Frequently asked questions

Can I buy an RTO?

A registered training organisation is able to sell its business to another person or corporation. However, its registration cannot be transferred to that entity. As a result, if the entity that purchases an RTO is not already an RTO at the time of sale, they will be required to apply for initial registration.

If they are already an RTO, they must apply to ASQA to extend their scope of registration to cover any additional qualifications to be delivered.

How much does it cost to register as an RTO?

Once you are ready to submit your application to register as an RTO, ASQA will require two payments totaling $8500. The first payment of $500 must be paid when submitting the application. It will cover ASQA's cost to run a completeness check of your application. Once the completeness check is finished, the second payment of $8000 will be required.

How long does it take to be registered as an RTO?

Once your application has been submitted, ASQA will run a completeness check to ensure nothing is missing from your application. ASQA reserves 10 days for this initial check. If the application is complete and payment is made, ASQA will start the assessment for initial registration. This can take four to six months.

Can I edit my application for initial registration after I submit it?

ASQA clearly states you will be unable to present additional evidence for review once you have submitted your application for initial registration. ASQA may require you to clarify or expand on certain pieces of evidence during the audit process. However, you should ensure your application is 100% complete before submission to avoid a negative outcome after a possible six-month wait.

Can I contact ASQA directly?

Yes, you can speak to an ASQA representative about VET-related topics, including becoming an RTO. The problem is these ASQA representatives can only give you information about what is required. They will not advise you of the best course of action to become compliant. In contrast, an RTO advisor uses their extensive ASQA network in conjunction with real-world experience to tailor outcomes to suit your specific needs.

What is a Training and Assessment Strategy (TAS)?

A training and assessment strategy outlines the method an RTO will use to enable their learners to meet the requirements of a training package or accredited course. It is an extensive document that is highly contextualised to a specific RTO and its intended cohort of learners. Examples of what is included in a TAS are the RTO’s resources, trainers and assessors, intended cohort and training venue. ASQA places high importance on this document, so we recommend having a knowledgeable third party review it before submission.

What is LLN?

Effectively supporting the language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) requirements of your intended cohort is a crucial aspect of managing a compliant RTO. You should identify areas of support using a diagnostic system, and support learners with additional needs according to your specific policies and procedures. This is a major area of concern for ASQA, as many RTOs have been found to neglect the support needs of their learners. Your LLN resources may include referral to internal points of contact and external reading, writing and numeracy services. Please note that for online courses, learners who are identified as having low digital literacy should also be provided with support services to suit their needs.

What is trainer and assessor currency and how do I show it?

The trainers and assessors working within your RTO are required to have current industry experience in their field, as well as current knowledge of vocational education and training. We suggest experience gained within the previous two years is considered current. The easiest way to show trainer and assessor currency is to maintain a trainer and assessor matrix. A matrix should include a section to detail industry experience such as work, volunteering, reading journals or consulting with industry experts. The matrix should also include a separate section to detail experience gained in the area of vocational education and training. This could include attending VET seminars, professional development workshops, or reading the monthly ASQA newsletter. Purchasing a trainer matrix template will save you a great deal of time and effort for a relatively low cost.

Do I need a venue if I intend to deliver online training?

You will be required to list your RTO’s location in the application for initial registration. However, you will not be required to show floor plans for training venues if your training is to be delivered entirely online. We highly recommend talking to your local council to determine whether you require approval to deliver online courses from your intended place of business.

Can I make money running an RTO?

The short answer is yes. The vocational education and training industry contributes significantly to the Australian economy. Many RTOs operate as successful businesses. In fact, you are required to demonstrate projected financial viability during the process of applying for initial RTO registration. The key to long-term success is focusing on optimising the learner experience and maintaining highly compliant practices.

Can I buy learning resources?

There are numerous providers who will promise you compliant learning resources at bargain prices. This is definitely a case of ‘you get what you pay for’. The resources these providers peddle often require a great deal of contextualisation. We have personally never seen learning resources that are compliant right off the shelf. While purchased resources can be used as a starting point, you must invest the time and effort to ensure these resources meet the requirements of the relevant training package through engaging in industry consultation. Another great alternative is to work with an RTO advisor to develop professional learning resources.

What is industry consultation and how can I do it?

Industry consultation is the process of engaging industry experts to gain their perspective on the skills and knowledge learners should attain during training in order to properly perform their job roles. Industry contacts can be used to gather this feedback formally using an industry engagement template. Generally industry consultation will cover at a minimum the RTO’s learning resources, training and assessment strategy, and assessment tools to be used.

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