Quality Reforms

On this page:

Overview

All Australian Governments are committed to supporting high-quality training in the VET system. While the quality of training is affected by many variables, registered training organisations (RTOs) have a critical role in ensuring training delivery on the ground is high-quality and meets the diverse range of learner and employer needs.

Reforms are currently underway to better support RTOs to achieve this. These reforms include revising the Standards for RTOs 2015 (the Standards) to ensure they are clear and outcome-focused and developing a Blueprint for the VET Workforce to support, grow and retain a quality VET workforce. These reforms will be supported by work to help build RTO capability and capacity, including developing tools and resources and supporting continuous improvement.

Revising the Standards for RTOs

The Standards are currently being revised to strengthen the focus on quality outcomes for learners and employers, provide greater clarity for RTOs and regulators, and allow for more flexibility and innovation in training delivery.

Draft revised Standards have been developed and finalised for piloting based on feedback from the sector, along with analysis of other sectors, expert reviews, and research. The draft revised Standards propose significant changes to the structure and content of the Standards, providing a clearer and more direct link between the requirements RTOs are expected to meet and the outcomes they are expected to deliver.

A public consultation process on an earlier draft of the revised Standards was held from November 2022 to January 2023. This included opportunities for the sector to provide written feedback and participate in a range of online and face-to-face forums across all states and territories. A summary of consultation findings is available on the RTO Standards Consultation page.

Taking into account feedback received, the draft revised Standards were refined in preparation for piloting. The latest draft revised Standards are available here:

Development of the Draft Revised Standards for RTOs

Piloting the revised Standards

Piloting of the draft revised Standards to test their practical application and ensure they support effective regulation commenced in October 2023 in collaboration with VET regulators. This was designed to ensure that RTO performance against the draft revised Standards is measurable and can be effectively evidenced across different RTO settings.

Piloting activities were designed to ensure that the draft revised Standards:

  • enable RTOs of different types, sizes and focus to demonstrate compliance in different ways,
  • allow for sufficient flexibility to enable excellence and innovation, and
  • enable regulators to effectively identify risk and differentiate providers.

The pilot was also designed to gauge the extent to which there is consistent understanding of the draft requirements across RTOs and regulators and identify areas where additional guidance materials and resources would be of most benefit to support the sector to meet the revised Standards.

Completed piloting activities include an online survey and a series of focus groups to explore how RTOs would demonstrate compliance with the draft revised Standards relevant to their operational context. These activities were designed to engage RTOs of diverse types, size, scope, and location to ensure the findings are representative of the sector.

Pilot outcomes and next steps

Pilot outcomes will be published on the Department’s website. Following the pilot process, refinements will be made to the draft revised Standards to ensure they are fit-for-purpose and meet the needs of the sector prior to agreement being sought from Skills Ministers on the final version in early-mid 2024. It is anticipated that the finalised Standards will be released in mid-2024.

The outcomes of the pilot will also inform further testing and the development of updated guidance materials and regulatory policies, practices and tools. A significant body of work will be undertaken to enable the revised Standards to take effect from January 2025 and support the sector to transition to the revised Standards.

Early changes to the Standards for RTOs

In August 2023, Skills Ministers agreed to progress a suite of proposed early changes to the current Standards for RTOs 2015, to be brought forward ahead of the broader revisions to provide more immediate benefits to the sector. Further information about these changes is available at the page Early Changes to the Current Standards for RTOs.

Blueprint for the VET Workforce

Supply and retention issues are a significant concern facing the vocational education and training (VET) workforce, with RTOs under increasing pressure to attract and retain a skilled workforce.

The Australian Government, in collaboration with states and territories, is developing a VET Workforce Blueprint (the Blueprint) to support, grow and sustain the VET workforce. The Blueprint will identify actions for workforce attraction, retention, development, and career progression.

Find out more about the development of the Blueprint (Blueprint Scope)

A VET Workforce Blueprint Steering Group (the Steering Group) has been established to guide the development of the Blueprint. The Steering Group includes representation from the Australian Government, states and territories, VET peak bodies, VET sector stakeholders, employer peak bodies and unions.

You can find out more about the Steering Group through the following resources:

Steering group membership list

Terms of Reference

Opportunities to engage on the Blueprint

We are seeking stakeholder contributions through a public submission process and a survey of those who have recently left the VET workforce. Your responses will help to inform development of the Blueprint.

Submission process - Open now until AEDT 11 pm 26 March 2024

A submission process is now open to seek your feedback on:

  • how to support, grow and sustain the VET workforce
  • ideas about actions to address identified barriers, and
  • how any potential actions can be implemented.

Your feedback and insights will contribute to the development of the Blueprint.

To support your response, a Consultation Paper - Developing a blueprint for the VET workforce (Consultation Paper) - provides background and identifies some of the challenges and potential action areas for consideration.

Participate in the submission process

Download the Consultation Paper

If you are unable to access the online submission form, a written response to the questions in the Consultation Paper can be emailed to VETWorkforce@dewr.gov.au.

Survey - Open now until AEDT 11 pm 26 March 2024

If you have left the VET workforce in the last five years, we encourage you to complete this survey. The survey is designed to capture your experiences and will inform potential actions to support the attraction, retention and development of the VET workforce.

Participate in the survey