Frequently Asked Questions

There is nothing worse than not being able to get the answer to a burning question when you need it. Hopefully, the following questions and answers help you understand more about RTOs. We have tried to simplify the answers so that both new and experienced people can benefit. If you would like technical assistance, call us on 1300 88 53 04.

RTOs - The Basics

A Registered Training Organisation (RTO) is a provider approved or ‘certified’ to deliver vocational education and training (VET) services and issue Qualifications and Statements of Attainment. RTOs are generally created to offer nationally recognised courses and qualifications that meet industry standards.
In basic terms, the Standards for RTOs ensure the quality of vocational education and training in Australia. They cover areas such as training and assessment practices, governance, client services, and the management of operations.

Becoming an RTO

To register as an RTO, you must submit an application to the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), complete with all required documentation and show evidence of compliance with the Standards for RTOs.
ASQA will generally finalise applications for initial registration within six months of accepting a properly completed and fully compliant application. ‘Finalise’ means that ASQA has made a decision and advised the applicant (not that any review process has been completed).
We get asked this question a lot. This question is similar to asking how much do I need to buy a car. It could be anything from $15,000 to $300,000+ depending on the car. So, let's have a look at the basics. Initial costs include the ASQA application fees ($600 Lodgement Fee), ‘audit’ fees ($8000 Initial Assessment Fee), any consultancy costs, possible new company establishment costs ($1,500), Student Management System ($0 - $5000+), Public Liability Insurance, ($300 - $3,000) and resources. This is where the costs vary like a car. It will bepend on the scope, (or courses) you are applying for, what type of resources you need or have access too, and does the process include buy or leasing. Then, like in any business, there are ongoing operational costs, wages, leases etc, as well as costs for maintaining the RTO, renewal of registration. Best is to have a chat with us and we can break down the costs.
ASQA does not accept payment in instalments. You are required to pay any annual registration charges or any other charges in full by the date specified in the payment terms.
Yes, ASQA allow consultants to participate in audits. RTO Consultancy consultants alway sit in ASQA audits.

Becoming a CRICOS Provider

A Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) provider is an education institution registered by the ASQA and the Australian Government under the ESOS Act, to offer courses to overseas students studying in Australia on student visas.
To apply to become a CRICOS provider, you must first be an RTO or be in the process of becoming one at the same time. Like the RTO application, you must apply through the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), providing evidence that you meet the National Code 2018 and the ESOS Act.
Whilst there is nowhere to upload the evidence of the National Police Check, our experience shows that most ASQA ​​Assessment Officer's from the Initial Assessment & Referral Team do ask for the evidence when reviewing the application. We have previously used National Crime Check Pty Ltd and they have delivered quick and cost effective results.
Requirements include compliance with the ESOS Act and the National Code, which sets standards in areas such as marketing, enrolment, support services, education delivery, and student welfare. You must also demonstrate financial capacity, sound governance, and quality student services, as well as a 9B premise.
The time frame for CRICOS registration varies depending on the complexity of your application and how well it meets the required standards. Typically, it can take several months to over a year from submission to approval.
Costs, like when setting up an RTO are varied so let's have a look at the basics. NOTE: The following is in addition to the cost of setting up an RTO, so please incorporate these costs into your calculations. Initial costs include the ASQA CRICOS application fees ($600 Lodgement Fee), ‘CRICOS audit’ fees ($8000 Initial Assessment Fee) and any consultancy costs. It is assumed that you have your entity established, resources and a Student Management System. Then, like in any business, there are ongoing operational costs, wages, leases etc, as well as costs for maintaining the RTO, renewal of registration. It is my recommendation that you have at least 12 months of working capital in the bank, or accessible, including leasing costs, before you start a CRICOS application. Contact us to have a chat and we can break down the costs.
A 9B approved premise for CRICOS refers to a building or part of a building that complies with the Building Code of Australia's requirements for educational buildings, classified under the code as Class 9b. For educational institutions in Australia, including CRICOS providers who offer courses to international students, it's crucial that their teaching and learning facilities meet these specific safety and structural standards. This classification ensures that the premises are suitable for educational use and comply with health, safety, and welfare regulations, including fire safety, accessibility, and amenity standards. For CRICOS providers, having 9B approval for their premises is essential not only for compliance with Australian building standards but also for ensuring a safe and conducive learning environment for students. To become a CRICOS provider or to maintain CRICOS registration, institutions must demonstrate that their premises are appropriately classified and meet these 9B requirements, as part of ensuring the overall quality and safety of the education services provided to international students.

