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Do I still have to pay my annual registration charge while my renewal of registration application is being considered?

Yes―your registration continues during this period, so you are still required to comply with all your obligations as a registered training organisation (RTO), including the obligation to pay your annual registration charge.

Do providers get a reminder if they have not submitted the annual declaration on compliance, and what action does ASQA take if the annual declaration has not been submitted by the due date?

While ASQA typically includes information on pending deadlines (such as the deadlines to submit data) on the ASQA website and in the ASQA Update, a reminder is not sent to each RTO. It is up to every RTO to ensure they comply with Clause 8.4 of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015.

As a condition of registration, RTOs are required to ensure continued compliance with the VET Quality Framework, which includes the Standards for Registered Training Organisations and Data Provision Requirements. Failure to report full and accurate data as and when required can result in ASQA taking regulatory action.

Do providers need to test the English language proficiency of overseas students?

CRICOS providers must recruit responsibly and ensure that overseas students are appropriately qualified for the course they are seeking to complete. Providers must ensure overseas students have sufficient English language proficiency, educational qualifications and/or work experience to enrol in the course.

Registered providers must also have and implement a documented policy for assessing that overseas students’ English language proficiency, educational qualifications or work experience is sufficient to enter a course. All students need to have sufficient language proficiency to allow then to undertake the course and to complete the required assessment.

If there is no minimum English language proficiency required, for example in an ELICOS course, the provider does not need a process for assessing this. However registered providers should consider having literacy requirements in the international student’s first language.

Do superseded qualifications contribute to the cost of annual registration charges and renewal of registration fees?

If you have a new equivalent qualification on your scope of registration as well as the superseded product, these products will only be counted once for the purpose of calculating fees and charges related to annual registration and renewal of registration. The superseded product will not add to the cost.

Do the ASQA student surveys replace the learner questionnaire?

No, the requirement for providers to collect and submit data relating to learner engagement is a requirement of the VET Quality Framework/Data Provision Requirements 2012.

ASQA’s collection of data from students as part of the audit process is a separate procedure.

Does a National ELT Accreditation Scheme (NEAS) accredited English language school offering courses to overseas students apply to ASQA for registration?

ASQA is responsible for the approval and registration of CRICOS providers delivering ELICOS programs except where the ELICOS program is delivered:

  • by the provider in its capacity as a school
  • by the provider in its capacity as a higher education provider, or
  • under an 'entry arrangement' with at least one higher education provider.

An 'entry arrangement' provides a pathway arrangement for an overseas student to study a higher education course or a Foundation Program with a higher education provider. The student completes an ELICOS course to meet the higher education provider's minimum English proficiency entry requirements.

ASQA does not require providers to be accredited with NEAS.

Does ASQA assist with refunds for visa matters?

ASQA’s role does not include assisting students to seek refunds of course fees. Current, former or prospective overseas student enrolled with a private training provider in Australia can seek help with fees and refunds from the Overseas Students Ombudsman.

Does ASQA investigate complaints about CRICOS providers?

ASQA can receive certain complaints about organisations providing training to overseas students on student visas. These training organisations are referred to as Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) providers.

ASQA can consider complaints about CRICOS providers where the provider is alleged to have breached the required standards, and  failed to provide quality training and assessment. ASQA will use this information to inform its regulation of the provider.

Other complaints may be considered by the Overseas Students Ombudsman, or by another agency. For more information, see Complaints.

Does ASQA notify other bodies (such as funding providers) if a provider is found to be non-compliant?

ASQA publishes information about certain decisions in the Regulatory decisions list.

ASQA publishes information about:

  • decisions to cancel or suspend registration
  • conditions placed on registration
  • decisions to not renew registration, and
  • decisions to apply other types of administrative sanction.

These decisions are only published after all reconsideration and review activity is complete.

ASQA may also contact funding bodies or other relevant government agencies with this information.

Does ASQA provide ‘whistle-blower’ protection for RTO staff who make complaints?

If a complainant wishes to remain anonymous from the training provider that is the subject of their complaint, ASQA will not disclose personal details. Where information from a complaint is used to inform regulatory activity, ASQA will not reveal the complainant’s identity. Whistle-blower protections are not a specific feature of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 (NVR Act).

