How to become a Registered Training Organisation (RTO)

Registered training organisations (RTOs) are education providers approved by ASQA to deliver Vocational Education and Training courses.

What you need to consider:

  • What courses you’d like to deliver
  • Who you will deliver them to (what learners/students)
  • How you will deliver (will it be online, in the training room, through workshops etc)
  • How you will assess the student’s skills (what types of assessment resources do you plan to have)
  • where you’d like to offer them (are you aiming for locals, wanting to deliver overseas etc)
  • How you will attract these customers?
  • If you are an existing business, you may need to revise your business structure to meet ASQA’s registration requirements – to find out more review ASQA’s guides below.

If you decide you’d like to apply to become an RTO we recommend doing the following two points before you apply to become an RTO.

  1. Determine the business plan

One of the things ASQA likes to see is that you have a clear business plan that addresses all of the considerations above and illustrates how the business will be financially sustainable. A two-year financial projection that illustrates profitability, will support your application.

2. Resource the business

  • Prepare the business policies and procedures – in alignment with the RTO Standards, your P&P must illustrate how you address meet standards in your operation methods.
  • Prepare your training and assessment resources – in alignment with the RTO Standards, your training and assessment resources, must be compliant with the RTO standards

The general registration process

Whilst the process may change, the key steps you will go through during the application will be:

  1. Prepare all relevant documentation for your submission (this process can take 2-6 months, depending on how much existing material you have, whether you create your own IP or purchase off the shelf materials, the scope in your initial application, the support you have to work on the project)
  2. Lodge submission via ASQAnet
  3. Pay the lodgement fee
  4. ASQA will conduct an initial “completeness check” to ensure that you have provided all of the relevant documentation including your financial viability risk assessment (FVRA), fit and proper persons and attachments. If you have missed something, you will have a short window to provide the missing evidence
  5. ASQA will then issue you with an Assessment Fee invoice
  6. You will pay the invoice
  7. ASQA will commence the assessment process (usually within 6 months of receiving your application), splitting this into 2 stages:

Check out ASQA’s fees here:

Stage 1 – Desktop Audit – this will focus on reviewing the following:

  1. Your self-assessment and supporting evidence (your policies and procedures, training and assessment strategies, trainers and resources, and anything else that was required to be attached as part of the self-assessment tool).
  2. Your FVRA and supporting documentation
  3. Fit and Proper Person Declarations
  4. Responses provided by you to the questions in the online application

Stage 2 – Audit Validation – this is typically an on-site audit but could be conducted via email, phone, zoom or similar. It focuses on validating that you are ready to deliver quality training and assessment in alignment with your business plan

ASQA will finalise initial registration applications 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).

Our registration took just over 12 months all up from when we applied to when we received our registration – it’s important you are aware, that this process is not quick!

Registering to become an RTO is not something to enter into lightly, there is a lot of compliance and planning involved. According to ASQA, 1 in 2 applications fail! The more preparation, planning and assistance you can do the better!

Successful applications will be granted a 2-year initial registration. There are normally restrictions placed on your organisation during this period including your ability to add to the scope (i.e. more courses). At the end of the two-year mark, you will be up for a re-registration Audit, which will involve an audit similar to your registration audit, but includes a review of your students how you’ve communicated to them and how you are marketing your resources. If you pass this audit you will be offered a registration renewal for a period of 5-7 years.

Want to learn more? Check out ASQA’s guides

ASQA’s Application Guide

Want further help to register an RTO? Let’s connect!

We can support you in a range of ways from consulting and guidance to doing the entire application for you.

We’d love to support you through your RTO registration process in whatever way best supports you, chat with us today!

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