Don’t be an April Fool

April Fool’s Day next year will be serious business for Registered Training Organisations across Australia.

On 1 April 2015 the Abbott Government’s new standards for RTOs will come into force as the climax of its VET reform agenda which started six months ago.

Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane recently endorsed the standards necessary to comply with the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011.

The new standards can be examined in detail on the Department of Industry web site but Trainwest understands how busy you are and would like to provide you with a summary of what we consider to be the 10 most important outcomes for RTOs:


1. RTOs must have adequate trainers/assessors, resources, facilities and learner support for all units of competency and qualifications on their scope of registration. Well, duh, is your first reaction … but on second thoughts you might want to tidy up your scope and get rid of courses you no longer train.

2. RTOs must provide ASQA (and presumably TAC) with an annual declaration that confirms the RTO’s compliance with the standards. This declaration includes an undertaking that outcomes it has issued to learners over the previous 12 months meet the requirements of the relevant training package. Ooh, this could haunt shonky RTOs who maximise revenue generation at the expense of quality.


3. The new standards require RTOs to have a detailed and substantial plan for the systematic validation of assessment. RTOs which are a bit slack regarding validation are heading for trouble.

4. Assessment validation conducted by the RTO must to be undertaken by person who is not directly involved in the delivery and assessment of the units or qualification being validated. This could cause headaches (not to mention expense) for small one- or two-person RTOs.

Money and admin

5. RTOs must issue qualifications or statements of attainment within 30 days of the final successful assessment being completed. There is a significant proviso to this one: all outstanding fees must be paid before you have to hit the print button.

6. The amount of money an RTO is able to collect from a learner before the start of his/her course has been increased from $1000 to $1500 – and this can be increased if the RTO holds the appropriate fee insurances.

7. More stringent standards regarding the provision of information about learner rights and obligations before the start of a course will require RTOs to review and probably reinforce their pre-registration information to ensure all requirements are met.

Training and assessment

8. As of 2017, trainers/assessors delivering TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment must hold one of the following: TAE50111 Diploma of Vocational Education and Training, TAE50211 Diploma of Training Design and Development, a higher level qualification in adult education. Ahem … a timely reminder that Trainwest is one of the few RTOs in WA to deliver the TAE50111/TAE50211 double diploma face-to-face over two weeks. Don’t leave it too late, folks.

9. Trainers and assessors delivering any course leading to a qualification or statement of attainment are required to have the TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, a diploma or higher level qualification in adult education. Yup, no more playing dodgeball using the “subject matter expert” excuse.

10. As of 2016, RTOs delivering units from the Training and Education Training Package must undertake independent validation of assessment systems, resources and conduct by a person who is not employed or sub-contracted by the RTO to provide training and assessment and has no other involvement in the RTO.

Good luck with the above. We’re getting on to it right now at Trainwest, the RTO which trains more trainers.