Does ASQA require trainers and assessors to complete working with children checks?

While ASQA does not have a specific requirement for trainers and assessors to complete working with children checks, ASQA requires registered training organisations (RTOs) to comply with all relevant state, territory and commonwealth legislation.

RTOs should contact the occupational health and safety agency in their state or territory to determine requirements for trainers and assessors to complete working with children checks.

Does ASQA seek specialist advice about courses’ technical content?

ASQA liaises with Skills Service Organisations (SSOs), industry regulators and peak and professional bodies to seek technical advice on the relevant industry area when accrediting a course.

Does ASQA send providers a reminder before the 30 June due date to submit quality indicator data?

While ASQA typically includes information on pending deadlines (such as the deadlines to submit data) on its website and in newsletters, ASQA does not send individual reminders. It is a condition of RTO registration that quality indicator data is submitted in accordance with Clause 8.1 of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015.

Does my organisation have to be an Australian company to be an RTO?

Your organisation must have a valid Australian Business Number (ABN) in order to be eligible for registered training organisation (RTO) registration.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) advises that companies registered under the Corporations Act 2001 and business entities carrying on an enterprise in Australia are entitled to an ABN if they apply.

Does our RTO still need to submit CCOS data if we have submitted AVETMISS data?

If your RTO submitted 2018 delivery activity data directly or through a state authority to the AVETMISS national collection, your RTO has met its competency completion reporting requirements and will not be able to access CCOS.

RTOs that had been granted exemptions from reporting 2018 data to the AVETMISS national collection must report their aggregated activity data through CCOS by 30 June 2019.

RTOs that conducted no delivery activity in 2018 MUST submit a statutory declaration to qidata [at] asqa.gov.au testifying to this fact by 30 June 2019, if they have not already done so.

All RTOs will receive an email in coming weeks informing them of their individual obligations.

For online training, what counts as ‘supervised’ hours? Is the time a student spends working on assessment counted as ‘supervised’?

Online directed study classes may count towards supervised hours. Assignment work is considered to be an unsupervised activity.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Standards for RTOs 2015

How are multi-sector providers regulated?

ASQA works with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) and with the Australian Government Department of Education, to regulate multi-sector providers.

Through the arrangements outlined in a memorandum of understanding agreed between ASQA and TEQSA in 2011, the agencies seek to implement the following principles in the regulation of multi-sector providers:

  • clear and consistent regulatory expectations
  • streamlined data requests from TEQSA and ASQA to minimise duplication
  • common evidence requirements to demonstrate compliance with common standards applicable  to higher education and vocational education and training regulation
  • joint regulatory and quality assurance assessments, where feasible.

How can an Administrator approve access for another user?

If you are an Administrator (in most cases, this will be the CEO or PEO), you will need to approve requests to register and therefore access your asqanet account from staff or contactors working for your provider.

To approve these registration requests:

  1. Log in to asqanet https://asqanet.asqa.gov.au/
  2. Selecting User Management from the drop-down menu in the top right corner.
  3. Pending Agent requests will be listed in the User Management section.
  4. To confirm an agent request, select Action Request.
  5. The staff member or contractor will then be granted access as an Agent for your organisation.
  6. You can also grant a staff member or contactor the capacity to approve other requests for registration as an agent, by making them an administrator. From the User Managementsection, under Current Agents, you have the option to select the Make Admin button.

How can ASQA assist me if my provider closes?

ASQA can provide a copy of your student records if your former training provider has transferred them to us.

We can also advise you on how to continue your training and, depending on your situation, direct you to organisations that can assist you.

How can I access information about applying to deliver Training and Education Training Package (TAE) qualifications?

Please refer to ASQA’s previously published guidance on applying for TAE qualifications.

How can I access the ASQA and Skills IQ webinar on the Early Childhood Education and Care strategic review?

You can watch the webinar at ASQA’s YouTube channel. The slides from the presentation are also available from ASQA’s website (PDF) and as a SlideShare presentation.

How can I add an Australian delivery location to my scope of registration?

You must submit an Notification of change of provider details using asqanet to add an Australian delivery location to your scope of registration.

How can I apply to become a registered training organisation (RTO)?

