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It’s a question that you need to asked whenever you are embarking on improving your employment opportunities and knowledge or skills.

It might seem confusing when you are looking at all the training courses that are available to you and a question that is repeatedly asked of us when prospective students make their initial enquiry about training.

So what is the difference?

So basically, what is the difference? How do you choose? What should you look for?

There are two types of training available, Accredited and Professional and the difference between the two are substantial.

What is Nationally Accredited Training?

This is training that will lead to a nationally recognised qualification.
According to the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA): 

“A VET accredited course has been assessed by ASQA as compliant with the Standards for VET Accredited Courses 2012 and the Australian Qualifications Framework 9AQF”

Accreditation is formal confirmation that the course:

  • is nationally recognised
  • meets an established industry, enterprise, educational, legislative or community need
  • provides appropriate competency outcomes and a satisfactory basis for assessment
  • meets national quality assurance requirements
  • is aligned appropriately to the AQF where it leads to a qualification

What is an RTO?

Registered Training Organisations (RTO) offer courses that must meet a set standard prescribed by ASQA and they must continue to meet those prescribed standards to remain compliant.

RTOs are subject to audits and under scrutiny with a government regulated complaints process. They are audited on their training facilities, assessments and quality of trainers and assessors.

This scrutiny has never been more evident than in the current Vocational
Educational and Training (VET) sector.

This overview by ASQA has been reflected in the recent de-registration of many RTOs not meeting the stringent prescribed requirements that have been legislated. It is also a reflection as to just how seriously ASQA is now taking the provision of quality training.

If a course is nationally recognised, the green and red symbol above will be on the website of the training organisation and on your certificate.

The training entity will also have an RTO number that they have been allocated by the Government.

You can also confirm the status of your course or training provider on another website http://training.gov.au

Here is our RTO profile on the My Skills website

Why doesn’t my certificate have this symbol?

If you have a certificate that does not include this symbol, you will have received acknowledgement that you have attended a course that is not under the jurisdiction of ASQA.

It will reflect that you attended a course and is a Recognition of Attendance.

What is Professional Training?

Some industries may recognise these as a credit to professional
development. This may be all you need to satisfy that particular professional body. This is known as Professional Training.

There are many knowledgeable industry specialists who offer training. These specialists may have years of priceless experience and knowledge in their field from which students will learn and benefit. But they are not accountable to anyone legislatively. And therefore, it is buyer beware here.

If you choose Professorial Training

If you choose professional training, the government does not recognise it, employers may not recognise it and it is certainly not a qualification. But provided by a knowledgeable expert, you will increase your knowledge and skills and it may be recognised by your professional organisation.

If you go down this path, check their resume, talk to prior students, ask about mentoring (if any) you will receive when you have finished your course. Get in writing that they will continue to support you post training.

Check Training Qualifications

Check their actual training qualifications. This is important. Why?
As trainers in an RTO we have to remain practicing in the industry in which we train. This means we remain current with changes on the front line.

Trainer must update qualifications

As of 31 st March 2019, all trainers must have the updated qualification of TAE40116 to be a trainer and assessor within an RTO. There should be an expectation that anyone who is passionate about passing on their skills and knowledge in any field also possess this qualification. Thy should know how to structure training courses that are fair and valid. They should have the capacity to make allowances for any difficulties you may have (this is called Reasonable Adjustment).

Why isnt every trainer an RTO?

Why doesn’t everyone become a Registered Training Organisation?
It is not easy to become an RTO. It takes considerable investment of both, time and money. Because of this, many professional trainers have thrown their hands up in the air and simply said “too hard!” or “too expensive”.

I can speak from experience as a small, specialist RTO that did not rely on outside consultants to become registered. It was onerous, but it should be. We need to be held accountable, treat our students with respect and hold ourselves to a high standard.

I believe there is a place for both types of training, but consumers must not be misled. It is illegal for a training entity to call their courses nationally recognised or accredited unless they are an RTO.

Source: https://www.asqa.gov.au/course-accreditation/accreditation-asqa