Changes To Register An RTO in 2018 – Part 3

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Becoem an RTO

The 3rd phase of the students journey

Become an RTO – Changes to register an RTO in 2018 – Part 3 of 6 (This is the 3rd phase in the student’s journey).

Become an RTO – If you are considering applying to become an RTO there are a whole host of things you need to understand before you can make an informed decision about moving forward with your idea. IMPACT Workforce Training Group like to ur on the side of caution, particularly now The Regulator has made significant changes to the application process, (1st May 2018), which in our opinion, are game changes. The impact this will have on those wishing to become an RTO maybe far more thought provoking than you had originally considered. So, we have provided you with a glimpse of what you could expect in the form of a series of blogs that will take you through the phases.

This will be a road map, it will allow you to understand how robust the process to become an RTO is, and what you really need to have in place to ensure you will be approved at audit. This is part 3 of a 6 part update.

Last week we looked at Enrolment  – The 2nd phase in the students journey.

This week we will look at Support and Progression – The 3rd phase in the student journey

SUPPORT & PROGRESSION

This area focuses on how you will support student’s progression in their learning by supporting students, keeping students informed and managing complaints and appeals.

  • You will need to provide details of the staff members that will provide support services within your proposed RTO.
  • You will also need to provide details of any external organisations that you may have engaged or will engage to provide support services.
  • You must be able to demonstrate you have training and assessment strategies and resources in place to identify any support needs and have the arrangements and capacity to make this support available to learners.
  • Your complaints and appeals policy and processes responds to allegations involving the conduct of The RTO, its trainers, assessors or other staff, a 3rd party or another learner
  • Your complaints policy is publicly available

Support needs may include, LLN support, disability or physical concerns, cultural, socioeconomic, family issues, limitations on access to resources.

LLN support may include, assistive technology, extra tutorials or teaching support, access to resources owned by the organisation, such as computers or wi-fi, counsellors/mediation services.

Please consider and ask yourself these questions:

  1. How will you notify the student of any agreed services that may change? Eg change to an existing 3rd party, how will you notify the student and by what means?
  1. How will you record, acknowledge and deal with complaints and appeals? How will you ensure they are dealt with efficiently and effectively?
  1. What is your appeals policy to manage requests for a review of decisions including assessment decisions?
  1. Do you have an already developed; Complaints Policy, Complaints Form, Complaints Register?
  1. What processes are in place to identify individual students support needs?
  1. How will you identify student support needs at the time of enrolment? What documents, methodologies, processes will you use?
  1. How will you continue to identify student needs as the learner progresses through the training process?
  1. Who will be responsible within the RTO as an internal point of contact for student support? What is their position in the company and what will their support role be eg providing counselling etc
  1. What relationships with to external support services have been established/will be established (where the organisation is not equipped to provide that support)?
  1. What system is in place that provides staff with up-to-date and relevant links to internal and external support services.
  1. What support services are relevant to the student cohort and are accessible for all modes of delivery offered
  1. What sort of support services have been identified as needed by the students in your intended enrolment cohort?
  1. How have support services, including external support services, been identified and sourced to support those needs?
  1. What information about support services have you provided in your Training and Assessment Strategy?
  1. How will you contextualize your training and assessment resources to accommodate for individual support needs or your learners?
  1. What are your timelines to conclude a complaint within the RTO?
  1. Do you have a separate Complaints and Appeals process or are both combined into one?

Part 3 complete.

More next week.

Call us now to assist you to Become an RTO on 1300 933 037

We would love to help! www.impactworkforce.com.au

 

Changes to Register An RTO in 2018 – Part 2

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RTO Enrolment

RTO Enrolment

 

Become an RTO – Changes to register an RTO in 2018 – Part 2 of 6 (This is the 2nd phase in the student’s journey).

Become an RTO – If you are considering applying to become an RTO there are a whole host of things you need to understand before you can make an informed decision about moving forward with your idea. IMPACT Workforce Training Group like to ur on the side of caution, particularly now The Regulator has made significant changes to the application process, (1st May 2018), which in our opinion, are game changes. The impact this will have on those wishing to become an RTO maybe far more thought provoking than you had originally considered. So, we have provided you with a glimpse of what you could expect in the form of a series of blogs that will take you through the phases.

This will be a road map, it will allow you to understand how robust the process to become an RTO is, and what you really need to have in place to ensure you will be approved at audit. This is part 2 of a 6 part update.

Last week we looked at Marketing and Recruitment – The first phase in the students journey.

This week we will look at Enrolment – The second phase in the student journey

ENROLMENT

As part of the enrolment process RTOs are responsible for informing and protecting students, protecting pre-paid fees by students, and providing credit for prior studies. It ensures  accurate advice is provided about a course to ensure it meets the needs before enrolment; that the student can understand all details associated with the course, their rights and obligations to make a more informed decision prior to enrolment.

