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FAQs

Are all partnerships between RTOs third party arrangements?

There are some circumstances where two RTOs may work together, but it is not a third party arrangement. This table shows some example scenarios of commercial arrangements between RTOs that are not third party arrangements.

Scenario RTO 1 activities RTO 1 activities 2
RTO 1 (for example, an enterprise RTO) engages RTO 2 to deliver training and/or assessment to its staff.

RTO 1 engages RTO 2 to deliver training to its staff.

There may be some involvement from RTO 1, which may include workplace training and supervision.

RTO 2 is responsible for enrolling students and for all aspects of training, assessment and compliance.
RTO 1 (for example, an employment services agency) refers a recipient to RTO 2 to deliver training and/or assessment for that person. RTO 1 refers a person to RTO 2 to deliver training. RTO 2 is responsible for enrolling students and for all aspects of marketing, recruitment, training, assessment and compliance.
RTO 1 rents space or facilities from RTO 2. RTO 1 rents classrooms or other facilities from RTO 2 in order to deliver training and/or assessment to students of RTO 1. RTO 2 has no involvement in training and/or assessment.

Can a third party issue invoices to students?

Yes. A third party can invoice a student for the course cost on behalf of the RTO. While the invoice may have the name of the third party on it, it must be clear to the learner what RTO is actually offering the course the invoice relates to.

However, the existence of a third party agreement does not absolve the RTO of responsibility for compliance with the NVR Act and the Standards for RTOs. An RTO must ensure its third parties are acting in accordance with all requirements of these legislative and regulatory obligations, including where fee amounts greater than $1,500 are collected in advance.

Can learning and assessment resources be dual-branded or must they only have the name of the RTO on them?

Many RTOs use learning and assessment resources—including hard copy text books and online materials—that have been developed by others. Resources are not required to be branded with the name of the RTO. However, training and assessment must be undertaken only in the name of the RTO. Your RTO is responsible for ensuring that each student understands, even when using non-RTO branded resources, what RTO they are studying with. 

Where resources are offered online only, the student must have some way to understand, when using those resources, what RTO is responsible. For example, the login page allowing the learner access to the resources could be in the RTO’s name, branding and logo and, once logged in, the resource owner’s materials are available. 

Can my RTO include the name/logo of the third party on the AQF documents?

No – only the name/logo of the RTO issuing the testamur is included on any AQF documents.

Can one or both RTOs in a third party arrangement have the training products listed on scope implicitly?

Yes, the third-party RTO must have the VET course that a student is enrolled in on their scope of registration.

Can the name of the third party be included on marketing material?

Yes. The Standards require that all marketing information:

  • makes clear where a third party is recruiting prospective learners for the RTO on its behalf;
  • distinguishes where it is delivering training and assessment on behalf of another RTO or where training and assessment is being delivered on its behalf by a third party.

Marketing information can include the name and logo of a third party, providing it is clear they are not offering the VET course and providing it is clear what RTO is offering the VET course.

Can the NRT logo be included on the non-RTO’s third party provider's website?

Provided the website information only refers to the RTO, the NRT logo can be used, in accordance with the conditions of use of the logo.

How do I notify ASQA of my third-party arrangements?

The Standards for RTOs require an RTO to notify ASQA of any third party written agreement within 30 calendar days of that agreement being entered into or prior to the obligations under the agreement taking effect, whichever occurs first. Your RTO should have already notified ASQA of any current third-party arrangements that it has.

From December 2019, RTOs will be able to access, add and cease all third-party arrangements via asqanet.

Prior to this service being available, RTOs are encouraged to ensure their written agreements are current and meet all requirements. RTOs will be informed when third-party arrangements are available to be viewed and recorded within asqanet. After this, RTOs can update their own records for accuracy and currency.

How long will it take to process my request for delivery of VET courses of concern?

Providing the request is complete, ASQA aims to consider and respond to any request within 5 working days.

I don’t know which third-party arrangements my RTO has notified ASQA of—how can I get this information?

The Standards for RTOs require an RTO to notify ASQA of any third party written agreement within 30 calendar days of that agreement being entered into or prior to the obligations under the agreement taking effect, whichever occurs first. Your RTO should have already notified ASQA of any current third-party arrangements that it has.

From December 2019, RTOs will be able to access, add and cease all third-party arrangements via asqanet.

Prior to this service being available, RTOs are encouraged to ensure their written agreements are current and meet all requirements. RTOs will be informed when third-party arrangements are available to be viewed and recorded within asqanet. After this, RTOs can update their own records for accuracy and currency.

I provide training under a third party arrangement with an RTO and have had my agreement cancelled by the RTO. What happens to the students I have been delivering to?

At all times the RTO is ultimately responsible for any student enrolled under its RTO banner. This includes where a student has been enrolled, and is being delivered to, by a third party.

Prior to enrolment, a student must have been informed of this third party arrangement and the student must clearly understand who the RTO is that they are enrolled with.

The RTO must ensure that, prior to 1 January 2020, any currently enrolled student is only studying with the RTO or with a third party that fulfils the requirements.

I want to commence a new third party arrangement

If both RTO’s have the training product on scope can the student enrol directly with the third party and get a Statement of Attainment with that RTO’s details?

Yes, provided the student is enrolled with the RTO issuing the statement of attainment for the unit/s of competency.

I’m a non-RTO third party—can the RTO include my name/logo on the AQF documents?

No – only the name/logo of the RTO issuing the testamur is included on any AQF certification.

I’m an RTO who uses a third party RTO to deliver some units – do I have to include the third party RTO’s name and details in my advertising (print, radio, Google Ads etc)?

