Migration Agents Capstone Assessment FAQs

Migration Agents Capstone Assessment FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the College of Law the providing the Migration Agents Capstone assessment in 2021?

The College of Law announces today that its arrangement with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) on the important work of the Migration Agents Capstone Assessment will conclude on 31 December 2020 as per our Agreement. 

The College established the Capstone assessment at a time when the Department was implementing a new regime for testing and licensing of migration agents. The Capstone is now fully established and the College is pleased with its contribution to the Migration Agents registration regime. We wish the Department well with its oversight of the important work which migration agents do on behalf of the Australian community. 

For the remainder of 2020, the College remains committed to providing all candidates an opportunity to demonstrate their capacity to satisfy the requisite knowledge requirements to register as a Migration Agent. We will deliver the Capstone Assessment (both Written and Oral components) as scheduled for Intake 3 2020 ensuring that all marks are finalised and communicated to candidates. 

The College continues to support the important work of the OMARA and will assist in whatever practical ways might be optimum to ensure constructive transition to a new provider in 2021.

Current students or anyone with questions about intake 3, 2020 please contact our Client Services team on maca@collaw.edu.au  

Any questions regarding future offerings of the Migration Agents Capstone Assessment from 2021 and beyond should be directed to OMARA at capstoneenquiries@homeaffairs.com.au  


Was the Capstone Exam developed to assess the same scope of material as is prescribed for the Graduate Diploma course?

The Capstone Assessment’s intended purpose is to assess whether a candidate possesses the range of skills, knowledge and attributes that are required in order to competently practise as a registered migration agent. These skills, knowledge and attributes are specified across the range of competency standards detailed in the Occupational Competency Standards for Registered Migration Agents (OCS).

According to the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA), the tertiary qualifications recognised by the OMARA, including the Graduate Diploma courses, have been designed to fully cover the OCS and equip students to pass the Capstone Assessment.

For further information, we refer to the information provided by the OMARA on its website –

https://www.mara.gov.au/becoming-an-agent/registration-requirements/knowledge-requirements/capstone-frequently-asked-questions/ and specifically draw your attention to the response to the FAQ “What does the Migration agents Capstone assess?”


Does the College of Law stand by the appropriateness of the Capstone Exam?

The College of Law (College) has enacted a range of measures to ensure that the Capstone Assessment appropriately meets its intended purpose. These measures include:

  • The engagement of a highly experienced and reputable migration professional as our subject matter expert (SME) to assist with, among other things, the design, development and delivery of the written and oral assessment components of the Capstone Assessment
  • The establishment of an Advisory Committee, whose members have extensive experience in the provision of migration advice, to advise and make recommendations in relation to the content, design and delivery of the Capstone Assessment
  • The conducting of a focus group to test the written and oral assessment components of the Capstone Assessment so as to ensure that the Capstone Assessment would be appropriate when delivered
  • The establishment of an Assessment Panel, whose members are trained by our SME and key College staff to appropriately assess candidates undertaking the Capstone Assessment
  • Adherence to a range of quality assurance mechanisms including, but not limited to:
    • the review of every assessment by the College’s Curriculum Design and Development Team, the Advisory Committee and the OMARA to ensure that each assessment is fit for purpose prior to release
    • the implementation of internal moderation processes to ensure the fairness and consistency of marking by all assessors in each Capstone Assessment intake
    • the engagement of external moderators to audit a range of candidate responses and their scores to further ensure that the Capstone Assessment is conducted fairly and consistently.


Following each intake, the College reviews candidate performance across the entire cohort that undertook the assessments. The results of this review are provided to the Advisory Committee and the OMARA in order to obtain their feedback to ensure that the Capstone Assessment continues to appropriately achieve its intended purpose.

For further information, we refer to the information provided by the OMARA on it website –

https://www.mara.gov.au/becoming-an-agent/registration-requirements/knowledge-requirements/capstone-frequently-asked-questions/ and specifically draw your attention to the response to the FAQ “How was the Capstone developed?”

Why was the Capstone Assessment updated and the Written assessment component was made the pre-requisite?

After a review of the performance of candidates following the initial implementation of the MACA, it has been determined that candidates need to first be able to demonstrate their competency in successfully completing the Written assessment component before progressing to the Oral assessment component. Candidates who are unable to successfully complete the Written assessment component may need more time to address their skills and knowledge gaps, which would assist them when they are eligible to commence the Oral assessment component.


Why do both the written and oral assessment components need to be completed in one intake?

The two components are designed to complement each other with the required OCS standards being spread across both assessments in each intake. Completing the two components across different intakes will not enable candidates to meet and satisfy the OCS.


If a student fails one component, do they have to resit the whole exam?

Yes. A candidate must pass both components (written and oral) of the Capstone Assessment during one intake. In each intake, only candidates who pass the Written assessment component will be offered an opportunity to sit the Oral assessment component. Those candidates who fail the Oral assessment component must repeat the entire assessment in a subsequent intake.

From the Migration Agents Capstone Assessment Manual:

2. Assessment requirements

2.1 Assessment structure

2.1.1 Migration Agents Capstone Assessment consists of two compulsory components: written assessment component and oral assessment component, which must be completed within the same intake

2.1.2 Candidates must pass the written assessment component before they can enrol in the oral assessment component.

2.1.3 Both components must be successfully completed within the same intake.

2.1.4 To pass the Capstone Assessment, you must achieve the following:

  • 65% or more in the written assessment component overall; and
  • 65% or more in the oral assessment component overall


3.9 Consequences of failure

If you fail the Migration Agents Capstone Assessment and you would like to undertake this Capstone Assessment again, you must:

  • re-enrol in another intake;
  • pay the appropriate re-sit fees, and
  • undertake the entire assessment again (regardless of whether you failed only the written or the oral component of the assessment).


Should I do an exam preparation course or session?

The College does not deliver, contribute to or endorse any exam preparation course or session as the OMARA and the College have agreed that this would be a potential conflict of interest. The College is unable to comment on any such course being offered by other parties.


What does the assessment look like?

Candidates are encouraged to refer to the approved assessment samples to familiarise themselves with the layout of the Written Assessment Component and the briefing note for the Oral Assessment Component. 


Who from the migration advice industry was involved in the development of the Capstone Exam?

In accordance with the Deed of Agreement between the Commonwealth and the College, the College is required to engage the services of qualified migration professionals to create, moderate, review and assess the Capstone Assessment. The minimum criteria for the selection of these qualified migration professionals, all of whom are approved by the OMARA prior to their engagement, are set out below:

  • At least ten years’ experience as a registered migration agent;
  • Experience across a variety of areas of migration practice, with some knowledge of the challenges faced by registered migration agents in sole practice and experience in supervising early career registered migration agents;
  • Demonstrated contribution to the migration agent profession – service on professional committees, pro bono work, authorships, submissions to government, mentoring experience etc; and
  • Good standing in the migration advice profession.


Why was there a focus group?

The focus group was used as part of the initial development of the Capstone Assessment, to test the appropriateness of the assessment for those seeking to become newly registered migration agents. The College used this focus group as a “live review” of the assessment before it was given to actual Capstone Assessment candidates.


Why, if I previously achieved 65% overall in the written but not a 65% on Part C of the written, can I not get advanced standing also?

All previous enrolments are governed by the terms in place at the time of that enrolment. The current terms cannot be applied to any previous attempt at the Written assessment component.

The newly modified weighting/structure of sections A,B & C of the Written assessment component allows the new pass rate of 65% overall to meet the OCS standards. The previous design of the written assessment did not permit candidates to achieve or satisfy these standards.