We ask you to consider and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Does your pre-enrolment information or enrolment agreement include the code, title and currency of the training product the student is or may be enrolled in as set out on training.gov.au?
  2. Does your pre-enrolment information include the expected duration time? (in all modes of delivery)
  3. Does your pre-enrolment information state all training and assessment locations? (all venues and delivery sites)
  4. Does your pre-enrolment information state all the delivery modes (a mix of delivery modes is required to accommodate for differing learner cohorts and experience levels)
  5. Does your pre-enrolment information state all work placement arrangements?
  6. Does your pre-enrolment information include information about any third-party arrangements for the delivery of the training and assessment and the contact details for the third parties. (only required if a 3rd party is utilized – Should you use a 3rd party to deliver your services, a robust 3rd party agreement should be developed and included on all enrolment information).
  7. Does your pre-enrolment information include information about educational and support services available to students: Considerations should include, developing an LLN Checklist/Test, Student Handbook, Support Services Policy, Code of Practice?
  8. Does your pre-enrolment information include information on potential implications for students accessing training subsidies or entitlement programs?
  9. Does your pre-enrolment information clearly state the organisation’s responsibilities to the students, including that the training organisation must; provide quality training and assessment, comply with the Standards for RTOs 2015, issue AQF certification?
  10. Does your pre-enrolment information include information on the rights of students, including; a complaints and appeals process, requiring a Complaints and Appeals Policy, Complaints and Appeals Register, Complaints and Appeals Form, a Complaints & Appeals Flowchart may be developed as an easy overview to educate your proposed staff on the process. Your Code of Practice should include this information, your Complaints & Appeals Policy should be placed on your website.
  11. Inability to deliver services – What happens if your organisation or a third party is unable to deliver the training and assessment? (What is your mechanism to safeguard this option?, what is your proposed RTO policy on your training and service guarantee, should a 3rd party not fulfill the service, the RTO closes or the RTO ownership changes hands?). Develop a Training Guarantee Policy, which should also be addressed, in part, in your Code of Practice
  12. Resources and Work placements – The pre-enrolment information or enrolment agreement includes information on resources and work placements including; anything a student needs to enrol in and complete the training and assessment (such as resources they will need to supply eg PPE, notepads, pens), whether students are required to source their own work placements (make it clear if work placements are required and who is responsible for sourcing, a comprehensive 3rd party/workplace supervisor agreement should be developed if this option is required).
  13. Does your organisation have a process for assessing whether each training product is appropriate for potential students. This includes if the mode of delivery is suitable for the students needs, if the level of the training product is appropriate for the students existing skills and abilities (Basic, intermediate or advanced skill level should be considered).
  14. Fees and refunds should address – all relevant fees a student will need to pay over the term of their enrolment, payment plan options, payment terms and conditions, including deposits and timeframes for payment (an RTO upfront learner fee threshold is $1,500, total fees can be taken but measures need to be in place for protection of fees. Payment plans may be considered as another option in this area).
  15. Refund terms and conditions, including if the student initiates the termination of enrolment, or the RTO is unable to provide the agreed services (Development of a refund policy including under what circumstances substantiate a refund and how administratively this will be affected).
  16. Learners’ rights as consumers including cooling-off periods. (A cooling off clause should be evident in your Learner Rights Policy).
  17. Fee and refund information considerations – What will your refund policy look like, what fees will be paid upfront, what happens on a cancellation of a course, what is the mechanism should a student be unable to complete a course due date, what circumstances will you consider a refund will be granted?
  18. Credit Transfer – who will authenticate AQF certification documentation from another RTO? What information will be presented to learners on this subject and what documents will it be included in? – eg Code of Practice, Enrolment Agreement)

Part 2 complete.

More next week.

Call us now to assist you to Become an RTO on 1300 933 037

We would love to help! www.impactworkforce.com.au

 

Changes To Register an RTO in 2018 – Part 1

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Changes to register an RTO in 2018- Part 1  If you are considering applying to become an RTO there are a whole host of things you need to understand before you can make an informed decision about moving forward with your idea. IMPACT Workforce Training Group like to ur on the side of caution, particularly now The Regulator has made significant changes to the application process, (1st May 2018), which in our opinion, are game changes. The impact this will have on those wishing to become an RTO maybe far more thought provoking than you had originally considered. So, we have provided you with a glimpse of what you could expect in the form of a series of blogs that will take you through the phases.

This will be a road map, it will allow you to understand how robust the process to become an RTO is, and what you really need to have in place to ensure you will be approved at audit.

It will allow you to:

  1. review  your organisation’s systems and processes against key requirements of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 (the Standards) relating to, each of the five phases of the student journey (marketing and recruitment; enrolment; support and progression; training and assessment; and completion), regulatory compliance and governance
  2. ensure you are prepared to deliver quality training and assessment
  3. provide evidence and information that ASQA will use to assess your

Phase 1 – Why Do You Want To Become An RTO? 

  1. Why did you decide to apply for RTO registration?
  2. How will you determine the type of clients to be targeted (e.g. existing workers, general public) and the delivery mode (e.g. face to face, online)?
  3. What relevant vocational education and/or industry experience do the managerial staff and executive officers of the organisation hold?

Phase 2 – Marketing & Recruitment (This is known as the 1st phase of the students journey)

We will now start to look at the 1st phase of the student journey

Marketing and Recruitment is known as the 1st phase of the student journey. This area focuses on a student’s experience of marketing and recruitment into the courses and programs you will offer. RTOs are responsible for providing accurate and accessible information to prospective and current students about RTO services and performance. This includes when these are published or distributed by third parties, such as educational agents or trainers and assessors who work on your organisation’s behalf.

 In this part you should review your proposed organisation’s marketing and advertising materials, and the processes that you have in place to ensure your marketing and advertising materials are appropriate and the student has been informed via clear, accurate and readily accessible information to allow them to make informed choices about the training that may best suit their needs.

Here are some considerations and questions to ask yourself on the 1st phase of the student journey (Marketing & Recruitment)

  1. Does your marketing material accurately represent the organisation and the services provided to all students? (eg Website, Social Media, Your Student Information & Enrolment Form, Flyers, Brochures).
  2. Does your marketing material identify a space where the RTO code will be inserted if registration is granted? (eg already developed student information and enrolment forms, brochures, flyers, website).
  3. All marketing material only includes testimonials, photos and references to other organisations or people if their consent has been recorded. (eg consent forms from people whose image you may use in the brochures, social media and flyers you have developed) (Do you have a consent form???)
  4. Does all your marketing material only use the Nationally Recognised Training (NRT) logo in accordance with Schedule 4 of the Standards for RTOs 2015. (eg this logo is restricted in its usage therefore this must be demonstrated that it will be used correctly, where, how and when, possibly in a sample marketing plan and a specific policy for NRT usage). You will also be required to read schedule 4 to become familiar with the requirements.
  5. Does all your marketing material clearly identify all third parties used by the organisation and their role (i.e. if the third party is used for recruitment, training and assessment, and so on – If you plan to use a 3rd party you must show evidence that you have developed a comprehensive 3rd party agreement.
  6. Does all your marketing material make it clear where training and assessment is being delivered on your behalf (eg should you be using a 3rd party to deliver your services this is noted in your marketing material ie flyers, website, student information brochures).
  7. Does all your marketing material only advertise current training products with the correct title and code as published on training.gov.au? (points to note: who will be responsible for checking and reviewing the currency of the units of competence?, what is the process method should changes in the training package occur?, Who will be informed and how? )
  8. Your marketing material should not guarantee:· a licensing outcome, unless this outcome has been confirmed as appropriate by relevant industry regulators in the jurisdiction, an employment outcome, successful completion of the training product. A ‘Guarantee Policy’  should be developed to accommodate for this area, A Policy and Procedures Manual, Code of Conduct and Training & Assessment Strategy and possible Student Handbook, Information Brochure should be developed and highlighted in these pieces of documentation.
  9. All your marketing material includes details of any government or financial support arrangements the student will be required to access during enrolment. (eg flyers and brochures, student information brochures should be developed to incorporate this information to ensure that the student has all the appropriate information prior to the course).
  10. Describe the review process you will have in place to ensure that any marketing, promotional or advertising material that your organisation will publish or distribute is current, factual and appropriate for your intended clients and how it will be managed? A Marketing Review Policy may need to be developed in your Policy and Procedure Manual. This should include the process used to monitor material published and distributed on your behalf by other organisations. Consider who will review, who will approve the material and how you will disseminate this information to your team. Consider when changes are made to your Training and Assessment Strategy how does that feed back into the marketing materials and vice versa?
  11. What staff member will be responsible for checking the accuracy and currency of information before it is published?
  12. Who will be responsible for approving all new materials and promotional materials?
  13. Have you considered a marketing materials register, that will show all approvals and changes made?
  14. What form of method do you use to collect data, information and feedback from clients/students to say they have/will receive the services you will / have provided?
  15. Develop and review a course evaluation form/Stakeholder evaluation form
  16. Permission slips/consent forms may need to be developed to show evidence should you use a name, company or person on your website or flyer. (Testimonials must show evidence of permission)