Marketing information issued by your RTO must distinguish if any (and what) training and assessment is being delivered on your behalf under a third party arrangement.  The statement – delivered by an agent under a third party arrangement – beside any applicable unit of competency would be sufficient. 

Your RTO may include the name of the third party and its logo, providing it is clear to a reader the details of the RTO that is offering and is responsible for the VET course.

Must both RTOs have the course on scope?

An RTO cannot seek to extend its scope of registration by entering into a third-party arrangement with another RTO that has the applicable VET course on scope. If an RTO wants to provide training and/or assessment – either under its own RTO code or under a third-party arrangement – it must have that qualification on its scope of registration. 

In limited circumstances, an RTO that does not have a qualification on its scope of registration, can seek the services of another RTO that does have the required qualification on its scope of registration. Some of these circumstances are not considered to be third party arrangements but are commercial agreements for services. 

In all circumstances, a third party RTO must have the relevant VET course on scope, as per advice in ASQA’s Users’ Guide, Fact Sheet and General Direction.

Regardless of the arrangements, the RTO that has actually enrolled the student, and who is therefore responsible for enrolment, reporting achievement outcomes and issuing a certification, must have the relevant VET course on its scope of registration.

My RTO is in negotiations to enter into a third party arrangement with a non-RTO and it is expected to be signed / commenced before 1 September 2019. Is this a new or existing third party arrangement?

The General Direction will come into effect for any third party arrangement that has been entered into prior to 1 September 2019, from 1 January 2020.

We use an RPL broker—has anything changed for us?

As a third party, an RPL broker cannot offer to provide all or part of a VET course in their own name. Third parties that provide these types of services must accurately and honestly represent the RTO in all marketing and enrolment activities.

For example, “Fast Track RPL” runs a website that acts as a brokerage for ten RTOs delivering RPL in a wide variety of courses, including “Melbourne City Training”. Potential students enrol with “Fast Track RPL” as a third party to these RTOs. The General Direction—third-party arrangements for training and or assessment of VET courses has clarified that as a non-RTO, “Fast Track RPL” cannot offer to provide all or part of a VET course in their own name.

“Fast Track RPL” cannot advertise “Melbourne City Training’s” courses on a website where the branding could give the viewer the opinion that “Fast Track RPL” is offering the course. Any advertising of VET courses on behalf of “Melbourne City Training” must be in the name of “Melbourne City Training”. This does not prevent the use of “Fast Track RPL” in the domain name of a website, but the content of the site must reflect that the course is offered by “Melbourne City Training”.

If “Fast Track RPL” is completing the recruitment process for “Melbourne City Training”, it must be made clear that “Fast Track RPL” is doing this recruitment on behalf of “Melbourne City Training".

We’re a third party RTO—can the principal RTO include our name/code/logo on the AQF documents?

Only the name/logo of the RTO that the student is enrolled with is included on any AQF certification.

We’re an RTO but don’t have the course on scope, but the principal RTO does – can our RTO still deliver if the arrangement is otherwise equivalent to a non-RTO third party arrangement?

No, under no circumstances may an RTO deliver or offer to deliver a course it does not have on its scope of registration.

What is the difference between a contractor – that is not a third party – and a non-RTO– that is a third party?

A contractor who is not subject to a third party arrangement is a person or organisation (that is not an RTO) who is engaged by an RTO to complete a specific task for an RTO. In this instance, an RTO has recruited another person or organisation to complete activities for the RTO and in the RTO’s name.

A non-RTO who is subject to a third party arrangement is a person or organisation (that is not an RTO) who is engaged by an RTO to provide services on behalf of the RTO.

What is the transition process for providers delivering courses (other than VET courses of concern) under third-party arrangements to comply with the General Direction—third-party arrangements for training and or assessment of VET courses

You must transition students in accordance with the process below if:

  • you have third-party arrangements for delivery of any VET course with an RTO that does not have that course on scope.

Students enrolled with the third party must complete training/assessment with the third party before 1 January 2020.

Any student who has not completed training/assessment with the third party will, from 1 January 2020, continue training/assessment with the principal RTO (or another third party linked to the principal RTO that has been approved by ASQA).

At all times, the student has been and remains the responsibility of the principal RTO.

What is the transition process for providers delivering ‘VET courses of concern’ to comply with the General Direction—third-party arrangements for training and or assessment of VET courses

Transition process for providers delivering courses of concern (TAE training products) under third-party arrangements from 1 January 2020

You must transition students in accordance with the process below if:

  • you have third-party arrangements for delivery of any course of concern with an RTO that does not have that course on scope
  • you have third-party arrangements for delivery of any course of concern with a non-RTO and ASQA has not approved your request to continue this arrangement.

The transition process requires that:

  • no new students are enrolled with the third party after 1 September 2019
  • students enrolled with the third party must complete training/assessment with the third party before 1 January 2020
  • any student who has not completed training/assessment with the third party will, from 1 January 2020, continue training/assessment with the principal RTO (or a suitable third party).

At all times, the student has been and remains the responsibility of the principal RTO.

Who is responsible for notifying ASQA of a third party arrangement?

The RTO that has entered into a third party arrangement with another RTO for the delivery of services is responsible for notifying ASQA of the arrangement.

This RTO must notify ASQA:

  • a) of any written agreement it has entered into as a third party arrangement for the delivery of services on its behalf within 30 calendar days of that agreement being entered into or prior to the obligations under the agreement taking effect, whichever occurs first; and
  • b) within 30 calendar days of the agreement coming to an end.

The third party RTO is not required to notify ASQA of this arrangement.