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The Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) introduces nationally consistent audit standards resulting in improved and more transparent auditing.

A registered training organisation (RTO) will be audited:

  • prior to registration
  • if it's a new RTO (within twelve months of its initial registration )
  • during its registration period (only as part of a strategic industry audit or based on a risk management approach )
  • where the organisation applies to renew its registration (audits must be conducted to verify continuing compliance within the scope of registration).

State or territory registering bodies audit the organisation's ability to offer the services for which it is seeking registration, in line with the Standards for State and Territory Registering/ Course Accrediting Bodies.

Once registered, organisations must conduct internal audits and self-assessments. They must continuously monitor and evaluate their operations, and develop and implement improvements.

Registering bodies conduct random and scheduled audits of registered training organisations (RTOs), and audits in response to complaints. A nationally agreed risk management approach is used to determine the types of organisations to be audited and the frequency of audits.

Registering bodies will also work with interstate and overseas bodies to audit organisations they have registered. 

What is a training package?

A Training Package specifies the knowledge and skills required by workers to be competent in the workplace for a specific industry.

It is not a set of training/teaching resources but rather consists of endorsed:

· Competency standards - a compilation of the skills and knowledge, defined by industry, that workers at different levels and in different sectors of an industry need.

· Assessment guidelines - a framework of how to assess these competencies to ensure that judgements are valid, reliable, flexible and fair.

· Qualifications framework - what qualifications may be awarded. These are aligned to the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF).

Training Packages do not prescribe how an individual should be trained i.e. how they obtain their skills. These may be learnt on the job, from mentors, over the internet, in workgroups, through work projects in a classroom or in a range of other ways.

Where required, trainers and/or teachers develop learning strategies or resources i.e. the "how" depending on the industry's and learners' needs, abilities and circumstances.

Training packages are developed in consultation with industry by National ITAB's, endorsed by ANTA's National Training Quality Council (NTQC) and implemented by State ITAB's. 

What does the National ITAB do?

The National ITAB's (Industry Training Advisory Bodies) are funded by ANTA to develop National Training Packages.

 What does the State ITAB do?

The State ITAB's (Industry Training Advisory Bodies) are funded by DET to implement National Training Packages within NSW. 


Training / assessment providers:

  • are registered by a State or Territory training authority and can then operate nationally within the terms of their registration
  • recognise the qualifications / statements of attainment of all other RTO's , and have their own recognised
  • can base Modules on Training Packages where they exist
  • can self manage recognition if they are quality endorsed


  • can become RTO's control their training and award nationally recognised qualifications using Training Packages, can get the training and assessment services they want, when, where and how they want them
  • have a more diverse range of RTO's to form partnerships with
  • can be assured of the quality of the RTO's


  • get qualifications and statements of attainments that are recognised nationally
  • can choose between a more diverse range of RTO's , giving them more training and assessment options
  • can do training and assessment attuned to the realities of everyday work



Industry Assessment Guidelines require that to be recognised as an Assessor, assessors must meet the following criteria:

Have demonstrated competence against the following two units of competency from the Competency Standards for Assessment, (Training Package Code "BSZ"):

Conduct Assessment in Accordance with an Established Assessment Plan, and
Extension Unit - Plan and Review Assessment.

Have an understanding of the industry context, of the use of endorsed Competency Standards as the benchmark for assessment, and be able to work with technical experts

Be competent in an area within the Industry at least to the level being assessed.

Evidence of assessment will be compiled by assessors and submitted to or conducted by Registered Training Organisations who will issue Certificates of Attainment for individual Units of Competency and Qualifications where appropriate.

There are numerous courses available to train and assess workplace assessors

What if there is not a Training Package in my Vocational Training Area?

You have three options if there is no training package in your areas of industry knowledge.

One is to wait until one is developed for your area. In some cases, this may take several years, and may not be timely for your industries training needs to be met

Two is to purchase and use existing courses that are already accredited.

There are courses you can buy ‘off the shelf', RTO Support can assist you with this. Alternatively, you can negotiate to deliver courses developed by other private training providers. If going down this path you will need to make sure that the course accreditation is current.

Three: you can develop your own if none exist in your area. If you can demonstrate an identified industry need that cannot be met by an existing endorsed training package, you may develop you own course or qualification to meet that need. To be accredited the course needs to reflect current industry needs and comply with the National Accreditation Principles and the Austral ian Qualification Framework. Privately owned accredited courses are listed on NTIS.