That completes Part 1

More next week

 

Increased Scrutiny To Register an RTO in 2018

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Increased scrutiny to register an RTO in 2018 – Become an RTO in 2018

WEF 1 May 2018 ASQA presented changes that will affect all individuals looking to register a new RTO.

Register an RTO in 2018

Become an RTO in 2018

ASQA is increasing scrutiny on new applications for registration from 1 July 2018.

Vocational education and training (VET) and the education of overseas students make a significant contribution to Australia’s economy. More than four million people undertake VET in Australia each year and the quality of the training sector has a direct impact on students, the workforce and the Australian community.

ASQA’s aim as the national VET regulator is for providers to deliver high-quality training and assessment so that all VET students can receive the training experiences they expect and deserve.

ASQA also seeks to support good-quality training providers through protecting the integrity and reputation of the training sector. This includes requiring all applicants to meet stringent requirements to enter the market.
To further protect the quality and reputation of the VET and international education sectors, from 1 July 2018, ASQA will apply even greater scrutiny to all applications to establish new training providers.

Why is ASQA changing its approach to initial registration applications?

ASQA’s 2017-18 Regulatory Strategy identified the implementation of stronger controls on new training providers entering the market as a key priority.
On average, ASQA rejects around one in four applications for initial registration. ASQA receives approximately 500 applications for initial registration each year and spends a considerable proportion of its regulatory resources on these applications. However, many of these applications are submitted by organisations without the educational capacity or the financial resources to deliver quality training.

What will this mean to you?

The changes to the application and assessment process for initial registration will help people considering entering the VET and/or international education training market determine if they have the resources and skills needed to seek initial registration.

Any new applications wef 1 July 2018 will now:

  1. be required to submit more extensive financial viability data and provide greater disclosure on the backgrounds of people associated with the organisation
  2. need to complete a comprehensive self-assessment to ensure that they are ready to deliver training (over 40 pages worth)
  3. no longer have an opportunity to correct non-compliance prior to a decision being made on the application, but will be provided with a reconsideration process (for an additional fee!)
  4. The client must be prepared to deliver quality training and assessment on their first interaction with ASQA, which means more preparation time with a strong focus on consultancy to ensure there is a genuine intent and/or capacity to provide quality training.
  5. generally be registered for a two-year period.

Applicants who successfully achieve registration will also be subject to additional scrutiny during the first two years where they apply to add new training products to their scope of registration.

Our response to the changes:

Shock & Hallelujah all at the same time.  Due diligence is key. If I could tell you the amount of calls we get from individuals who do not even know what a training package is…………wanting to establish an RTO, this speaks volumes. But they move ahead with their applications non-the-less by contracting other firms who may not provide the appropriate representation, or screening process……..This never ends well!

These changes pose a radical move, which some say does not meet national or international audit models…….which it doesn’t. But a line has been drawn in the sand of which we have been assured anyone who has a genuine intent and/or capacity to provide quality training will be given every opportunity.

This will change the state of play of applications; those considering becoming an RTO, should in every opportunity engage a consultant with a soldi background in this industry to ensure every layer is accounted for and covered……..also to ensure only genuine providers enter the market.

Its a good move, it will stop innocuous applications and individuals looking at making money over delivering quality training, which is what the national framework is built to do, provide a quality product for our learners.

Final words: Please educate yourself on the new changes and ensure you engage appropriate individuals with the background to guide you through the registration process to become an RTO. We are always happy to assist in all aspects of becoming and developing an RTO.

Reference: ASQA’s 2017-18 Regulatory Strategy

Become An RTO

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Become an RTO

Want to become a registered training organisation (RTO) but don’t know where to start?……… Let our team come to you to provide a comprehensive outline and information session. If you are considering becoming an RTO, IMPACT Workforce Training Group will assist you on every layer of the set-up and development process. Our information sessions are FREE and provide information on the following:

  • vocational education and training regulatory system;
  • benefits of becoming an RTO;
  • requirements of being an RTO; and
  • process for becoming an RTO including:
    • pre-registration requirements;
    • initial registration application process;
    • initial registration audit process; and
    • obligations once an RTO.

The provision of this form of information is vital, should you be thinking of developing your own RTO. If you are considering developing another arm of your business into a training organisation, or just very passionate about imparting your extensive skills and knowledge to learners.  Let us assist!

