NCA assessment policy update for Australian law school students

5 July 2021

How has the NCA assessment policy been updated and what does this mean for Australian law school students?

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In recognition of the fact that the pandemic has forced many schools around the world to include online instruction in their law programs from 2020 onward, the National Committee on Accreditation Assessment Policy has been revised on two occasions to allow for recognition of a designated amount of online interactive instruction. The most recent policy change came into effect June 1, 2021.

Prior to 2020, students were only able to complete a third of their program online without impacting their ability to sit the NCA exams. As of July 2020, students were permitted to complete up to half their program in an online interactive format. Due to the most recent advisory update released June 1, 2021, students are now eligible to sit their NCA exams with just one year of in-person instruction as defined by the policy.

This is good news. Students are now able to complete more courses in an interactive online format and still be eligible to sit their Canadian NCA examinations!

How much online study can be completed to satisfy the NCA requirements?
The NCA has recently updated their policy and requirements related to in-person instruction. It indicates that law programs will be recognized granted the program includes at least one year of in-person instruction.

  • For students entering a 2-year JD, this allows for 16 months to be taught online.
  • For students entering a 3-year JD, this allows for 2 of your 3 years to be taught online.
  • For students entering a 4-year LLB, this allows for 3 of your 4 years to be taught online.

How does this differ from before?
Prior to this update, the NCA was requiring students to complete at least 50% of their program in person to be eligible to sit the NCA exams upon returning to Canada. As a result of this new policy, there is greater flexibility in the course delivery method for students to complete their legal studies.

What does this mean for my 2-year accelerated program?
This means that out of the 6 semesters of the program, a minimum of 2 will need to be completed in person.

Bond University‘s 2-year JD program is currently being delivered in in-person mode for onshore students and in interactive remote mode for offshore students. Griffith University‘s 2-year JD program follows a similar structure.

Important: You are responsible for confirming National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) requirements in place at the time you accept your offer and commence study.

I’ve already started the course. Am I impacted?
Yes, this works in your favour! For students beginning their studies in 2021, you will be able to remain in the comfort of your current home for up to two years, depending on when boarders reopen. Students who’ve already started their studies can rest assured that the program content they’re currently covering is not for nothing!

Updated July 5, 2021

Which law programs do OzTREKK Australian law schools offer?

The following Australian Law Schools offer either a graduate-entry LLB or JD and most offer an undergraduate-entry LLB:


Would you like more information about how the NCA is assessing law degrees offered in Australia? Please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Law Schools Admissions Officer at We’re here to help!