Choosing an RTO

How to choose the RTO that’s right for you

When it comes to choosing which RTO to attend, it’s important to shop around because costs, services and study options can vary considerably.

Cost will be a major motivator but 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?

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.

Below are some questions that will help you make a final decision (this checklist can also be downloaded with space to compare providers and write extra questions about things that are especially important to you).

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 I am eligible for a government-subsidised place, how much will the government contribute  and how much will I pay?
  • Are there other fees for services/amenities? If yes, how much are they?
  • Do I 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 I visit on an open day?


  • 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?

Visiting RTOs

Many RTOs have annual open days, usually in July/August. Open days are a great way for you to see where you’d be studying, speak to the teachers who’d be taking your classes and sometimes chat to current students as well.

Many RTOs also have information sessions on specific courses that take place throughout the year, designed especially for prospective students. Once you’ve established your shortlist of RTOs, ask them about information sessions and go along to as many as you can. It’s a great way to get a sense of what you can expect.