Who’s who in Vocational Education and Training
The vocational education and training system involves many players.
- Australian Government
- State and Territory Governments
- Employment service providers
- Registered Training Organisations (RTOs)
- Other training providers
- Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)
- Victorian Registrations and Qualifications Authority (VRQA)
- Training Accreditation Council Western Australia (TAC)
- Industry Reference Committees (IRC), supported by Skills Service Organisations (SSOs)
- Other industry stakeholders
- Skills Organisations
- Australian Apprenticeship Support Network
- National Skills Commission
- National Careers Institute
Detailed information about each stakeholder
The Australian Government provides financial support through incentives for employers of trainees and apprentices, student loans and programs for particular groups of people, such as the Skills Checkpoint Program for workers aged 45 – 70.
State and Territory Governments provide subsidies for the delivery of accredited training in areas of identified industry need. They also subsidise student service fees for certain groups of learners.
Employers may pay RTOs for the training of their employees. This is referred to as fee-for-service training.
Individuals may cover the cost of their own training. They may be able to access student loans to help pay for accredited training.
Employment service providers can access funding to help job-seekers develop necessary skills for employment. This can include funding for training in employability skills and VET qualifications.
Registered Training Organisations (RTOs)
These are training providers that meet government standards for delivery of nationally recognised training. They include public RTOs and private RTOs.
Public RTOs can include:
- technical and further education (TAFE) institutes
- some secondary schools and colleges
- some higher education providers
- adult and community education providers
- agricultural and technical colleges.
Private RTOs can include:
- private training and business colleges
- higher education providers
- enterprises training their own employees
- industry training providers.
Other training providers
These can include an organisation’s own trainers, external training providers that are not RTOs, industry bodies and product manufacturers.
Registered Training Organisations have to meet nationally agreed quality standards in order to deliver and assess accredited training.
These standards are administered by:
Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) – oversees registration of training providers in most states and territories. They also conduct regular audits of RTOs to make sure they are meeting the quality standards.
Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) – performs these functions for Victorian-based RTOs.
Training Accreditation Council Western Australia (TAC) – performs these functions for Western Australian-based RTOs.
The development of content for training packages and accredited courses is a complex process involving many players.
Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) are groups of industry representatives that make recommendations about what is included in training packages. They are supported by Skills Service Organisations (SSOs).
IRCs are informed by consultation with industry and feedback from RTOs. The accredited content of training packages must be endorsed by both the Australian Government and state and territory governments before it can be delivered by RTOs.
RTOs can’t change the essential content of accredited training. They have to follow the rules about what to cover in the training and make sure that learners demonstrate they have met all of the required standards. They do however:
- contextualise training content to make it relevant to particular groups of learners (e.g. by training learners in particular types of equipment or technology used in their industry or workplace)
- offer the choice of elective units to include in the training (where the rules allow this)
- provide training in additional content areas (usually for an additional fee).
In situations where there aren’t suitable training options available through national training packages, organisations can develop an accredited course. These must meet the rules for accredited courses and be approved by a VET regulator. For more information see https://www.asqa.gov.au/course-accreditation/overview
Other national organisations that provide support and information include:
Skills Organisations – (including the HSSO) are national employer-led bodies established by the Australian Government to deliver improvements to the national training system.
Australian Apprenticeship Support Network – is the central point of contact for apprenticeships and traineeships and provides support to employers of apprentices and trainees.
National Skills Commission – provides advice and leadership for Australia’s labour market, including current, emerging and future workforce skills needs, as well as on strengthening Australia’s VET system.
National Careers Institute – provides independent careers information for Australians of all ages and stages of their career. They also administer the My Skills, training.gov.au and Your Career websites.