Compliance Questions

No. There is no need to engage a consultant when setting up or running an RTO, however, engaging a good consultant will allow you to focus on running your RTO, and just like a good Accountant or Lawyer are always on hand to help, so should a good RTO Consultant. Talk to us about how we can help you and your RTO to grow to become a successful and sustainable business.

Adding to My Scope of Registration

Your scope of registration defines the specific qualifications, courses, and units of competency that an RTO is approved to deliver and assess.
To add to your scope, you must submit an application to ASQA via ASQAnet, including details of the qualifications or units you want to add. You may need to add evidence that you have the resources and capabilities to deliver them effectively.
Generally, for applying to add to your ‘domestic’ scope, that is not CRICOS, you do not need to submit any evidence. However, you are agreeing, that by submitting the application, you are ready to deliver meaning the RTO is ready to operate, and you have undertaken industry consultation, have documented your trainer and assessor competence and currency, have all the learning resources and assessment tools, and have facilities that meet the requirements of the training package or accredited course.
The timeframe can vary based on the complexity of your application and the regulator's processing times. It's best to plan for several months from application to approval, however, we have seen everything from 3 weeks to 3 months, but even up to 13 months. The best thing is to plan, plan early and ensure everything is ready.
Yes, if your application is rejected, you have the right to appeal the decision. You should review the feedback from the regulator, address any issues, and follow the formal appeals process.
Yes, there are typically application fees and possible audit fees associated with extending your scope of registration.
You can apply to add qualifications or units to your scope at any time, but it's essential to ensure you have the necessary resources and capabilities before applying. The federal government and ASQA are in the process of implementing steps to limit scope applications within the first two years or registration. So if you are applying for initial application, be sure to plan ahead.
Yes, industry consultation is crucial to ensure the relevance and quality of the training and assessment strategies for the new qualification or unit.
Non-compliance can result in sanctions, including the removal of the new qualification or unit from your scope or suspension of your RTO registration.
You can deliver training outside of Australia, but you must ensure compliance with the Standards for RTOs and any additional requirements of the country where you intend to deliver training.

General FAQs

Compliance refers to the adherence of an RTO to the set standards, legislation, and requirements outlined by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). This ensures the quality and integrity of vocational education and training. RTOs should adopt a philosophy of Systematic Self Assurance to ensure ongoing compliance.
The frequency of compliance audits can vary based on factors such as the RTO’s history of compliance, changes in scope, and regulatory changes. Generally, RTOs can expect regular monitoring and may undergo audits every few years or when there is a significant change or concern.
If non-compliance is identified, the RTO will be given a specified period to address and rectify the issues. Failure to comply within the timeframe can lead to sanctions, including suspension or cancellation of registration.
Are you not already prepared? Jokes aside, preparation for an audit should include reviewing current practices. and updating policies and procedures to ensure they align, ensuring all documentation is current and accessible and ensuring all staff are familiar with compliance requirements and practices. A good practice is to have a culture of ongoing compliance where you focus on little improvements frequently.
ASQA is the national regulator for Australia's vocational education and training sector and oversees RTO compliance with the VET Quality Framework, including the Standards for RTOs, to ensure high-quality training and assessment.
Consequences can include corrective action requests, additional monitoring, fines, suspension of qualifications from the scope, or, in severe cases, cancellation of RTO registration.
Continuous compliance can be maintained by regularly reviewing and updating training and assessment strategies, engaging with industry stakeholders, conducting internal audits, and keeping abreast of changes in regulations and standards.
Expansion of an RTO's scope may require submitting an application and possibly undergoing an audit, depending on the nature of the qualifications or units of competency being added and the RTO’s history of compliance.
Resources include the ASQA website, guidance documents, the Standards for RTOs, webinars, workshops, and sector-specific newsletters. RTOs can also seek assistance from VET consultants or professional associations.

You may also want to check out the FAQs section on the ASQA Website.


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