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Choosing a training provider

​​​Finding the best-fit RTO

When helping your students choose where to train urge them to shop around because costs, services and study options can vary considerably.

Cost will be a major motivator but encourage students to consider other factors as well, such as: 

  • How long is the course?
  • How big are the classes?
  • How many contact hours are there each week?
  • Do the trainers offer flexible options like part-time or online study?
  • What support services are available for people with disabilities, from rural areas and for Indigenous students?

How do students choose where to train?

Once a student has decided which job or career path they’d like to pursue, worked out what training will get them there, and have found (using the search tool) one or more training providers that offer the right course, it’s time to start gathering more detailed information about each of the training providers.

Here are some questions that will help students make a final decision:

How much will it cost?

  • Can the RTO give me a breakdown of costs for the training? Is it easy to understand?
  • Does the RTO offer government-subsidised training?
  • If a student is eligible for a government-subsidised place, how much will the government contribute and how much will the student pay?
  • Are there other fees for services/amenities? If yes, how much are they?
  • Does the student have to pay for materials and books? If yes, how much will this cost?

Quality and experience

  • How long has the RTO been offering the course?
  • Who is the trainer and what experience do they have?
  • Do people find work after the course?
  • Do students need to bring their own laptop computer?
  • What is the classroom set up like? Are the facilities in good condition? Is there disability access?
  • Can students visit on an open day?

Practicalities

  • How long is the course?
  • How many hours a week are spent in class?
  • Is there a minimum attendance requirement?
  • How many students are in each class?
  • How much homework will there be?
  • Are there any practical placements or work-experience elements?
  • Is there Recognition of Prior Learning?
  • Does the course lead to a nationally recognised qualification?
  • Do they offer part-time/weekend/online study? Are there flexible arrangements for rural students?

This checklist can also be downloaded and it includes space for students to compare RTOs and write extra questions about things that are especially important for them.

RTO research checklist (Word 17KB) (docx - 25kb)

When considering training providers you can also review a list of training providers where funding has been terminated on the Department of Education and Training website.

The Australian Government My Skills website also has a search function to find statistical information, such as how students fare after they complete their training, and the demographics of students at a particular RTO.

TAFEs and other public providers
Find out about the different types of public training providers.

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