Tour guides

ADS approved tour guides are responsible for ensuring ADS tourists receive a quality tourism experience. ADS tour guides are required to abide by the ADS Code of Business Standards and Ethics which sets out the minimum quality standards and requirements for ADS tours.

Austrade monitors tour guides’ compliance with the code by working with a compliance monitoring agency (CMA). Find out more about the CMA.

Tour guides who do not comply with the code may have their ADS approval suspended or revoked. To learn more about the responsibilities of ADS approved tour guides take a look at our video.

Apply to join the ADS scheme

Tour guides must be approved to operate within the ADS scheme. To check if you are ready to apply please follow the steps below.

Step 1: Read the ADS Code of Business Standards and Ethics which sets out the responsibilities of ADS approved tour guides.

Step 2: Read the deed of agreement to participate in the ADS scheme for tour guides. If approved, you will need to enter into a deed of agreement with the Commonwealth stating that you will abide by the ADS Code of Business Standards and Ethics. This is a legal agreement so you may want to seek legal advice before applying.

Step 3: Read the ADS tour guide information pack which outlines the information and evidence you will need to provide in your application.

Step 4: Complete the online application form. Austrade aims to process applications within four weeks or receipt. Applications that are incomplete or have incorrect attachments may take longer to process. Please contact the ADS unit if you need assistance or have any questions about the application process.

Key documents


  • The demerit point system – English (PDF, 272KB) | Chinese (PDF, 311KB)
  • Shopping activities – English (PDF, 152KB) | Chinese (PDF, 198KB)
  • Itinerary changes – English (PDF, 151KB) | Chinese (PDF, 193KB)
  • Tour guide responsibilities – English (PDF, 272KB) | Chinese (PDF, 331KB)


If you have questions or would like more information on the ADS scheme please contact Austrade’s ADS unit via:

  • Telephone: 1800 048 155 (business hours 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays)
  • Email: