About this guide

Explanation and guidance on using the Standards is provided in this guide. This document was developed in response to feedback from RTOs and other stakeholders that indicated clear guidance was needed about the Standards that apply to RTOs.

Download a copy of the print version (this is version 1.1 of this guide):

This guide is intended for use by those applying to become an RTO, existing RTOs, auditors and other regulatory staff.

  • Organisations applying to become RTOs can use this guide to understand the obligations of an RTO, and develop systems and processes in preparation for submitting an application for initial registration.
  • Current RTOs can use this guide to understand their regulatory obligations, and to establish and maintain systems and processes that both comply with the Standards and suit the RTO and its clients and learners. RTOs can also use the guide to conduct internal reviews and guide improvement initiatives.
  • Auditors and other regulatory staff can use this guide (in conjunction with ASQA’s Code of conduct for auditors and course accreditation assessors) to help them make consistent judgements about the intent of the Standards and how RTOs can implement the Standards in ways that suit them and their learners.

This guide is not part of the Standards and has no legal authority. The guide does not prescribe how an RTO should be managed or what evidence must be retained to demonstrate compliance. RTOs are best placed to decide the most suitable way for their organisation to be structured and managed. As long as an RTO can present evidence that it complies with the Standards, there is no ‘right way’ for an RTO to conduct its operations.

The guide should not be considered as any form of checklist or to contain any prescriptive information. RTO staff and management should use the guide to obtain a clearer understanding of the Standards and the obligations of an RTO and use that knowledge to structure operations and gather and retain evidence of compliance. The Standards describe what outcomes an RTO must achieve, not how they must be achieved.

While the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 apply to all RTOs, this guide contains some information that is specific to those RTOs regulated by ASQA. RTOs not regulated by ASQA should contact their regulator for specific information regarding VET legislation, regulatory requirements and regulatory processes that apply to them.

The guide will be updated from time to time. Updated versions will be published on ASQA’s website at www.asqa.gov.au/standards and any printed copies should be checked for currency against the most recent digital copy.

Disclaimer

  • This guide has no legal status or legal effect whatsoever unless expressly provided for in legislation of the Commonwealth of Australia or an Australian state or territory.
  • This guide is not part of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015. The purpose of this guide is to provide general guidance. This guide is not meant to be exhaustive in its coverage of rights or obligations arising under any law.
  • The information contained in this guide may be affected by changes to legislation. The Australian Skills Quality Authority accepts no responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or currency of the material included.
  • Users of these materials are encouraged to obtain professional advice in respect of any applicable legislation and to exercise their own skill and care in relation to the material contained in this guide.
  • The Australian Skills Quality Authority disclaims any and all liability or responsibility for any loss or damages arising out of any use of, or reliance on, this guide.

The printed version of this guide is current as at 10 December 2014.

Beyond that date, users of the printed guide should compare the guide with digital copies to ensure currency of the information.

Creative Commons License
With the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, all logos, graphic design, artwork and photos or where otherwise noted, the Users' Guide to the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 by the Australian Skills Quality Authority is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License .

Minor changes: Users’ guide to the Standards for RTOs 2015

The below is a list of changes between version 1.0 and 1.1. These changes do not affect the guidance or information provided in the Standards Guide.

Version 1.0 (pre-print, available on ASQA website 5 November – 10 December)

Version 1.1 (First print edition, published 10 December 2014) and available from www.asqa.gov.au/standards from 24 December 2014

Page number/s

Content

Page number/s

Change made

Universal change

Usage of Standards for RTOs 2015

Universal change

Updated to Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015

Universal change

Bulleted lists

Universal change

Bulleted lists throughout updated in accordance with the ASQA Writing Style Guide to include ‘and’ or ‘or’ after penultimate list item

Universal change

Names of training package products

Universal change

Italicised

Universal change

Minor spelling/grammatical errors throughout

Universal change

Minor spelling/grammatical errors throughout

Cover

Includes notice re: ‘pre-print version’

Cover

Notice re: ‘pre-print version’ removed

Page 3

Full URL of guide provided

Page i

Link updated to www.asqa.gov.au/standards 

Page 3

Date of currency given as 5 November 2014

Page i

Version date updated

Page 5, paragraph 2

‘… the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) was implemented in July 2002 and has since evolved in collaboration with the VET sector.’

Page 1, paragraph 2

‘… the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) was implemented in July 2002 and has since evolved, with the collaboration of the VET sector.’

Page 6, paragraph 5

‘This allows RTOs to be flexible and innovative in their VET delivery and acknowledges each RTO is different and needs to operate in a way that suits their clients and learners.’

Page 2, paragraph 6

‘This allows RTOs to be flexible and innovative in their VET delivery. It is an acknowledgment that …’

Page 7, paragraph 4

‘… they also set clear expectations about this and the VET competencies that must be held by trainers and assessors.’

Page 3, paragraph 4

 ‘… they also set clear expectations about this, and about the VET competencies that must be held by trainers and assessors.’

Page 8, Table – Row 5

‘provide a high quality of training and assessment’

Page 4, Table – Row 5

‘… provide high-quality training and assessment …’

Page 10, paragraph 2

‘Low-risk RTOs may be eligible …’

Page 6, paragraph 2

‘Some low-risk RTOs may be eligible …’

Page 11, paragraph 5

‘can be submitted by email to’

Page 7, paragraph 5

‘can be emailed to’

Page 12, paragraph 1

‘Explanation and guidance on using the Standards is provided in this guide. The guide was developed in response to feedback from RTOs and other stakeholders that clear guidance was needed about the Standards that apply to RTOs’

Page 8, paragraph 1

‘Explanation and guidance on using the Standards is provided in this guide. This document was developed in response to feedback from RTOs and other stakeholders that indicated clear guidance was needed about the Standards that apply to RTOs’

Page 13, paragraph 1

‘These Standards form part of the VET Quality Framework, a system which ensures the integrity of nationally recognised training in Australia and with which registered training organisations are required to comply at all times.’

Page 9, paragraph 1

‘These Standards form part of the VET Quality Framework, a system which ensures the integrity of nationally recognised training in Australia. Registered training organisations are required to comply with the VET Quality Framework at all times.’

Page 17, table, row 4

‘The community benefits from a highly skilled and productive workforce and subsequent economic benefits at a local, state and national level.’

Page 13, table, row 4

‘The community benefits from a highly skilled and productive workforce and from the subsequent economic benefits at a local, state and national level.’

Page 17, table, row 5

‘Providers that demonstrate commitment to quality outcomes enjoy low regulatory intervention …’

Page 13, table, row 5

‘Providers that demonstrate commitment to quality outcomes enjoy low levels of regulatory intervention …’

Page 19, paragraph 1

‘… issue AQF qualifications and statements of attainment to learners that have satisfied …’

Page 15, paragraph 1

‘…issue AQF qualifications and statements of attainment to learners who have satisfied …’

Page 19, paragraph 4

‘Your RTO is required to comply with the AQF in applying the volume of learning to your programs and must therefore develop and implement strategies for training and assessment that are consistent with the AQF.’

Page 15, paragraph 4

‘Your RTO is required to comply with the AQF in applying the volume of learning to your programs. You must therefore develop and implement strategies for training and assessment that are consistent with the AQF.’

Page 20, paragraph 2

‘Be aware that, in some cases where learners have been employed long-term in an industry, their skills and knowledge may be very narrow and they may not have the capacity to fully demonstrate these in a broader context or in different environments.’

Page 16, paragraph 2

‘Be aware that, in some cases where learners have been employed long-term in an industry, their range of skills and knowledge may be very narrow. They may not have the capacity to fully demonstrate these in a broader context or in different environments.’

Page 21, paragraph 5

‘… training package or course’

Page 17, paragraph 5

‘… training package or accredited course’

Page 21, paragraph 7

‘It needs to be regularly updated to take into account changes in industry technology and techniques; legislation; the training package itself; and availability of resources within your RTO.’

Page 17, paragraph 7

‘It needs to be regularly updated to take into account changes in industry technology and techniques, legislation and the training package itself, as well as the availability of resources within your RTO.’

Page 22, table, row 4

‘Identify any mandatory requirements for learners to commence the program, such as qualifications that must be held or periods of industry experience.’

Page 18, table, row 4

‘Identify any mandatory requirements for learners commencing the program, such as qualifications that must be held or periods of industry experience.’

??

‘With many units of competency including detailed specifications of resources required, conducting this analysis at a unit of competency level ensures these requirements are addressed.’

Page 18, table, row 9

‘Many units of competency include detailed specifications of resources required, so conducting this analysis at a unit of competency level ensures these requirements are addressed.’

Page 22, table, row 5

‘Analyse the nature of your learner cohort and, in conjunction with the specific requirements of the training product, determine how your RTO will ...’

Page 18, table 5

‘Analyse the nature of your learner cohort. Use this analysis and any specific requirements of the training package to determine how your RTO will …'

Page 23, table, row 3

‘Develop and implement a strategy in the same way as a qualification, noting that some information may not be relevant, such as information on core and elective units.’

Page 19, table, row 1

‘Develop and implement a strategy in the same way as you would for a qualification, noting that some information may not be relevant, such as information on core and elective units.’

‘… the resources used for training and assessment.’

Page 21, paragraph 2

‘… the resources your RTO uses for training and assessment.’

Page 28, paragraph 1

‘Due to industry concern that graduates of some RTOs didn’t have the full range of skills and experience required, DEF Education sequenced the training and assessment, and discussed assessment methods with local employers to ensure learners gained exposure to a wide range of contexts and scenarios.’

Page 22, paragraph 9

‘In response to industry concerns that graduates of some RTOs didn’t have the full range of skills and experience required, DEF Education discussed the sequencing of training and assessment, as well as assessment methods, with local employers. The discussions aimed to develop sequencing/assessment methods that would ensure learners gain exposure to a wide range of contexts and scenarios.’

Page 29, paragraph 7

‘At minimum, this should include:’

Page 23, paragraph 7

‘At minimum, support should include:’

Page 30, paragraph 3

‘If learners are identified as needing additional support, the RTO arranges tutorials to allow the learner to increase their skills prior to when these components are scheduled in the course.’

‘If a learner is identified as needing additional support, the RTO arranges tutorials to allow the learner to increase their skills prior to when these components are scheduled in the course.’

Page 34, paragraph 3

‘Note that some training packages and courses …’

Page 27, paragraph 3

‘Some training packages and courses …’

Page 34, paragraph 4

‘…your assessment cover every area …’

Page 27, paragraph 4

‘ …your assessment must cover every area …’

Page 35, table, row 1

‘Ensure the learner is fully informed of the assessment process and performance expectations prior to the assessment being undertaken.’

Page 27, table, row 1

‘Ensure the learner is fully informed of the assessment process and performance expectations before undertaking assessment.’

Page 38, paragraph 7

‘There are a number of tools available online that can assist you in determining the required sample size—particularly where large numbers of assessment judgements have been made, this is likely to be smaller than you would think.’

Page 30, paragraph 2

‘There are a number of tools available online that can assist you in determining the required sample size— this is likely to be smaller than you would think, particularly where large numbers of assessment judgements have been made.’

Page 39, paragraph 5

‘At an ASQA audit, RTOs would only be requested to produce assessment records they are required to retain …’

Page 31, paragraph 2

‘At an ASQA audit, an RTO would only be requested to produce those assessment records they are required to retain …’

Page 39, paragraph 5

‘… retain evidence, such as photographs, that the standard of the item …’

Page 31, paragraph 2

‘… retain evidence, such as photographs, showing that the standard of the item …’

Page 40, paragraph 2

‘Where assessment is completed via recognition of prior learning, the requirements of the standards do not change, although the variety of evidence gathered and considered in making an assessment decision may be greater than through ‘traditional’ assessment activities’

Page 31, paragraph 5

‘Where assessment is completed via recognition of prior learning, the requirements of the standards do not change, although the variety of evidence gathered and considered in making an assessment decision may be greater than when assessment is completed through ‘traditional’ assessment activities’

Page 41, paragraph 2

‘JKL training developed …’

Page 32, paragraph 2

‘JKL training has developed …’

Page 44, paragraph 3

‘In some cases, people may have significant industry experience but not hold any formal qualifications—in such cases, you would need to analyse the skills and knowledge they deliver and how this compares to their industry skills and knowledge. Consider all units of competency (including electives) in this analysis to ensure that requirements for trainers and assessors specified in the training package or accredited course are met.’

Page 34, paragraph 6

‘In some cases, people may have significant industry experience but not hold any formal qualifications—in such cases, you would need to analyse the skills and knowledge they deliver, and compare this to their industry skills and knowledge. Consider all units of competency (including electives) in this analysis to ensure that you are meeting the requirements for trainers and assessors specified in the training package or accredited course.’

Page 47, paragraph 5

‘Where your RTO uses a person who does not hold the required competencies as a trainer and assessor, they need to …’

Page 37, paragraph 1

‘Where your RTO uses a person who does not hold the required competencies as a trainer and assessor, that person needs to …’

Page 47, paragraph 5

‘Regardless of the skills and knowledge held, a person that does not hold the required competencies:

  • must be supervised
  • must not determine assessment outcomes.’

Page 37, paragraph 1

‘Regardless of their skills and knowledge, a person that does not hold the required competencies:

  • must be supervised, and
  • must not determine assessment outcomes.’

Page 48, paragraph 1

‘Regardless of the training and assessment competencies held by a person, training must only be provided by those who have current industry skills and knowledge and is best provided by those who can undertake all of the tasks defined in the elements of units of competency and modules to industry standards.’

Page 37, paragraph 2

‘Regardless of the training and assessment competencies held by a person, training must only be provided by those who have current industry skills and knowledge. Training is best provided by those who can undertake all of the tasks defined in the elements of units of competency and modules to industry standards.’

