What is an RTO? - A Definitive Guide to Registered Training Organisations

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What is an RTO1

What is an RTO? – A Definitive Guide to Registered Training Organisations

A Registered Training Organisation (RTO) may be a privately-owned or government (state or territory) training organisation.  An RTO is an education provider of nationally-recognised, vocational education and training. It is estimated that there are currently around 4000 RTOs in Australia. These RTOs are vital to delivering critical skills to industry throughout Australia. The types of registered training organisations you will find in Australia include:

  • Industry Organisations
  • Private Institutions
  • Businesses or Enterprises
  • Community Organisations
  • Technical Colleges
  • All organisations that meet RTO registration requirements.

National Recognised Training (NRT)

RTOs are organisations that provide nationally recognised training (NRT)  as published on the National Register of Vocational Education and Training. NRT covers the following areas:

  • RTO TrainingTraining Packages
  • Qualifications
  • Units of competency
  • Accredited courses
  • Skill sets

What makes NRT invaluable for students and current employees?

  • Qualifications, Units, Accredited Course and Skill Sets attained through RTOs are nationally recognised, therefore can be used for employment across Australia
  • Nationally Recognised Training meets specific industry, business, educational, or community needs, making students ideal candidates for employment
  • Improves workforce competency and productivity

How do I become an RTO?

To be a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) that delivers training nationally, an organisation must apply for registration through a rigorous application process overseen by ASQA (Australian Skills Quality Authority). Once registered, the RTO is required to comply with Standard for RTOs, ongoing compliance with these standards is monitored by ASQA.

After formal approval and registration as an RTO, the organisation can now provide nationally recognised Training and issue Qualifications and Statements of Attainment accordingly. Registered Training Organisations can deliver Nationally Recognised Training courses in all states across Australia.

Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)

ASQA is the national regulator for RTOs. The Australian Skills Quality Authority is tasked with ensuring that all Vocational Education and Training organisations are compliant with the standards set for high-quality training and education. ASQA is responsible for overseeing:

  • Vocational education and training providers
  • Accredited vocational education and training courses
  • Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) and English Language Intensive Courses to Overseas Students (ELICOS) providers.

ASQA is the regulatory body for all RTOs who deliver located in:

  • The Australian Capital Territory
  • New South Wales
  • The Northern Territory
  • South Australia
  • Tasmania
  • RTOs in Victoria and Western Australia that offer courses to overseas students, and/or offer courses to students in states other than Victoria or Western Australia, including online courses

Regulatory Bodies for Victoria and Western Australia

In the process for harmonisation from a state-based VET regulatory system to a national system, both Western Australia (WA) and Victoria (Vic) refused to be part of the harmonisation. This has resulted in a confusing system where Both WA and Vic have their own State-Based regulators.  These regulators are:

NRT Logo - Nationaly Recognised Training Logo

What is the NRT Logo?

The Nationally Recognised Training (NRT) logo is a registered trademark. This logo is used for promoting and certifying national vocational education and training that leads to Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualifications or Statements of Attainment.

The NRT logo can only be used by RTO in accordance with the specifications and advice on ethical marketing and advertising set out in:

  • The Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015 (for ASQA RTOs),
  • The Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) Standards for Initial Registration; and the AQTF Standards for Continuing Registration. (for all other RTOs)

RTO Compliance

RTOs must continue to meet VET Quality Framework standards to maintain their registered status. Compliance monitoring is to be conducted by ASQA (and State regulators in WA/Vic) through a variety of methods including a compliance audit to ensure that the RTO remains compliant with the standards.

Regulators generally perform three types of audits to ensure RTO compliance. The first is through Registration Audits. This is done upon receipt of an application for initial registration as an RTO, the second is during the renewal of registration, the third type may occur when applying to change scope of registration. They can, however, audit an RTO at any time where certain risk factors become evident.  These risk factors, such as complaints about the RTO are used to inform Regulators on whether the RTO is at risk of failing to comply with the VET regulatory Frameworks.

Should I Register and RTO?

Operating your own Registered Training Organisation (RTO) can be a rewarding personal and business achievement. It enables you to help students and professionals achieve better career opportunities by providing nationally recognised Vocational Education and Training. It offers you the possibility to create a successful business while helping others achieve personal employment goals.

For more information and help on how to start your RTO business, please visit RTO Initial Registration Service.

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