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About this guide

Explanation and guidance on using the Standards is provided in this guide. This document was developed in response to feedback from RTOs and other stakeholders that indicated clear guidance was needed about the Standards that apply to RTOs.

Download a copy of the print version (this is version 1.1 of this guide):

This guide is intended for use by those applying to become an RTO, existing RTOs, auditors and other regulatory staff.

  • Organisations applying to become RTOs can use this guide to understand the obligations of an RTO, and develop systems and processes in preparation for submitting an application for initial registration.
  • Current RTOs can use this guide to understand their regulatory obligations, and to establish and maintain systems and processes that both comply with the Standards and suit the RTO and its clients and learners. RTOs can also use the guide to conduct internal reviews and guide improvement initiatives.
  • Auditors and other regulatory staff can use this guide (in conjunction with ASQA’s Code of conduct for auditors and course accreditation assessors) to help them make consistent judgements about the intent of the Standards and how RTOs can implement the Standards in ways that suit them and their learners.

This guide is not part of the Standards and has no legal authority. The guide does not prescribe how an RTO should be managed or what evidence must be retained to demonstrate compliance. RTOs are best placed to decide the most suitable way for their organisation to be structured and managed. As long as an RTO can present evidence that it complies with the Standards, there is no ‘right way’ for an RTO to conduct its operations.

The guide should not be considered as any form of checklist or to contain any prescriptive information. RTO staff and management should use the guide to obtain a clearer understanding of the Standards and the obligations of an RTO and use that knowledge to structure operations and gather and retain evidence of compliance. The Standards describe what outcomes an RTO must achieve, not how they must be achieved.

While the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 apply to all RTOs, this guide contains some information that is specific to those RTOs regulated by ASQA. RTOs not regulated by ASQA should contact their regulator for specific information regarding VET legislation, regulatory requirements and regulatory processes that apply to them.

The guide will be updated from time to time. Updated versions will be published on ASQA’s website at www.asqa.gov.au/standards and any printed copies should be checked for currency against the most recent digital copy.


  • This guide has no legal status or legal effect whatsoever unless expressly provided for in legislation of the Commonwealth of Australia or an Australian state or territory.
  • This guide is not part of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015. The purpose of this guide is to provide general guidance. This guide is not meant to be exhaustive in its coverage of rights or obligations arising under any law.
  • The information contained in this guide may be affected by changes to legislation. The Australian Skills Quality Authority accepts no responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or currency of the material included.
  • Users of these materials are encouraged to obtain professional advice in respect of any applicable legislation and to exercise their own skill and care in relation to the material contained in this guide.
  • The Australian Skills Quality Authority disclaims any and all liability or responsibility for any loss or damages arising out of any use of, or reliance on, this guide.

The printed version of this guide is current as at 10 December 2014.

Beyond that date, users of the printed guide should compare the guide with digital copies to ensure currency of the information.

Creative Commons License 
With the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, all logos, graphic design, artwork and photos or where otherwise noted, the Users' Guide to the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 by the Australian Skills Quality Authority is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.