Before applying to ASQA for initial registration as an registered training organisation (RTO):

How can I check my Compliance History?

You can find out your Compliance History category by emailing enquiries [at] asqa.gov.au. The enquiry must be sent by one of your organisation’s registered email contacts, as listed on training.gov.au.

For privacy reasons, ASQA is unable to provide information on your organisation’s Compliance History over the phone.

How can I check the status of my application?

You can check the status of an application if you are a registered contact on training.gov.au.

To obtain a status update, you can email the ASQA Info line on enquiries [at] asqa.gov.au. (Due to Australian privacy legislation, ASQA cannot provide status updates over the phone because a caller’s identity cannot be verified.)

ASQA can only provide you with a status update if:

  • you send the email from the email address listed on training.gov.au
  • you provide the application number. 

How can I complain about ASQA?

You can contact ASQA to:

  • provide feedback
  • request more information, or
  • lodge a formal complaint. 

To provide feedback―positive or negative― email feedback [at] asqa.gov.au.

To make an enquiry (for example, about your registration), contact the ASQA Info line on enquiries [at] asqa.gov.au or 1300 701 801.

To make a formal complaint about ASQA, complete and submit a Complaint about ASQA form (DOC 790kb).

How can I demonstrate that I have maintained the currency of my industry skills and my trainer/ assessor competencies?

There is a range of evidence that registered training organisations (RTOs) can provide to demonstrate that they are contributing to:

  • the continuous development of a trainer’s or assessor’s vocational education and training knowledge and skills, and
  • the trainer’s or assessor’s industry currency and competence.

It is important to remember that it is an RTO that must demonstrate compliance with the standards, rather than individual trainers and assessors.

RTOs seeking to prove that they are serious about the quality of their training and assessment should:

  • support their trainers/assessors in meaningful industry engagement
  • support their trainers’/assessors’ professional development in teaching and learning methods and in understanding the requirements of the vocational education and training (VET) sector, and
  • foster a culture of critical evaluation and innovation.

Evidence to demonstrate the currency of trainer/assessor skills might include documentation related to:

  • attendance at relevant professional development activities
  • participation in networks, communities of practice or mentoring activities
  • participation in industry release schemes
  • personal development through the reading of journals
  • participation in projects with industry, and
  • shadowing or working closely with other trainers and assessors.

RTOs should be able to demonstrate how development activities contribute towards:

  • trainers’/assessors’ understanding of the requirements of the VET environment
  • trainers’ vocational skills and knowledge (so that they are providing learning programs that are in line with current industry requirements)  
  • assessors’ vocational skills and knowledge (so that they are assessing to the standards required by industry), and
  • improving the way in which trainers/assessors train and assess.

Vocational competency must be considered on an industry-by-industry basis and with reference to any guidance provided in the relevant training package or accredited course.

How can I demonstrate that my students have completed workplace assessment?

An assessor must collect and consider a range of evidence from a variety of sources. This evidence can include third-party reports provided by supervisors, trainers, team members, clients or consumers who can report what they see or hear to the assessor.

Evidence may be:

  • direct (such as an observation of workplace performance by an assessor)
  • indirect (such as a portfolio of evidence), or
  • supplementary (such a supervisor reports).

Registered training organisations (RTOs) must ensure that the assessments are valid, reliable, fair and flexible and the evidence collected is valid, sufficient, current and authentic and that the judgement of competence is made by a person/s who meets the requirements of the Standards for RTOs 2015, specifically Clauses 1.13 - 1.15, 1.17, 1.18 and 1.21 - 1.25.

How can I demonstrate vocational competency?

Vocational competency includes broad industry knowledge and experience, usually combined with a relevant industry qualification.

A person who has vocational competency will:

  • be familiar with the content of the vocation, and
  • have relevant, current experience in the industry. (See Clause 1.13 of the Standards for RTOs 2015)

Vocational competency must be considered on an industry-by-industry basis and with reference to the guidance provided in the assessment guidelines of the relevant training package.

Training packages include industry-specific advice on vocational competencies of assessors. This may include advice on the industry qualifications and experience required for assessing against the training package (or against specific qualifications within the package). The training package will also provide industry-specific advice on acceptable forms of evidence to show currency with vocational competency.