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Do I have to pay the total amount of a fee or charge to ASQA upfront, or can I pay in instalments?

ASQA does not accept payment in instalments. You are required to pay any annual registration charges or any other charges in full by the date specified in the payment terms.

Do the same fees apply if I only want to assess and not deliver training?

Yes—the same fees apply regardless of whether you deliver and assess training or only assess training.

Why is the charge for the post-initial audit not included in the initial registration application fees?

Initial registration application fees include an application lodgement fee and an application assessment fee.

The lodgement fee covers the initial review and completeness check of your application.

The assessment fee covers the costs of:

  • assessing your application for compliance with the VET Quality Framework.
  • scheduling, planning and conducting a registration audit, if required
  • developing a risk rating for your organisation 
  • processing the application decision and notifying you of the decision, and
  • issuing the provider registration certificate

If your application is approved, ASQA conducts a post-initial audit, typically around one year after granting your registration. (The cost of the post-initial audit is not included in the initial registration application fees as more than 20 per cent of applicants are not approved for initial registration. Also, the charges for your post-initial audit are calculated based on the length of the audit. The length of the audit depends on many factors, including the scope and findings of the audit.)

Can I sell my RTO?

Yes—if a business, including its legal entity, is being sold, ASQA needs to be notified of the sale via a Notification of material change or event using asqanet.

However, registered training organisation (RTO) registration is not transferable. The new owners of the business will have to apply to ASQA for initial registration as an RTO.

Does ASQA expect RTOs to be able demonstrate $50,000 in assets to show financial viability?

No—there is no requirement for an organisation to demonstrate any specified minimum value of total assets.

Refer to the Fact sheet—Financial viability risk assessment for more information on how ASQA assesses applicants’ financial viability.

Do I need approval to deliver a course online?

No—however, you must notify ASQA you plan to deliver a course online by submitting a Minor Change request using asqanet.

ASQA might ask you to provide evidence that demonstrates that the course is suitable for online delivery.

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 do I notify ASQA if my RTO business is entering liquidation?

You can notify ASQA of your business is entering liquidation by submitting a Notification of material change or event using asqanet.

How do I notify ASQA of a change of CEO?

You can notify ASQA of a change of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) by submitting a Notification of material change or event using asqanet.

How do I update my RTO contact details on training.gov.au?

You can change update your registered training organisation (RTO) contact details by submitting a Notification of change of provider details using asqanet.

If I want to issue units relating to licensing outcomes, do I need to inform ASQA?

You will need to apply to ASQA if you wish to issue a unit leading to a licensed outcome as a 'standalone' unit.

You will also need to apply to ASQA to list these units on your scope using the Application to change RTO scope of registration on the asqanet website.

What RTO changes need to be reported to ASQA?

It is a condition of registration that all registered training organisations notify the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) of any changes to contact details and changes or events that affect the operation of the registered training organisation (RTO).

RTOs must notify ASQA of these changes as soon as possible after they happen (preferably within 20 working days).

Can I advertise a qualification or unit of competency if I have applied to ASQA to add it to my scope of registration (if ASQA has not yet approved the application)?

No—it is an offense under the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 to advertise a qualification or unit of competency that is not on your scope of registration.

Can I put the Nationally Recognised Training (NRT) logo on marketing material?

If you want to use the NRT logo, your promotional material must clearly distinguish what is nationally recognised training within the scope of your registration and what is not nationally recognised.

Do I have to include my CRICOS code on marketing material for a CRICOS course?

Yes—all written material (including websites) promoting a course, or inviting a student to apply for a course, must list the registered provider’s Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) number.

Do I have to specify whether a course is accredited or non-accredited in my marketing material?

All promotional material should clearly define which courses are accredited and which are not accredited.

It is an offence to imply that non-accredited training is accredited training.

Can I submit a change of scope application when my application to renew RTO registration is still pending?

Yes―as your registration continues during this period, there are no additional restrictions on your trading.

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.

How do I advise ASQA that I am not seeking to renew my RTO registration?

If you no longer wish to operate as a registered training organisation, you must apply to the ASQA to withdraw your registration.

Until ASQA has approved your application, you remain registered and are required to pay ASQA annual registration charges.

How do I appeal an ASQA decision about my application?

If you are dissatisfied with a decision made by ASQA you have a number of options:

  1. Consider the reasons for the decision, address the outstanding areas of non-compliance and submit a new application
  2. Ask ASQA to reassess its position 
  3. Ask ASQA to review the decision 
  4. Apply to have the decision reviewed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). Refer to the ASQA fact sheet―AAT review of an ASQA decision.

How long will it take for my application to be processed?

ASQA completes the majority of Applications to renew RTO registration within six months.

If my renewal application is being considered by ASQA, can I enrol students in classes due to commence after my expiry date?

Yes―as your registration continues during this period, there are no additional restrictions on enrolling students.

Is there a deadline for submitting an application to renew RTO registration? What happens if I don’t meet the deadline?

If you intend to renew your registered training organisation (RTO) registration, you must submit a completed application to renew registration at least 90 days prior to the expiry date of your registration. Your registration expiry date is listed on the national register, training.gov.au.

If you fail to submit a complete application at least 90 days prior to your expiry date, your registration may not be renewed.

ASQA will not consider your application complete until all fees have been paid in full and the payment has cleared.

What happens if ASQA has not completed the assessment of my renewal of registration application before my registration expiry date?

ASQA will ensure your registration remains current until your application has been finalised.

When will my RTO registration expiry date be updated on training.gov.au after my application has been approved?

If your application is approved following a risk assessment (e.g. without an audit), ASQA will update the information in asqanet within 1-2 working days.

If your application progresses to audit, once the audit is complete, your auditor prepares a report.

Once the report is completed, ASQA commissioners or their delegates will then make a decision about your application based on the report’s recommendations. In some cases, this decision will be made by all of ASQA’s commissioners.

Once your application is finalised, you will be notified in writing and provided with a copy of the audit report. If your application is approved following an audit, the relevant information in training.gov.au will usually be updated within 10 working days of the date your application is finalised.

When your expiry date is updated on training.gov.au, if your current expiry date is in the future, the new expiry date will not appear in the ‘current’ section of training.gov.au. You will need to select ‘View History’ to view all registration periods, past, current and future.

Will I always be audited for renewal of registration?

ASQA will only conduct an audit during renewal of registration if a risk assessment indicates that an audit should be conducted.

Some of the factors reviewed in the risk assessment include:

  • whether the qualifications/units in the application lead to industry licences
  • the provider’s profile (formerly 'risk rating'), and
  • the length of time since a full scope audit was conducted

For more information about audits, refer to the Fact sheet—ASQA audits.

Will RTOs that are currently registered for five years have their registration extended to seven years?

If ASQA approves your application for renewal of RTO registration, you will be granted a registration period of up to seven years. In some cases, ASQA grants a shorter registration period. If you are granted a shorter registration period, ASQA will explain to you the reasons for this.v

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

Are electronic signatures instead of original signatures acceptable on testamurs and statements of attainment?

Electronic signatures are acceptable if you can demonstrate that there are effective systems in place to prevent fraudulent use of the signature.

Are providers required to print all testamur and statements of attainment?

There is no specific requirement in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) regarding printing testamurs and statements of attainment. Providers should retain a soft copy.

ASQA auditors will often require that you provide a sample of testamurs and statements of attainment.

The National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 requires that you retain student records for a period of 30 years.