In developing your course/qualifications from scratch, both ANTA and DET have resources that will assist you in this process. ANTA guidelines for training package developers (available online from ANTA) is a useful resource, as is DET's guidelines for course accreditation, available from the DET website, In any new course, many existing units of competency may be suitable for inclusion in your new course/qualification. If in doubt, consult with your ITAB on these matters.

I have been in my job for 9 years and I've heard that I can have my skills recognised and receive a qualification without going back to school. How do I do this?

Yes, you may be able to have your current skills and abilities recognised. Depending on your level of work skills and the qualification being sought, you may qualify for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) through all or most of the course. Alternatively, you may be able to have your skills assessed under the Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) process. Contact your ITAB who can advise you on which Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) run courses in your area and are interested in assessing your abilities against the qualifications. While most RTO's charge fees for this RCC/RPL service, your employer may be able to attract a Commonwealth Employer Incentive for putting you through training, RPL or RCC processes.

I live in Dubbo and have heard about flexible delivery in courses – what does this mean?

There are many ways that education and training can be delivered these days. On-line learning, resource kits, intensive short courses, simulated learning environment, toolboxes, using the Internet to download course material and working with an on-line tutor are services offered by some Registered Training Organisations.

Of course, some training areas rely more on ‘hands on' approaches to training, while others do not. Contact the RTOs listed on this site to see if they can offer you accessible training. Alternatively, contact your ITAB who will help you identify which RTOs offer these services.

What is the difference between registra t ion and accreditation?

A simple way of remembering the difference is: Think of driving a car.

To do this, your car needs to be registered and you need to have a license. Your vehicles registration means it should be a fit vehicle for taking you where to go. Your license (or accreditation) means you are competent to safely get from A to B, as you know the relevant road rules and requirements of driving. Your organisation is the vehicle for training delivery, so it needs to be registered. You need a license to deliver training, so you need to be accredited as having the knowledge in your chosen area of delivery.

Training organisations are registered to deliver and/or assess recognised training. Training products (qualifications and courses) can be accredited where no relevant training package exists. When a course is accredited, it means that it reflects industry, enterprise or community needs and meets with the national accreditation principles.

Can I use units of competency from a National Training Package?

Yes, you can use competencies from a training package in developing your own course or qualification, provided you have identified an industry need, for that skill that is not being addressed by a currently available Training Package Qualification

What are the steps involved in developing a course?

• Contact RTO Support

or you can

• Contact DET

• Carry out initial research on the need for the qualification

• Check to see if a current qualification or course exists

• Establish a Training Product Advisory Committee from the industry, employer and employee associations

• Develop the qualification (s)/course (s)

• Submit application to the ITAB for endorsement

• Submit endorsed application DET

As the developer of the Course or Qualification, you will need to ensure that you are suitably registered if you intend to deliver the course. To do this, you must meet all necessary registration and licensing requirements required by DET and other Government departments prior to offering accredited training.

How can I tailor a national training package to suit my area?

You can do this by customisation or Contact RTO Support

All Training Packages have what is known as ‘packaging rules' that define how their units can be used and modified for use. Check with the author of the packages if you need to verify these rules. These rules generally allow you to:

  • use units from a package;
  • add elements and performance criteria to units (its called customising );
  • modify the range of variables to suit.

What is competency based assessment?

Competency based assessment is a process of gathering evidence relating to workplace performance to validate judgments made. It does not use grades of performance but focuses on practical demonstration, based on industry specific standards.


What is a Traineeship?

A traineeship is a nationally recognised training program that combines both paid employment and study and results in the issuing of a nationally recognised qualification. Traineeships are generally used for supporting entry level qualifications or for those that will use the skills learned in their current employment situation.

What funding exists for traineeships?

Traineeships fall into two categories:

• Those that are funded by the Department of Employment and Training because they are recognised as areas of skills shortage; and

• Those that are funded solely by the employer.

Unfunded traineeships can be in any area of training at Certificate II - IV level where traineeships have been declared. Commonwealth Government employer incentives may be available for both unfunded and funded traineeships if the criteria are met. For more information contact your nearest New Apprenticeship Centre (NAC)

How long is a traineeship?

Traineeships can be 12 months full-time or 2 years part-time depending on the qualification level undertaken. A school based Certificate II qualifications may be completed during the two years of senior schooling, while industry based Certificate II and III may be completed in one year or part-time in two years.

