General FAQ and Information Surrounding RTO CoursesPosted on
- What are the most important factors to consider when selecting a RTO?
How honourable they are and their approach to adult learning. It is imperative that you check the RTO is up to date with their delivery methods of experiential learning and that they are practicing in a range of settings. Ensure you ask for sufficient evidence from the RTO that they are providing the full extent of their services. Ask yourself honestly what type of learning offering you require and be certain that particular RTO offers this type of learning. Research their reputation, feedback and comments. Ask around, see if you can get an RTO that is referred to you by someone you trust. It is very important that you check they have a clean bill of health for compliance and auditing, this will assert their credibility to you. Finally, research what their trainers are like and if they have current industry knowledge, skills and experience.
- Is it a common occurrence for RTOs to have hidden course costs?
Due to consumer law you should be able to find out the costs for everything included in the course. Many RTOs do have costs tucked away so it is important to hunt and ask the right questions, but all VET-FEE Help RTOs must put their course offerings and maximum course costs on the MySkills website (https://www.myskills.gov.au/). Be aware that this does not have to include admin costs and extra exam fees if the exams do not relate directly to the course. Something to be mindful of are the resit costs of exams and how many times you can take a test or unit before you are required to pay for a resit. Ask one simple question; what costs are involved in doing this course in all circumstances? E.g. What if I fail a unit, what if I want a reprint of results etc.
- Do RTOs all offer the same payment options or does each college offer different payment options?
Unfortunately they do not and many payment options have been designed by some RTOs to confuse you. A key indication is to stick with the ones that explain in full and very clearly what you are agreeing to. Always remember that the payment options may be something that will help you decide their suitability for your needs.
- Which payment option is the most practical or is it different for each individual?
It is individual choice at that particular time. You need to remember that your financial circumstances do change over time, therefore you should not base this decision on that particular moment. Remember to think of it that you are buying a product like any other and will have to pay according to the agreed pricing contract and terms and conditions.
- Are RTOs allowed to take my payment without checking I meet the minimum requirements for the course? If yes, how do I know an RTO is safe to enrol with?
No they cannot enrol you without checking that you have met all entry requirements of the course as shown on training.go.au and their own entry requirements that must be posted on their website, which is inclusive of all requirements detailed in any of their marketing materials.
- Will there be a difference in my skillset if I am choosing between physical or virtual classes?
There should be no difference in your skillset as it is up to the college and the industry skills experts to define and design the delivery and assessment method that shows competency. If the unit can be done online and you can show that you meet all requirements online and they have the documents/systems to prove that to the authorities then there is no issue. Also bear in mind that some course cannot be delivered and assessed purely online, as they have a high degree of practical application. Unless governed regulators can use a suitable alternative simulation method you will need to attend a physical class.
- Is there anything in particular I should know when considering an RTO that offers online courses?
Ask yourself the following questions and most importantly be honest with yourself:
- You must consider the level of support you will get
- If you are able to regularly access a computer
- If your computer will meet the minimum requirements for the study you will complete in the course
- Does online study excite and enthuse you?
- Do you think you will have the discipline to complete an online course
- Do you prefer experience and peer interaction to learn?
- How do I find out if my qualification will be Nationally Recognised?
If you would like to find out if your qualifications will be Nationally Recognised you can search the course code or title on the National Register of courses, under the search tab. http://training.gov.au/Home/Tga Alternatively, student services/RTO call centre operators should be able to answer this question if you contact them.
- Does every RTO offer the same student support?
No, not at all RTOs offer the same student support. Research what you want and what the RTOs offer BEFORE you enrol. If you don’t get what you were promised by an RTO you need to raise this issue with them as early as possible.
- What indications should I look for to find the right student support for me?
Firstly, consider what your learning style is and be sure it is what you personally feel you respond best to.
- If you like listening- you need someone on the phone/tutorials/webinars/group study/peer support/face to face/skype etc. to get that verbal interaction
- If you’re a reader- look for those who share hard copy or online resources, communicate via email and offer you blogs etc.
- If you’re a doer- you are looking for face-to-face, practical application, so classes, face-to-face tutorials, or even practice activities that you can do yourself.
- Will I get a breakdown of costs for the training with the RTO?
According to all the regulations you must be provided all in formation to make a fully informed choice. Make certain you are checking for hidden costs and the RTO’s rules on what to pay and when and if you will incur any penalties if you can’t pay. We advise you check these BEFORE enrolling with any RTO.
- Is the policy the same with every RTO if I need to reduce my study time or put my study on hold for circumstantial reasons?
The policy is dependant on your supplier. Each RTO is individual with the course, the payment model and the Terms and Conditions. Again, this is something we advise you check BEFORE you enrol.
- If not, how do I find out this information?
Ask and ask again! You may be directed to sites and pages to review, but if you are still not clear ask the RTO again. Ensure you ask them questions until you are happy with what you hear. Please remember colleges are bound by consumer law and must share all information with you, but obviously not all people what to know every tiny detail so sometimes the details are just available on their webpages or in marketing information. Take a good read around, until you are completely satisfied. Keep in mind that once you have signed the enrolment form you are in fact locked into a commercial agreement and will carry responsibilities to yourself, the college and possibly even the government if you have signed up for government funding or loans.
- Are RTOs required to tell me if the course is the right one for me to do for the licence I intend to apply for?
They must tell you the outcome of the course, as the course is designed. However they cannot promise you an outcome. If it is aligned to a licenced outcome, they will tell you that. However some courses can be run using the same exams and learning but do not have a licenced outcome. For example the Diploma of Aviation shares the learning and some tests with CASA, but CASA issues the licence not the RTO. Again we recommend checking the training.gov.au course page to look for licenced outcomes.
- How do I find out what jobs I may be able to get from this training?
The RTO may be able to give you some ideas or you can take a look at the course information on training.gov.au. Also, always do a decent amount of research. Any good RTO will help you do this, but won’t be able to do it for you. Remembering that signing up for a course is no guarantee of graduation or employment in that dream job. It is your responsibility to finish the course and place yourself in your dream job. In some cases, the training is officially linked to a job outcome, however you will be told of this and have in writing from the college.
- Are all RTO’s required to refund me in the same manner?
They will refund according to their refund policy which, by requirement must be available on their website or in another format for you to view at all times for the duration of your course. Be sure to read this BEFORE you enrol.
- How will I know if there are resources I have to provide myself?
The RTO must provide this information to you. It will usually be featured on their web pages for that course and through training resource guides provided by the RTO. Make sure that you read these guidelines and ensure ongoing access to the required items BEFORE you enrol
- Should I be concerned about an RTO’s compliance rate? If so, how do I find this out?
Yes, yes and yes. RTOs that have State Funding or in some cases Federal Funding must put a copy of their latest audit report on their website or make it available to you at any time. Be wary that it is the correct one for that RTO and is not from a previous year. If it is then ask what they do internally to ensure compliance or you can call ASQA (1300 701 801) to check if there are currently any complaints outstanding against them. Understand though that all enquiries to ASQA regarding an RTOs activities are held on file, so be sure to ask just about the current issues to ensure you understand how they operate today, not four years ago. Fee for Service RTO’s are not required to make their audit report available. Remember an RTO can be good and turn bad, or be bad and improve – so give them a fair go.