Certification of Original Documents

A certified copy is often a photocopy of a document that has been verified as being a true (exact) copy after the original document has been sighted by an authorised person.

Certification does not mean that the original document is genuine, only that the copy appears to be the same as the original presented. This is why we may ask to view original documents and may contact the issuing organisation to verify authenticity.

The following guidelines are applicable to the certification of original documents at Southern Cross University.

Who can certify documents in Australia?

People from the following professional and occupational groups:

  • an accountant - member of a recognised professional accounting body or a Registered Tax Agent;
  • a person listed on the roll of the Supreme Court of a State or Territory or the High Court of Australia as a legal practitioner;
  • a barrister, solicitor or patent attorney;
  • a police officer;
  • a postal manager;
  • a principal of an Australian secondary college, high school or primary school;
  • a medical practitioner;
  • a Justice of the Peace (with a registration number in the State in which they are registered); or
  • a minister of religion.

An authorised officer at:

  • a tertiary admissions centre: UAC, VTAC, QTAC, SATAC, TISC;
  • An Admissions or Student Services Officer at any Australian University, Higher Education Provider (HEP), TAFE or private Registered Training Provider (RTO); or
  • the official records department of the educational organisation that originally issued the document(s).

Who can certify documents overseas?

  • an authorised officer of an Australia overseas diplomatic mission;
  • a Southern Cross University Administrative Staff Member at an Overseas Location;
  • an authorised officer of one of Southern Cross University's Global Partnerships;
  • an authorised Southern Cross University Education Agent; or
  • a school headmaster or other recognised examining authority.

How to certify?

Certification of Original Stamp The original document must be viewed by the certifying officer and the officer must personally copy the original document and verify it by doing the following:

  • Use a stamp or write by hand on the copy This is a true copy of the original document sighted by me (or similar statement) on each page of the document;
  • Sign and date the statement;
  • Affix the official stamp or seal of the organisation on the copy (if the organisation has such a stamp) and print their name and business address, telephone number, Profession or occupational group (as listed above); and
  • If the certifying officer is a Justice of the Peace they must list the registration number and Australian state/territory of registration.

Documents not certified correctly

These are examples of documents that can not be accepted:

  • documents that have been certified by an immediate relative or a person residing at the same address as the applicant;
  • documents that are just photocopies without certification;
  • documents that are certified copies of copies. It must be clear that the certifying authority/person has sighted the original document;
  • documents that have not been correctly certified;
  • documents verified by a Justice of the Peace without a registration number; and
  • a scanned copy of a certified document sent electronically.


Still have questions? contact us