What have you got to lose!  Call us today on 1300 933 037

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IMPACT Information Sessions

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Start Up Costs To Become An RTO

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Start-up costs to become an RTO

RTO Start Up Costs

RTO Start Up Costs

Start up costs to become an RTO – One of the foremost issues for those planning to set up an RTO is cost. How much will it cost for a consultant to assist me, how much for my resources, staff, operations, application, insurances and on-going fees. So lets provide you with a few insights into the key cost factors to consider:

Initial Considerations:

  • Consulting fees – start from $5,000 which can cover everything from attending registration audit, policy development, procedures, forms, course information, training and assessment strategies and development of all course-ware for delivery and assessment of your courses and programs.
  • Student management system – approximately $2,000
  • Learning management system – approximately $1,000 – only required if you are planning to deliver online courses
  • Venues for training – Varies depending on location and size of premises
  • Staff & Trainers – Can vary depending on the requirements and needs
  • Materials and equipment – Can vary depending on the course or training package
  • Application Lodgement Fee – $800 (Paid to the governing body eg ASQA)
  • Application Risk Assessment – $8,000 (Paid to the governing body eg ASQA)
  • Public liability insurance – from $1,000
  • Website development – from $800
  • Accounting fees – from $2,000
  • Marketing & Advertising – Can vary dependent on medium used

Annual Charges:

  • Annual registration fee – $1,130 (for up to 4 qualifications on scope, paid to the governing body eg ASQA)

The above are indicative costs only and may vary significantly so its a good idea to have an initial consult with a specialist RTO consultancy firm first.  Most consultancy forms will offer you free consultation to at least steer you in the right direction and answer any initial questions you may have.   RTO consultants used to be a rare find, and those who went down the consultancy road had in fact owned and operated their own RTOs, were all auditors themselves, experienced learning and development specialists, with many many years in vocational education and training, now there seems to be many to choose from, including the scam artists, so our recommendations are buyer beware……………we ask you to choose wisely!  Make contact; see what feels right for you and dig deep about their experience, skills and background.

Whilst the above list of fees and charges can seem a little overwhelming, the benefits of becoming an RTO can far outweigh the costs, but we understand why you may be hesitant to take this step. Contact our expert team today to find out more about how we can help you register your RTO – you can reach us on 1300 933 037 or visit our website now.

RTO Compliance Risks

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RTO Audits - RTO consultants are fully qualified auditorsRTO Compliance Risks

Based on ASQA figures, the majority of non-compliance issues are related to the practice of assessment and assessment instruments/tools. After undergoing many audits for RTOs nationally  we have also found the same trend. This is a shocking representation of our industry, especially as this is part of an RTO’s core product.

We have worked with hundreds of RTOs and I believe that when it comes to problems with assessment tools, the key issues generally relate to these areas.

  1. Purchase off the shelf resources 

When RTOs purchase assessment tools, they do so believing the assessment tools are audit ready. Unfortunately, this is most often not the case. We find serious compliance issues with the majority of tools that are on the market today, most are deficient and require serious modifications and amendments, as well contextualisation to meet the RTOs learner cohort, in order to pass audit.

Purchasing assessment tools off the shelf is a risky business unless the RTO uses due diligence, with a process in place to review, amend and validate the instrument.

  1. Poor understanding by Assessors

Most people would consider, those trainers and assessors who hold a current Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, know all there is to know about assessment, unfortunately this is not the case.

Working with or writing assessment tools is not an easy process. It’s a skill that requires in depth knowledge of industry, rules of evidence, principles of assessment, the context and application of assessment, the specific training package, resource development processes, the learner cohort, target market etc etc. So throwing an assessor into the assessment process without thorough screening, involvement in the assessment tool and review of its content is not conducive to effective due diligence by an RTO.

  1. Lack of Moderation

During the assessment process it is crucial to conduct moderation. Feedback, from students, trainers and assessors on their thoughts on the tool should be considered on a constant basis.  This will allow for modification and amendment during the process.

  1. Lack of Validation

Whilst most RTOs, by now, have met their 50%  and over, validation quota. We are still finding that the validation of assessment instruments has not been actioned and evidenced sufficiently by RTOs. We are all extremely time poor and the requirement to validate assessment instruments is a very lengthy process, but: maintaining a comprehensive validation process (both internal and external) will diminish risk, improve outcomes, assist with continuous improvement and maintain quality assurance.

Happy assessing!

Why Use Our RTO Consulting Services?

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RTO consultancy

Why use our services

Why Use Our RTO Consulting Services? – IMPACT Workforce Training Group offer a wide range of information and services in the Education, Training, Learning and Development field, particularly for RTOs or people looking to become one.  We have over 25 years experience in ownership, management, business development and training in the VET and RTO field providing no fuss, professional down to earth consultants that want to see you thrive.

We offer our services 7 days a week for your convenience, on hand to chat with you openly on an obligation free discussion.

Our RTO consulting services include: (click on the titles to take you to the pages for more comprehensive information)

New RTO Registration

Starting up your own RTO is a comprehensive, complicated and challenging task – we know, we’ve done it quite a times over the years and want to help you with a no fuss and streamlined approach.

Audit Rectifications

So you’ve  just had an audit and you have a number of non-compliance areas you have to rectify. Knowing you have only 20 days to fix and address all non-compliance items and respond to ASQA’s report, you feel a little overwhelmed at completing a post audit rectification. IMPACT Workforce Training Group can help you rectify the non-compliance issues and provide the evidence report to respond to ASQA, quickly and effectively.

This RTO post audit rectification service is designed to provide an RTO with the help they need to fix non-compliance requirements quickly and effectively.

Validation

Validations are a key process in the maintenance and compliance of your RTO, allow us to assist you in this necessary requirements.

External Auditing Services and Audit Assistance

Let us assist with your registration, post-registration or re-registration audits. Get everything from advice to full scale rectification.

Compliance Advice and Support

Not sure of your obligations under the Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015 and other relevant legislation? Get advice and support on all compliance related matters by our specialist team.

RTO Management

Need a business plan for your RTO registration? Not sure of strategies, policies and procedures or approaches to RTO management? Contact us for assistance.

Extensions to Scope

You have been an RTO for some time, your market is changing and requires further pathways for your clients so your thinking of increasing your RTO scope. We can provide all services needed for extensions to scope, including writing your initial units and full qualifications, preparing your TAS and completing your application.

Policies & Procedures

We provide a complete set of RTO specific policies and procedures, ready to go, call us for more infofrmation.

Specialist RTO Consultants

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Specialist RTO Consultants

Gain assistance from specialist RTO consultants in any area of RTO operations, the Standards for RTOs 2015, audits, initial RTO registration, RTO policies and procedures, RTO transfer of ownership, becoming an RTO, extensions to scope, RTO compliance, development of training resources to RTO validations and staff recruitment.

We have over 25 years experience in ownership, operations, management, business development, training, education, learning and development, compliance and validation in the VET and RTO field.  Gaining expertise in a vast array of differing industries we have the capability to assist in any area, for any industry, on anything ‘RTO’.

