the applicant.

Under the Funding Agreement, grant recipients are required to submit to the Professional Standards Councils their timetable for activities and a payment schedule. These provide the basis of monitoring activities, to ensure that the funds are being applied appropriately. The signed Funding Agreement must be returned within 28 days of the offer, otherwise the offer maybe withdrawn.

All grant recipients are required to submit a report within three months of the conclusion of the activity, including achievements against objectives.

Grant winners will also be profiled on the Councils’ website and details of awarded grants will be included in Annual Reports.