Page 50, paragraph 2

‘… an RTO arranged by PQR education …’

Page 38, paragraph 4

‘… an RTO engaged by PQR education …’

Page 52, paragraph 6

‘…that the skills and knowledge directly relate …’

Page 40, paragraph 2

‘…that their skills and knowledge directly relate …’

Page 53, paragraph 4

‘Must include evidence of:

  • an external and independent validation of assessment for training products on the RTO’s scope specified in ASQA’s application process'

Page 44, paragraph 8

‘Must include evidence of:

  • an external and independent validation of assessment for any training products specified in ASQA’s application process'

Page 54, table

Refer to Appendix 3 of version 1.1

Page 45

This table replaces table in version 1.0

Page 57, paragraph 8

‘Evidence from a student management system that no students were enrolled …’

Page 43, paragraph 11

‘Evidence from a student management system showing that no students were enrolled …’

Page 61, paragraph 2

‘These biannual reviews are conducted based on staff interviews and collating information from these sources.’

Page 47, paragraph 3

‘As well as collating information from these sources, these biannual reviews collect information through staff interviews’

Page 63, paragraph 1

‘… details of how marketing undertaken by the third party is approved by your RTO …’

Page 48, paragraph 4

‘… details of how marketing undertaken by the third party will be approved by your RTO …’

Page 64, paragraph 4

‘The written agreement provides …’

Page 49, paragraph 5

‘The written agreement had previously provided …’

Page 64, paragraph 5

The RTO developed a new process requiring third parties to advise administration staff when all assessment had been completed, so they could issue all qualifications and statements of attainment directly to the learner following confirmation that all required assessment evidence had been retained by the third party.

Page 49, paragraph 6

The RTO developed a new process, which requires third parties to advise administration staff when all assessment is completed. The RTO can then issue all qualifications and statements of attainment directly to the learner (following confirmation that all required assessment evidence has been retained by the third party).

Page 68, paragraph 6

‘… completing a checklist prior to a qualification being printed or signed …’

Page 54, paragraph 3

‘…completing a checklist before a qualification is printed or signed …’

Page 76, paragraph 4

‘Your RTO must not guarantee that a learner will obtain a qualification or statement of attainment by studying at your RTO or that a learner is able to complete a training product where this would breach Clause 1.1 or 1.2 of the Standards (including the amount of training provided).’

Page 62, paragraph 1

‘Your RTO must not guarantee that a learner will obtain a qualification or statement of attainment by studying at your RTO. You must not guarantee that a learner is able to complete a training product where this would breach Clause 1.1 or 1.2 of the Standards (including by misrepresenting the amount of training provided).’

Page 76, paragraphs 6 and 7

You must provide details of:

  • any costs associated (including interest or similar costs)
  • any debt that will be incurred
  • any loss of entitlement from the learner undertaking a course at your RTO.

This would include information about limited entitlement schemes where learners are only able to access one course or there are restrictions on what courses may be subsidised after completing their study at...'

Page 62, paragraphs 3 and 4

You must provide details of:

  • any costs associated (including interest or similar costs) with undertaking a course at your RTO, and
  • any debt that will be incurred.

You must also provide the details of any loss of entitlement that may occur if a learner undertakes a course at your RTO—this includes providing information about limited entitlement schemes (where learners are only able to access one course or there are restrictions on what courses may be subsidised after a learner completes their study at your RTO).

Page 83, paragraph 6

‘A space for a signature acknowledging that the learner has been fully informed about the course is provided and the learner must sign this before commencing the program.’

Page 69, paragraph 4

‘The declaration includes space for a signature acknowledging that the learner has been fully informed about the course. The learner must sign this declaration before commencing the program.’

Page 89, paragraph 4

‘… when:

  • applying for initial registration or to renew registration as an RTO
  • you employ a new manager.’

Page 76, paragraph 2

‘… when you:

  • apply for initial registration or to renew registration as an RTO, or
  • employ a new manager.’

Page 99, paragraph 1

‘RTOs that have been registered less than a year must retain evidence that they will be able to submit this data in the following year.’

NA

Deleted – repeated line

Page 100, table, Row 2

‘Learners are assured providers are monitored by a regulator that has accurate, up-to-date information about the provider.’

Page 85, table, row 1

‘Learners are assured that each provider is monitored by a regulator that has accurate, up-to-date information about the provider.’

Page 100, table, Row 2

‘Learners can make informed choices about choosing a provider using accurate and up-to-date information.’

Page 85, table, row 1

‘Learners can make informed choices about providers using accurate and up-to-date information.’

Page 101, paragraph 4

‘…anything that may impact on the …’

Page 86, paragraph 3

‘…anything that may affect the …’

Rate this page—was the information useful to you?