If you are looking for an RTO consultant with a very broad level of knowledge of the entire life cycle of an RTO, and everything in between, our professional team will guide you every step of the way. No job is too big or small for our team! Talk to us for an obligation free discussion now.

Contact us today: admin@impactworkforce.com.au or call us on 1300 933 037

RTO Consultants

Specialist RTO Consultants

 

IMPACT Workforce Training Group Open 7 Days A Week

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Education, Training, Learning & Development Specialists for RTOs, or those wishing to become one

IMPACT Workforce Training Group open 7 days a week providing a national service 24 hours a day for your convenience.

These days everyone seems ‘time poor’ so the requirement to offer a service that is available 7 days a week 24 hours a day is important.

Our services cover a wide range of information and services in the Education, Training, Learning and Development field, particularly for RTOs or people looking to become one.  We have over 25 years experience in ownership, management, business development and training in the VET RTO field.

Allow us to assist you, anytime, anywhere in Australia.

Call us now on 1300 933 037

 

Collection of assessment evidence by a workplace supervisor

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Assessment collection

Collection of assessment evidence by a third party workplace supervisor, how do we achieve? 

Collection of evidence by a workplace supervsior

To inform a judgement about whether a learner has achieved competency, a registered training organisation (RTO) must gather a range of evidence of the learner’s competence. In some cases, an assessor from The RTO cannot directly gather all the required evidence that supports a competency judgement. In these cases, the evidence may be gathered or reported by other people. This type of evidence is categorised as supplementary/supporting evidence gathered and provided by a supervisor in the learners workplace.

This can be an onerous responsibility from a workplace supervisors point of view, therefore the RTO should take effective measures to ensure the third party affecting this process is aware of their roles and responsibilities in the process.

We can talk to you about the rules of evidence and the principles of assessment until the cows come home but really what is it that you require to consider when establishing evidence gathering from another party, workplace supervisor or such.  The following provides a guide to follow to ensure you may have a more reliable approach to your evidence gathering requirements from another party.

What to consider when using evidence collected by other parties

  • Firstly your RTO should first determine that it is appropriate to involve another party in the collection of evidence.
  • Selecting the best person to collect the evidence. The appropriate person to observe or report on the performance of the learner is someone who is in a position to make a valid comment on the learner’s performance, for example, a workplace supervisor/manager. An effective face to face screening process may be considered at this point. (Work on a minimum of 3 years industry experience).
  • Verifying the other party’s industry skills, vocational competence and qualifications. This can be completed via the face to face screening process.
  • Providing quality materials for the collection of evidence. Develop an extensive assessment instrument that includes a judgement tool and bench marking requirements.
  • Providing the other party with a comprehensive agreement outlining the roles and responsibilities in the evidence gathering process. This includes providing clear guidance and instructions on who, what, where, when and how the evidence should be collected. eg A structured supervisor report and observation checklist.
  • Providing the other party with the appropriate training package information. Units of competency and modules describe work outcomes. Each of these units/modules describes, a specific work activity, the conditions under which this work activity is conducted, and the evidence that may/must be gathered in order to determine whether the activity is being performed in a competent manner. This is a vital component for the other party to understand as Training package information is written to guide assessors and the language is sometimes complex. Therefore, the behaviours and/or knowledge that the other party is being asked to collect evidence in must be ‘interpreted’.
  • Setting authenticity requirements. The other party should be advised that the setting of requirements for assessors to confirm that evidence is the candidate’s own work. Where another party is involved in the collection of evidence, there should be instructions for assessors on how to verify this evidence to ensure it is a true and accurate reflection of the candidate’s skills.
  • Confirming the other party understands their role in the process. This should be confirmed when, and only when, the RTO is assured the other party has the relevant experience, skills, competence and attitude to collect the evidence.

Remember, if an agreement has been reached with another party to collect evidence to complement other evidence gathered by the assessor, it is still the role of the assessor (The RTO) responsible to make the judgement about whether competency has been achieved.

 

Notes for all RTOs ,if the use of supplementary evidence is your only and primary source of evidence your RTO may wish to review your processes and practices.

Further information on the creation and development of other party and third party agreements can be discussed with one of our team. Email us at admin@impactworkforce.com.au  for more information.

Rules of Evidence

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Rules of Evidence

So what are the rules of evidence anyway!

It’s really not good enough to just collect any old evidence. Just as the way we collect evidence is guided by the principles of assessment, the way we collect evidence is guided by the rules of evidence.

Rule Evidence must…
Valid – Address the elements and performance criteria
– Reflect the skills, knowledge and context described in the competency standard
– Demonstrate the skills and knowledge are applied in real or simulated workplace situations
Current – Demonstrate the candidate’s current skills and knowledge
– Comply with current standards
Sufficient – Demonstrate competence over a period of time
– Demonstrate competence that is able to be repeated
– Comply with language, literacy and numeracy levels which match
– those required by the work task (not beyond)
Authentic – Be the work of the candidate
– Be able to be verified as genuine

To better understand how these rules affect the way that we assess, let’s have a look at each one in more detail.

Validity

The assessor is assured that the learner has the skills, knowledge and attributes as described in the module or unit of competency and associated assessment requirements.  Validity is assured when the performance required matches the performance described in a competency standard.

Currency

The assessor is assured that the assessment evidence demonstrates current competency. This requires the assessment evidence to be from the present or the very recent past.  Currency means evidence needs to be checked to ensure it shows recent performance.

Sufficiency

The assessor is assured that the quality, quantity and relevance of the assessment evidence enables a judgement to be made of a learner’s competency.

A judgement has to be made concerning how much evidence to call for. How much is required for the assessor to accept the performance as competent? Too little evidence risks the assessment not being reliable; too much leads to waste of time and effort.

Authenticity

The assessor is assured that the evidence presented for assessment is the learner’s own work.

Authenticity means evidence needs to be checked to ensure it actually relates to the performance of the person being assessed, and not that of another person. Checking for authenticity is important when some supplementary sources of evidence are used in assessment.

Supplying the Evidence

It is very easy to get too much evidence. It is also very easy to get too much evidence that doesn’t really help us to make good decisions. Because of this, it is in everyone’s interests to guide our learners through the selection, organisation and submission of evidence.

The first thing we need to do, however, is work out what makes quality evidence. The answer to this is quite simple. It is evidence that lets us make decisions about whether someone can do what it is that they are meant to be able to do, ie, it will help us to recognise competency.

