Choosing a course and provider
When deciding to begin a VET qualification, it is useful for you to work out why you are thinking about the course and the training provider.
Choosing your course
The following questions might help you make an informed choice:
- Are you studying to upskill existing skills and experience, or are you looking to work in a new industry?
- What experience and skills will you bring to the course?
- What support needs would you have for you to be able to complete the course?
- Do you have a preferred learning style and does the course suit this?
- Would you prefer to learn in person or an online environment?
- Do you have the resources you would need to study online?
- Is this the course that’s best aligned to your future plans?
- Is this course linked to a licensed or regulatory outcome?
These questions can help you determine if the course and the provider meet your needs.
Choosing your training provider
It can help to think about what you want and need from your training experience when you choose a provider. While the cost and duration of the course may impact your decision, it is also useful to find out if the provider offers a learning experience that includes support and training to complete the course.
You may want to consider the following:
- Do you have access to pre-enrolment information that explains the provider’s services, and the details of how they offer the course?
- What resources will the provider offer/what do you have to supply?
- Where will the training be delivered – do you have access to transportation?
- Is a work placement required? If so, will the provider arrange this?
- What student support services does the provider offer?
- What are the costs and the payment terms?
- What are the terms of refund:
- when you may want to cancel the enrolment, or
- when the provider is unable to offer the course?
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Fair-Trading NSW also have information that may help with your decision on which course or provider to choose:
- Please be mindful that a 'free' gift could potentially cost you thousands of dollars - the ACCC provides a warning about offers of ‘free’ items when signing up to a course.
- Essential checks - Fair Trading NSW provides advice about crucial checks to make before committing to a course or provider.
After you have researched the course and providers, you may feel ready to enrol. It is helpful to understand your rights and obligations under the enrolment agreement at this point.
For a training provider to be compliant with the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015, they need to provide you with clear and current information about:
- the title of your course
- course code
- its currency
- their obligations as a training provider
- your obligations as a student.
Obligations of a training provider
Before you enrol, a training provider needs to explain to you:
- details of the training and assessment services it will provide, including information on:
- estimated duration
- expected delivery methods
- expected training and assessment locations, including work placement arrangements
- name and contact details of any third parties that will be responsible for delivering part of the course or support services.
- details of the education and support services they can offer you
- their obligations to you as a student, noting their responsibility in:
- demonstrating compliance with the Standards for RTOs
- delivering quality training and assessment, and
- issuing the certification.
- information on any impacts that may result from funded or subsidised training – including any future eligibility for such funding.
- the complaints and appeals processes available to you
- how you are safeguarded in an event of the provider not being able to continue delivering the course – including your eligibility for refunds, and
- your rights to a statutory cooling off period, if applicable.
Your obligations as a student
Before enrolling, you will need to understand your obligations in the agreement with the training provider. These obligations may include:
- payment conditions, including timing of payments, deposit requirements and the cost
- refund information if you terminate enrolment, or enrolment is cancelled for failure to meet the requirements of the course/training provider
- repayment of any debt incurred under VET Student Loans
- the requirements of the course, that are needed for you to complete the course
- any materials or equipment that you need to supply during the course.
During the course
After you have commenced the course, you need to know about:
Any changes to your enrolment agreement
When you authorised your enrolment, you did so under a set of agreed circumstances. If there are changes to these arrangements, the provider needs to notify you as soon as possible.
As part of your enrolment, your provider needs to discuss with you any support arrangements or reasonable adjustments you may need to complete the course.
Any changes to these support arrangements need to be clearly communicated.
Transition of training products
Training products are updated from time-to-time to better reflect industry or regulatory needs. This can mean that the course you are originally enrolled in may cease to be current during your enrolment. Providers are given guidance on how long they may continue delivering the course when the qualification becomes no longer current. This is called a transition date.
If a transition date occurs while you are undertaking a course, your provider needs to ensure you are either able to complete the course you were enrolled in, prior to this date, or be able to transition you into the new course.
Please note: while you will likely be able to gain credit for study already completed, enrolment in the new course may require extra training and assessment activities.