Pre-application meeting

Registering an independent school: The pre-application meeting

 What is a pre-application meeting?

The planning required to open a new school is extensive. As part of the planning process, you should expect to spend a minimum of 18 months preparing your application for registration. A pre-application meeting, held between a proposed applicant and the VRQA should be considered an important aspect of this preparation.
The purpose of this meeting is to provide you with information about:
  • any areas of concern related to your proposal
  • what is required in order to submit a complete application
  • VRQA assessment and decision making processes
  • timelines for submission of documentation.

A pre-application meeting is highly recommended but not compulsory. The pre-application meeting is a free service to applicants.

Benefits of pre-application meetings

A pre-application meeting can:
  • clarify the registration process
  • identify potential issues early in the planning process
  • save you time in putting your application together
  • lead to the preparation of a better quality application
  • lessen the potential for delays in the assessment and decision-making processes.

How to prepare for the meeting

The pre-application meeting is a chance for you to present your proposal and receive feedback on it from the VRQA. You should decide who is the best person or people to talk to about your plans. You may wish to bring along site plans, photographs, draft marketing documents or any other material that explains what you are planning to do. 

How to book a pre-application meeting

To request a pre-application meeting email the VRQA at
and include Request for a pre-application meeting in the subject line. Please provide the following information:
  • your full name and contact details
  • the name and position/responsibility of any other persons who will be attending the meeting
  • the name and proposed location of the school.
A VRQA officer will contact you to arrange a convenient time to meet and discuss your proposal. 

Does attendance at a pre-application meeting imply VRQA approval?

Any feedback provided at the pre-application meeting is preliminary guidance only.
The VRQA will provide formal feedback only after an application has been lodged and the application fee has been paid.  This feedback, which will be made in writing will be based on an assessment of the application that has been submitted.