Specifically, quality evidence addresses the rules of evidence as described above and:

  • reflects the skills, knowledge and attributes defined in the relevant unit of competency
  • shows application of the skills in the context described in the range statement in the unit of competency
  • demonstrates competence over a period of time
  • demonstrates repeatable competence
  • is the work of the candidate
  • can be verified
  • demonstrates the candidate’s current skills and knowledge
  • does not require language, literacy and numeracy levels beyond those needed for the performance of the competency.

The Portfolio Approach

Just as one size does not fit all with learning styles, neither will a single assessment method always provide the evidence that we need to make a decision about performance across all elements within a competency standard, or across several units of competency.

For this reason, it is common to prepare a range of types of evidence. This is called a portfolio. While we will need to target the contents of each portfolio to the specific context and purpose of the assessment, each will usually include the following:

  • contact details
  • a declaration that the evidence is the candidate’s own work
  • experience gained (work-based experiences)
  • units claimed
  • unit applications (including self-assessment form, cover page for evidence, assessor report form).

The Co-Assessing Approach

We are often better off to involve other people in the assessment event. These might be people who have a better understanding of the work-based knowledge and skills that we are seeking to recognise in our assessment. People who work closer to the “coal-face” are often able to help us see opportunities to assess several competencies in an integrated way.

Commonly, the people who will know the job the best are:

  • the learner themselves
  • supervisors and managers
  • technical and industry specialists
  • other assessors with experience in the area

From our conversations with these people, we might identify opportunities to better integrate the assessment activities. Doing this is a good idea, and for a number of reasons:

  • it gets rid of repetition across assessment activities
  • it tailors assessment so that it is more like what really happens at work
  • it saves everyone’s time

 

What Happens Following An RTO Audit?

By | RTO Audits, RTO Info | One Comment
Help with rectification of a formal audit

What happens following an RTO audit?

What will happen following an RTO audit?

On completion of any RTO audit, your auditor will provide you with an exit interview. This will determine the level of non-compliance identified within the RTO.  The auditor will then prepare a formal audit report based on the findings of the site audit, this report will then be submitted to the governing body.

You will receive the formal audit report NLT 10 working days after the site audit. But, don’t wait for the formal audit report to arrive! If there were  non-compliance issues identified it is best to fix the issues immediately. Whilst you are not legally allowed to record the site audits, it is a good practice to have someone scribe during the process to get down all the relevant issues that require attention.

You will be provided with 20 working days to demonstrate how you have rectified the non-compliance found on the day of audit. There is no set way to administer this process but there is an easy way to do it. Its a matter of following the formal audit report and referencing the non-compliance areas from the report, and how you rectified the issue. This must be backed up with the relevant document, policy or resources.

 

 

 

 

 

Preparing For An RTO Audit

By | RTO Audits | 2 Comments

Preparing for an RTO audit can often feel quite overwhelming. If it’s your first time, you may not know where to start so here’s some information for you to consider:  

Prepare for an RTO audit

RTO audits – Lets get it right the first time

An integral part of the process of becoming an RTO and maintaining registration is participation in audits. The following information has been compiled to assist you and your organisation to prepare for an audit against the Standards for RTOs 2015.

Who will conduct the audit?

On the day of the site visit you may have an audit team that consists of a single lead Auditor, one or more Auditors and/or a Technical Advisor. Observers may also attend audits to ensure that correct audit processes are being followed. If an observer is required to attend your audit, you will receive a request seeking your consent from the Regulation Officer.

What will be the focus of the audit?

The focus of an audit is on the outcomes achieved by the RTO. Auditors will evaluate what the RTO has achieved against the Standards for RTOs and quality indicators based on evidence provided by the RTO. Evidence takes many forms and auditors will consider a range of evidence to determine if an RTO has met its required outcomes.

There is no one template or a “must do” checklist for RTOs to follow. RTOs are responsible for providing evidence and for the form that the evidence takes. Evidence will vary depending on the size and scope of operations and the context in which the RTO operates.

Where possible other audits may be integrated to minimise disruption to your organisation. An example is where an RTO has a monitoring audit scheduled and is also applying to amend its scope of registration. If it is determined that an audit is required for the amendment application, it may be possible to conduct the two audits concurrently.

What will happen during a site audit?

The audit will commence with an opening meeting that the auditor will conduct with senior staff of the organisation to outline the process.

During the audit, the auditor will talk with relevant staff, learners and end user clients such as employers, and review evidence to determine the extent to which the organisation is achieving quality training and assessment outcomes in line with the Standards for RTOs and the operating context of the RTO. The audit may also identify opportunities to improve on these outcomes.

For an initial registration, the auditor will only look for evidence that required systems are in place the íntent and preparedness’of your RTO.

The auditor will report the audit findings and will take notes in some form during the audit to assist them with providing you with an accurate audit report.

The audit will conclude with a closing meeting which provides the auditor with an opportunity to provide a preliminary overview of their findings and the RTO with an opportunity to make any comment on the audit.

Why is your organisation being audited?

Audits are conducted when training organisations first apply for registration, within the first 24 months of registration for new RTOs and subsequently on an assessment basis during the registration period.

The extent to which each RTO is monitored and audited by the registering body throughout its registration period is based on an assessment of risk to the quality of training and assessment outcomes and the national VET system. ‘

RTO: I have just received notice of my audit date. What are the first steps I should take to begin preparing for the audit?

Ideally, you should have been preparing for your audit for some time.  Generally, a good place to start is to conduct an internal audit against the standards you are being audited on (if you haven’t already done so) to make sure that you have the evidence required, available for the audit.

The scope of the audit (the standards on which you will be audited) depends on the type of audit you are having.

If it is an initial registration audit (to become an RTO) then you should expect to be audited on all the standards and to have to demonstrate your ability to comply with the VET Quality Framework or the Australian Quality Training Framework (whichever is applicable). In Victoria and if you are registering with the VRQA, then you will also need to demonstrate compliance with the VRQA Guidelines for VET Providers.

If you are having a re-registration audit, usually you will be audited on most standards but it depends on the level of risk assigned to your RTO by the registering body.   Some of the standards may not be audited in a re-registration audit, but prepare as if you were being audited on everything.

