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What is a registered training organisation?
A registered training organisation (RTO) is a provider and assessor of nationally recognised vocational education and training. They are able to offer students training and qualifications or statements of attainment that are recognised across Australia, and are accepted by industry and other educational institutions.
RTOs are registered with the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA); or in some cases, a state regulator. All registered training organisations in Australia are listed on training.gov.au, the authoritative national register of the vocational training sector in Australia.
RTOs offer the following levels of training:
- Certificate I, II, III, and IV;
- Advanced Diploma;
- Vocational Graduate Certificate;
- Vocational Graduate Diploma.
Who is allowed to deliver training and assessment in an RTO?
Registered training organisations need qualified people to deliver training and assessment on their behalf. The minimum required qualification is the TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. This is sometimes known as the “train the trainer” qualification.
Trainers also need to possess the qualifications they teach. For example, to teach the CHC30113 Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, the trainer needs to have that qualification (or an eligible equivalent/greater certification) PLUS the TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.
RTO owners do not need to be qualified trainers (unless they want to deliver and assess accredited vocational training courses). Qualifications like the TAE50111 Diploma of Vocational Education and Training or TAE50211 Diploma of Training Design and Development are designed to develop the skills required to run an RTO as an owner or manager. They can also be used to pursue a range of training related jobs in RTOs and other organisations with competency-based training needs.
How can your organisation become an RTO?
To become an RTO and be able to delivery vocational education and training in Australia, an organisation must:
- Meet the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) requirements for training delivery;
- Own, or otherwise have legal access to, an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) nationally recognised short course or qualification.
To get initial approval for registration and then maintain registration, RTOs must document evidence to show they are meeting the AQTF requirements and show how they are improving the delivery of their training.
Only RTOs are allowed to deliver AQF accredited VET qualifications and courses. RTOs are also the only organisations able to apply for federal, state or territory funding to deliver vocational education and training in Australia.
What types of RTOs are there?
There are approximately 5000 RTOs currently registered in Australia. Registered training organisations can be privately or publically owned.
RTOs owned, operated and financed by state and territory governments are commonly known as Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions. Some of these TAFEs are attached to or part of universities.
The majority of training organisations are run as private businesses or companies, ranging from small sole-trader operations run by one person, up to large companies with dozens of employees.
A number of large companies run their own “training branch” for their in-house training purposes. In some cases these training branches are registered as training organisations and are able to deliver nationally recognised and accredited training and qualifications.
Some non-profit or government organisations also run registered training organisations so they can offer training to the public, prepare new volunteers to go into the field, or upgrade the skills of their existing staff and volunteers.