How to Become an RTO

Do you want to become an RTO? Discussing it can be quite a mouthful. It’ll help if you know what “RTO” means first before thinking about becoming one. RTO stands for Registered Training Organisation, which means it is an organisation that the Australian Government has recognized as training people in skills needed globally. Some of these skills are digital literacy, information technology, and English language abilities. In this article, we will show you how you can become an RTO. Another useful resource can be found at

What is a registered training organization?

A registered training organization is an organisation that the Australian Government has recognized as training people in skills needed globally. The importance of RTOs acknowledges that they allow the Australian Government to monitor and assess all the quality of training for students and employees.

RTOs must be closely monitored by Assessors both inside and outside the organisation to ensure standards are up to par with other RTOs around Australia, who are also suffering from teacher shortages just like your institution will be experiencing shortly after opening your doors for business! Also, due to our nation’s troubling teacher shortage, many RTOs are forced to spend big bucks on recruiting teachers from overseas.

Remember that an RTO must have a strong business plan before applying for government registration. Your abilities to attract students will determine how much money you need to fork out for marketing strategies, which is why it’s advisable to go the tried and tested route of offering courses in areas where demand is high so as not to waste your time and money on an unsustainable path or business venture. Before you start your search check out the existing RTO here.

How do you become a registered training organization? What are your options?

To become a registered training organisation, there are four main steps you can do:

  1. You need to acquire or apply for accreditation from TEQSA (the office responsible for regulating higher education institutions).      
  2. If you aren’t an educational institution such as a school, TAFE, or university, you may need to partner with one; this is called a “hosting arrangement.”      
  3. You need to apply for registration with TEQSA; you do this by filling out the appropriate form and submitting it (and any required materials) to them, along with payment.       
  4. Once registered, your training organisation will provide different qualifications under the National Training System – this includes maintaining records of student attendance and updating training plans.

How can I become an RTO?

The process is quite tricky and requires a lot of effort and dedication. However, there are tips we can give you:

1) Get some experience first!

If you have studied in the same field as your intended qualification, you may want to gain some teaching experience beforehand so that you can show your employer and TEQSA some proof that you’re capable.

2) Learn everything about the industry!

If you’re not already in this industry, it’s time to get on Google and start researching what people want from an RTO and how you can provide for them. You’ll need to know these things inside out if you’re going to impress your TEQSA assessor when they come along later on (and we all know they WILL be coming along at some point).

3) Apply early.

Although there is no set date or deadline for registering as a training provider, the earlier you apply, the more chance you have of actually getting registered and legally allowed to run training courses. 

4) Watch out for courses

There are many industry-standard qualifications at each level of training, and you should find the appropriate one to become an RTO for. Make sure that this qualification meets all of TEQSA’s standards and regulations before you apply using it!

5) Have a look into the Department of Education

Before doing anything else, you might want to check with them first – they’re pretty likely to have information on becoming an RTO yourself already. This is also where you can find policies about how RTOs run different kinds of qualifications, etc.

6) Seek help from your local government body

Governments are often willing to provide some incentive or grant to run their own business and provide an excellent opportunity to learn how a company works and meet new people, so consider going down this path!

7) Get a mentor

There are many qualified RTOs out there who will be willing to help prospective applicants get through the registration process, find funding, and even give them some extra materials for free! All you need to do is ask.

8) Check your state’s guidelines

Every state has its unique laws that govern things like becoming an RTO too. Make sure you know exactly what these rules entail before you start running training courses in your area. If you break any of them, it could result in huge fines or even imprisonment, depending on the severity of the case.

9) Make use of all forms of media

Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and YouTube are all great ways to connect with other RTOs out there and learn more about how they got started. If you want to be an RTO, then it’s well worth looking into each of these resources as much as possible because who knows what kind of ideas, contacts, or even training materials you might find?

10) Don’t give up

If someone tells you that becoming an RTO is hard, then just remember this – the only way to fail at something is to stop trying! We hope this article has provided some inspiration for your future career goals. Good luck!

What courses are offered?

You may be wondering what types of courses are offered at our shiny new RTO. The most popular Cert 3-4-5 courses include childcare, hairdressing, engineering (mechanical), information technology (desktop publishing & graphic design), cooking, and travel. These courses are usually offered on an external basis, which means the student will typically undertake part of their course at your RTO before transferring to a TAFE or university campus to complete practical aspects of their training.

Courses available online tend to be Certs 1-2, including customer service skills, English language learning, health services (mainly aged care), business/commerce skills, and creative media (film making & photography).

You must ensure all internal Assessors are registered with the relevant national vocational regulator because schools prefer to deal with people who aren’t newbies when assessing education standards in Australia. This ensures confidence in the organisation. Once an RTO is adequately established, you can look at providing a variety of courses, but for now, it would be best to stick to the basics.

An RTO can also offer certificates from private training colleges that you buy from education providers!

How much does it cost?

Setting up an RTO is going to set you back quite a bit of money. It costs approximately $25,000 – $30,000 just to become a registered Assessor with the government regulatory body in your area. That’s before you’ve even started selling courses or recruiting staff!

Another hefty fee includes registering as an educational institution which will typically cost between $12 000 – $15 000 depending on how many batches/blocks you want to be included in your registration (the more batches/blocks registered under your organisation, the higher your registration fee).

Remember that you have to pay a yearly fee for ASQA (Australian Skills Quality Authority), the federal regulator for RTOs. This will cost you a minimum of $541 per year, or else you risk being deregistered! Many RTO’s struggles with this high financial burden when they don’t properly budget for it when preparing their business plan. Fortunately, ASQA has been known to waive fees in certain circumstances, such as if an organisation cannot afford it due to reasonable hardship.

ASQA fees are separate from VET Fee-Help loans, which can be claimed by students who wish to study a vocational course at an RTO and cover the costs of tuition Fees

How Long Does it Take to Become an RTO?

The local government body can register a new RTO within a week. If you have been working as an External Assessor for several years and have proof of your activities, then getting registered to assess internal training at your organisation might be as easy as ticking a few boxes on an online form!

However, if you hope to become a registered provider under the student VET Fee-Help scheme, it may take anywhere between four months and one year. This varies depending on how long it takes for your application to pass through various levels of bureaucracy before receiving approval from the federal regulator ASQA. More information on RTO rules and regulations can be found by going to this website.