If you are having an audit for extension to scope, the audit scope will usually be much smaller. An extension to scope audit usually focuses on the details surrounding the course you are wishing to add to scope. That means that you should have everything ready particular to the course you are adding such as the training and assessment strategies and materials, staff, pre-enrolment information, and industry consultation records.   Sometimes you may also be audited against some areas of operation that are not purely about course delivery such as continuous improvement, national recognition, marketing, client services or transition of training packages and accredited courses.

RTO: What should I check for when I do an internal audit?

The purpose of this process is to help you think about how you comply with each standard (or guideline) and to gather the evidence that you have to demonstrate compliance.  This means you should go through each of the standards and/or guidelines and make a list of the evidence that shows how you meet the standard.  You may also like to write down a summary of how you comply so you have it ready for the auditor. Sometimes, it can be useful to print folders for each standard so that it is easily accessible during the audit.   Remember when you go through this process to take a critical eye.  Read each standard again, make sure you understand what it is requiring and consider the evidence you have.  Does the evidence you have clearly demonstrate compliance with the standard?

RTO: What sort of documents should I have available?

You need to have all the documents and records available at audit that demonstrate how your organisation complies with the standards. For initial or re-registration audits, a sampling approach is usually taken to the qualifications, course and units of competency you have on scope.  However, usually you do not know prior to the audit day, which qualifications or courses will be focused on so you need to make sure you have everything ready for all your programs.

For each program you should have:

  • A Training and Assessment Strategy
  •  Industry Consultation records
  • Trainer/Assessor files with signed resumes, certified qualifications and skills matrices. Your skills matrices should demonstrate vocational competency against each unit, going to at least element  level.
  •  Pre-enrolment information which may include a student brochures or handbook plus detailed information about the course to allow a person to make an informed decision about enrolment into the program
  • A validation and moderation schedule that clearly shows when each unit will be moderated and validated and by whom
  •  Training and assessment materials including relevant delivery plans, learner guides, assessment tasks, recording tools, benchmarking guides and mapping.
  •  An approach to identifying and supporting language, literacy and numeracy requirements of students.

You should also have:

  •  Detailed RTO Policies and procedures that comply with the standards along with relevant forms and systems in place.  If you are an existing RTO, the auditor will want to see that your records demonstrate that you operate in accordance with your own policies and procedures.
  • An AVETMISS-compliant student management system. If you are an existing RTO, you will need to demonstrate that students are entered correctly onto the database.
  • Compliant qualifications, statements of attainment and records of results.
  • Record management systems which may include clear guidelines that are followed on maintaining physical student and staff files, an approach to electronic file and record management that is followed, version control etc.
  • An approach to identifying the needs of your learners.
  • Evidence of collecting and reporting quality indicator data.

Remember the above list is not exhaustive and you should go back to the standards to check that you have everything to demonstrate compliance.

RTO Validation

By | Assessment validation, RTO Validation | One Comment
RTO validation

RTO Validation

RTO Validation – Part 1
Whilst we are getting close to the business end of the first validation milestone (50% of all programs on scope by March 2018). We are still finding many RTOs are continuing to struggle with this process. I note that too many RTOs in Australia are non compliant in their assessment activities and instruments. This is a major issue, one we hope validation will fix.
In some cases we are finding RTOs do not even have a policy, validation checklist, identified validators, schedule or plan. Because of this,  over the coming weeks we will provide insights and checklists for you all to view and use.

We start off with the humble Policy & Procedure. Use this as a guide, a start point, to develop your own Policy & Procedure for Validation.

1.Policy Outline

This policy is designed to ensure that the RTO is able to ensure assessment instruments effectively address the requirements of the relevant Training Package (or accredited course) and the associated unit(s) of competency and qualifications on scope. This allows the RTO to ensure assessments are conducted in accordance with the principles of assessment and rules of evidence and identify areas for improvement.
The following procedure will ensure that the validation process occurs in a systematic and consistent manner with appropriate evidence of the validation activities being maintained in accordance with the Standards for RTO’s 2015.
Validation is a quality review process. It involves the checking of the assessment tool produces valid, reliable, sufficient, current and authentic evidence to enable reasonable judgements of competency to be made. The validation processes will review the assessment instruments and related documents to identify if any further changes are required to improve the quality and consistency of assessment outcomes.

2. Procedure and Overview
Assessment instruments for all Units of Competency or Qualifications on scope are to be validated at least once through the life of the associated Training Package or Accredited Course. Validation activities must be undertaken in a systematic manner and all validation activities will be scheduled through the ‘Validation Schedule’ including identifying the units or qualifications that are to be validated at each session.
The RTO Training Manager shall ensure that a ‘Validation Schedule’ is maintained that identifies when it is planned that each Unit of Competency/Qualification included on the RTO’s Scope of Registration is to undertake validation. The Validation Schedule is to be for a period of five years and must ensure that all units are validated over a five year period, with at least 50% of units scheduled for validation in the first three (3) years, and then the remaining 50% of units in the following Two (2) years.

2.1 The Validation Schedule<
The Validation Schedule must include the following details:
• Proposed dates for the validation of each unit
• The documents to be reviewed as part of the validation
• Participants in the validation activity
To ensure regular validation sessions occur, the sessions will be scheduled approximately every 3 months (each quarter) for each industry area the RTO is providing training and assessment services.
This schedule is to be updated annually.

2.2 Validation Process
All validation activities are to be documented using the ‘Validation Checklist’. The validation process of each Unit of Competency/Qulaification is to be documented by completing the ‘Validation Checklist’ which must be submitted to the Training Manager at the conclusion of each validation session. This checklist will ensure the Assessment instruments for an individual Unit of Competency are appropriate and address the Training Package requirements. Where any gaps are identified the required action is to be documented on the checklist.

The validation process is to include a review of:

  • The assessment system being implemented by the RTO
  • The assessment tools and processes for individual units
  • A sample of assessment judgements

The assessment instruments must be reviewed to ensure the assessment instruments:

  • Meet the Standards for RTO’s 2015
  • Meet the requirements of the relevant Training Package and Unit of Competency/Qualification
  • Meet the Principles of Assessment & Rules of Evidence requirements
  • Address and incorporate the Critical Aspects of Assessment and Evidence of the Unit of Competency/Qualification
  • Address and incorporate the Required Skills and Knowledge of the Unit of Competency/Qualification
  • Follow the unit of competency suggested assessment methods
  • Meets the Principles of Assessment
  • Meet the Rules of Assessment
  • Addresses Employability skills
  • Sufficient evidence is collected from the student

The validation sessions are also required to include the reviewing of previously conducted assessments from sample student files the assessments are being used in accordance with the Rules of Evidence. The number of student files to be reviewed must be sufficient to ensure that the result of the review of students’ work is reliable and an accurate reflection of all the assessments in the unit being reviewed.

