Automatic promotion to the Premiership will be introduced in 2018 after the Rugby Football Union decided to scrap the Championship play-offs.
The winners of England's second-tier competition will be promoted if they satisfy 'minimum standard criteria' to play in the top-flight.
Promotion this term will again be decided via the four-team play-offs.
Championship clubs also get a funding boost as part of the new agreement between the RFU and Premiership Rugby.
More to follow.