Who is involved in a traineeship?

Training received through a traineeship is based on a combination of on-the-job and off-the-job learning. This combination is agreed to at the beginning of the traineeship between the trainee, the employer, the registered training organisation and the NAC (New Apprenticeship Centre).

The four key people in the traineeship are: the trainee, the registered training organisation (RTO), the employer and the new apprenticeship centre (NAC)

The trainee can approach organisations in their interest area and apply for a traineeship or they can approach a NAC, an employment agency or Centrelink for contacts and procedures.

The RTO will design a training plan for the trainee and monitor the work-based learning. The RTO is responsible for ensuring that evidence of the trainee's skills is provided and that all training and assessment times are well documented.

The Employer pays the trainee, allocates a workplace supervisor with the skills equivalent to that of the trainee and ensures that the trainee is progressing with their traineeship.

The NAC gives advice to the employer on their obligation in taking on a trainee, provides information of eligibility for Commonwealth government employer incentives and makes the payment to the employer if applicable. The NAC is responsible for formally signing up the trainee and checking all parties understand their roles in the training process.

Who can do a traineeship?

• Traineeships are not restricted to young people entering the industry. Currently there are no age entry restrictions which means traineeships are open to all ages.

• Trainees can be a new entry into the industry or someone looking for a different career path to their current career or employment situation.

• Existing workers can also undertake a traineeship if they have been employed for less than three months full time or twelve months part time or casual in the area where they are seeking additional training, provided they do not already possess a prior qualification

Who keeps the records in a traineeship?

Both the employer and the trainee keep a record of the training pathway. A training plan is designed for the trainee at the beginning of the traineeship and a contract is drawn up outlining the responsibilities of all parties. The trainee must receive course materials up front from their RTO (Registered Training Organisation). As they become competent in each element of a Unit of Competency, the workplace supervisor signs off in the Traineeship Record Book. A staff member already trained in the industry is usually the workplace supervisor and is able to mentor the trainee through the traineeship. This is why it is called on-the-job training.

All off-the-job training has to be approved by the employer and the trainees may attend a college class once a week or may complete course work from the study materials provided by the RTO. This may be in the form of critical thinking exercises, questions and answers, interactive web or CDROM based materials or assignments.

The RTO representative visits the trainee regularly to offer support and encouragement and to assess and sign off on all progress made, and skills developed either on-the-job or off-the-job. Feedback to the employer is a key part of this process.

I'm still at school – can I do a traineeship?

Yes. A schools based traineeship may be completed during Year 11 & 12 and allows you to work towards a nationally recognised qualification while completing your high school studies. School based traineeships generally allow students to gain a Certificate I/II level qualification in the industry of their choosing.

Training takes place while you are a work, at school, or at TAFE or a private registered training organisation. You are paid for the time when you are working, but not the time spent undertaking training with the training provider. The employer is required to provide a minimum of 48 days work per year until the training program is completed. The trainee can convert to full or part-time work when they leave school. The trainee is entitled to receive pay for their hours of work with the employer.

Employers of school-based trainees may be eligible for Commonwealth New Apprenticeship incentives.

Students in Years 11 & 12 can continue to study towards their Senior Certificate while undertaking a schools based traineeship, which can be recognised towards high level qualifications in that area, when they leave school.

How do I employ a trainee?

You can find a suitable person yourself or contact your nearest New Apprenticeship Centre (NAC) or local employment agency.

The NAC can give you assistance in choosing a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and will also provide all the necessary documentation required for the traineeship. They will also help you to complete any of the required forms or paperwork. The RTO will explain their role in the training at the orientation meeting. You can start your trainee straight away.

The Commonwealth government may pay an incentive to employers of trainees. The first Commonwealth government employer incentive can be claimed after a three month probation period and the second payment at the end of the traineeship. The NAC will give you the claim forms.

Is an Employer required to keep the trainee on at the completion of the traineeship?

While ongoing employment is desirable, it is not mandatory to do so. Many trainees use the pathway created by their traineeship to undertake further training or study, and many employers make use of the traineeship system to provide introductory work experience for someone entering the industry. Employers and trainees will need to discuss this during the traineeship, so that the relevant steps can be taken by the trainee to seek further training or employment prior to the conclusion of the traineeship.