2.3 Validators
Validation of all units (other than those from the Training and Education Training Package) are to be conducted by person(s) who do not deliver or assess the unit being validated for the RTO. The validator (s) must collectively have:

  •  Vocational competencies and current industry skills relevant to the unit being validated
  •  Current knowledge and skills in vocational teaching, learning and assessment
  •  The Certificate IV in Training and Assessment or the Assessor skills Set (TAESS00001)

The responsibility for determining the validators will be the RTO Training Manager.

2.4 Results, Action, & Recording of Validation Activities

The results and outcomes of the validation activity must be documented using the ‘Validation Checklist’
Where the validation process identifies issues which need attention, measures will be implemented to ensure that all assessments comply with the requirements of accuracy, consistency and fairness. Measures may include:

  • Revision of the assessment system and processes
  • Revision of the assessment tools
  • Revision of marking guides
  • Development of additional assessment tools/tasks
  • Professional development activities for assessors
RTO validation review

Validation

2.5 Amending Relevant Documents
Once the results and outcomes are obtained through the validation activities, relevant RTO documentation may be required to be amended such as:

  • Training & Assessment Strategy
  • Assessment instruments
  • Assessment Resources

This process will be supported by the continuous improvement processes and relevant management and / or staff meetings. The Training Manager shall ensure that all evidence of validation activities are maintained appropriately. This includes Validation Checklists, copies of materials reviewed, and evidence of implementation of identified improvements. Version control will be amended to effect each reported change and amendment.All validation activities are to be recorded and documented using the ‘Validation Checklist’ and the Training Manager shall ensure evidence of all validation activities are collected and reviewed through the RTO meetings and quality assurance systems.

 

Happy validating!

RTO Business Plan

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RTO Business Planning

RTO Business Plan

One of the key components for initial application to become an RTO is a comprehensive RTO business plan. It allows the governing body to really get a feel for your proposed business. It will also aid in gaining finance should your require. It should outline the Who, What, Where, When, How and Why of your proposed business.

Some people may suggest they can have their business plan complete in a few days, in all honesty it can weeks, even months to get it right. Heres a few things to following:

  • Do your research – You will need to make quite a few decisions about your business including structure, marketing strategies and finances before you can complete your plan. By having the right information on hand you can also be more accurate in your forecasts and analysis.
  • Determine who the plan is for – Does it have more than one purpose? Will it be used internally or will third parties be involved? Deciding the purpose of the plan can help you target your answers. Remember you are developing an RTO Business Plan, not only for yourself and your bank, but also as a key component for initial application. Your Business Plan will be risk assessed by the governing body, so make sure it is quite comprehensive.
  • Do not attempt to complete your business plan from start to finish – First decide which sections are relevant for your business and set aside the sections that don’t apply. You can always go back to the other sections later.
  • Get some help – If you are not confident in completing the plan yourself, you can enlist the help of your support group; friends, family, accountant and business advisors such as ourselves. However, in essence you are the one that knows your business best.
  • Actual vs. expected figures – Existing businesses can include actual figures in the plan, but if your business is just starting out and you are using expected figures for turnover and finances you will need to clearly show that these are expected figures or estimates.
  • Write your summary last – Use as few words as possible. You want to get to the point but not overlook important facts. This is also your opportunity to sell yourself. But don’t overdo it.
  • Review. Review. Review – Your business plan is there to make a good impression. Errors will only detract from your professional image so ask a number of impartial people to proofread your final plan.
  • What to include in a business plan?
    A business plan provides direction, keeping you on track and is usually a requirement when you seek finance. Depending on your business type, your plan could include the following sections:

  • Title page – This describes what the plan is for and includes general information on your business.
  • Business Summary – A one-page overview written after your business plan is finalised.
  • About your business – This is typically called the management plan or operations plan. It covers details about your business including structure, registrations, location and premises, staff, and products/services.
  • About your market – This is the marketing plan. It should outline your marketing analysis of the industry you are entering, your customers and your competitors. This section should also cover your key marketing targets and your strategies for delivering on these targets. Dont forget a SWOT! Stengths, weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats. A SWOT shows you have really considered your market and you have done your research.
  • About your future – This section covers your plans for the future and can include a vision statement, business goals and key business milestones.
  • About your finances – The financial plan includes how you’ll finance your business, costing and financial projections.
  • Supporting documentation – List all of your attachments under this heading in your plan for referral. For example:financial tables.
  • When you have finished your business plan

  • Review it regularly. Business planning is an ongoing business activity. As your business changes many of the strategies in your plan will need to evolve to ensure you business is still heading in the right direction. Having your plan up to date can keep you focused on where you are heading and ensure you are ready when you need it again.  Remember a Business Plan is a live document so it really does require to be reviewed at a minimum every 12 months.
  • Distribute your plan. A business plan is a blueprint for how your business will run and reveals what future direction your business will take. Understandably you will want to be careful who you show your plan to and avoid your competition seeing it.
  • Contact us to email you out a Business Plan template in word format to start the process.

     

    Considerations for setting up an RTO

    By | Become an RTO, How to become an RTO, How to start an RTO, Register an RTO | No Comments

    Considerations for setting up an RTO are vast, so in an attempt to shed some light onto an area that most do not realise is both robust and comprehensive, let me take you down a path of understanding. In the coming weeks we will go through each item on the’ list of considerations‘ to discuss each segment in detail, but for now we will provide a general look at what you may need to consider before taking the next step.

    List of considerations:

    Become an RTO

    Considerations for setting up of an RTO

    1. Development of a comprehensive Business Plan
    2. Development of a viable Financial Plan
    3. Training and Assessment Resources
    4. Competent Staff
    5. Management and Operations
    6. IT Requirements
    7. Facilities and Infrastructure
    8. VET Sector knowledge
    9. Industry skills and knowledge

    We can provide you with a business plan template to get you started. Simply contact us and request an RTO Business Plan. Call us on 1300 933 037 or visit our website today. http://www.impactworkforce.com.au/home