VET Blog

Next steps in VET reform for Victoria – spin squeezing

By | Reform, Vocational Education and Training | No Comments

Spinning girlThe next steps in in vocational training reform, relating specifically to the state’s 14 TAFE institutes and four dual-sector universities have been announced.  19 recommendations were outlined in TAFE Reform Panel’s final report: A Strong and Sustainable Victorian TAFE sector.

Grappling with changes in the economy and identifying the demand for skills into the future, workforce capability needs and learner’s expectations have major implications for Victorian TAFE Institute’s and Registered Training Organisations. Read More

Implementing Apprenticeships, Industry Partnerships and TVET in Maldives

By | TVET International, Vocational Education and Training | 3 Comments

Implementing a National Apprenticeship Framework, strengthening industry and institute linkages, working models of partnerships, youth mentoring, workforce planning and development were all on the agenda for 2 day workshops with the government and stakeholders in Maldives and Bhutan.

STEP program

QUT and Workforce BluePrint

At the invitation of Nelson Salangsang, Manager-International Projects, Office of Commercial Services, Queensland University of Technology, Wendy Perry, Head Workforce Planner, Workforce BluePrint spent a week in Male, Maldives and then in Thimphu, Bhutan working with their respective governments. Read More

Skills for All Funded Training List – Views on the Consultation Survey

By | Funding, Vocational Education and Training | 5 Comments

Note: this blog post is quite long (and so is the survey), the headings should help you get to the bits you are interested in, the post mirrors the survey and I’ve included my responses representing WPAA and Workforce BluePrint and based upon our practical experience.

Please let me know what you think, do you agree, disagree or have you got an entirely different perspective?

On the back of the South Australian State Government 2012-13 Mid-Year Budget Review outlining major employment, training and skills savings,consultation about the composition of Skills for All Funded Training List in Feb 2013 is underway from 19 December 2012 to 21 January 2013.

The main activity for the consultation is by completing the Funded Training List Consultation Survey but first you must read the proposed changes to Funded Training document and the Proposed changes to Skills for All based on demand? blog post.

Starting the survey

Weird is one way to describe the survey, there isn’t an intro to it at all or an indication as to how many questions there are or what will actually happen with the information you provide.

Skilled Trade WorkersTo start with you are asked to enter your organisation’s details including name and addresses plus type of organisation which I would have though needed a drop down box to choose a category so data could be analysed from different perspectives.  Contact officer details come next but there’s no statement about what will happen with your contact details, is this for follow up or further communication? Read More

The long awaited announcement from New South Wales – an open VET market from 2014

By | Funding, Reform, Vocational Education and Training | 2 Comments

It’s been a long time coming with Adrian Piccoli MP, Deputy Leader of The Nationals NSW and Minister for Education announcing New South Wales Smart and Skilled, reform of the VET system – read the media release.

NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli: “We’ve had the advantage of seeing how things went in Victoria and we’ve learnt lessons from that.” Source: The Daily Telegraph.



From 2014 Smart and Skilled will deliver:

  • an entitlement for entry level training up to and including Certificate III
  • support for higher level qualifications
  • informed choice with improved quality measures
  • recognition of the role and function of TAFE NSW as the public provider
  • greater support for regions and equity groups
  • better information for consumers.





In summary this means: Read More

Highlights and controversy from the ACPET 2012 National Conference

By | Funding, Reform, Vocational Education and Training | No Comments

The Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET) held their National Conference in Sydney on 30-31 August 2012 with some of the highlights captured in these tweets:

327 new RTO applications in the last financial year to ASQA with 4900 current RTOs, what number is ideal?

Senator Lee Rhiannon takes questions from a room full of private and enterprise RTOs with a platform that publicly funded VET = TAFE

 @ACPET_national Congrats to winners of the ACPET Awards for Excellence – a great night & great year ahead for best private providers 

As a seasoned conference presenter and attendee I was really impressed with this year’s line-up.  Day 1 included presentations from Michael Pascoe, Phillip Bullock, Chair of the new Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency on the National Workforce Development Strategy and Dave Remer on social media – his hot tip was to upgrade to LinkedIn Premium (I’ve had this level of service for a while now and it does make a big difference) and to view social media as the ultimate CRM.

Interesting models and case studies were presented by Rod Cooke, CEO, Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council and Bruce Callaghan, Managing Director, BCA National Training Group who struck me as a real gentleman.

George Megalogenis, Political Commentator, was great to listen to, with @sussanley tweeting @ACPET @GMegalogenis good point about politicians thinking like journalists and vice versa – ensuing defensive debate not good.

The welcome reception at the Italian Village, The Rocks was an excellent opportunity to catch up with friends and meet lots of new people – ACPET is always great for networking.

ACPET National Conference

Did I meet you at the ACPET National Conference?

Day 2 started with an address by Senator, the Hon Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research identifying areas for further VET reform such as industry engagement, skills development across the AQF including more degree qualified people, apprenticeship system change to suit modern jobs and all with an overarching theme of ramping up VET reform (and perhaps we may think or feel things are changing quickly now because we haven’t actually experienced true reform, more tweaking around the edges of the system to date?).  Now for the controversy…

Read More

What’s wrong with Training Packages – What is wrong with Training Packages?

By | Reform, Research, Vocational Education and Training | 2 Comments

It’s all about emphasis – statement or question?

Training Packages are the bed rock of the Australian Vocational Education (VET) and Training system.  OECD’s Skills Strategy asserts that, “Skills have become the global currency of 21st century economies”.

If you don’t know what they are, Training Packages specify the skills and knowledge required to perform effectively in the workplace”.

Debate around a new system goes back over the past 10 years, starting 5 years after they were introduced in 1997.  If you were in the VET sector then, do you remember the massive change we all went through?  I remember teaching and assessing from the first Admin Training Package taking over from the national NOS curriculum!

Recent calls to ‘scrap Training Packages’ with a paper ‘Enrolments in VET Training Packages by Industry Skills Council 2002-10’ highlighting, “within each training package many qualifications have a very small or no student load, and a few qualifications have a relatively high student load,” are far too dramatized.

Industry bodies hit back over changes to training packages, at the suggestion of, “replacing training packages with a system where colleges develop their own qualifications and submit them for national accreditation”.

Discussion in the Australian VET Leaders LinkedIn group, attracted 58 comments in the space of a few days just on this article alone.

I think the purpose of Training Packages is confused.  Some see training packages as outcomes for qualifications and skills sets and others see them as skills for job roles and work.  Undertaking workforce planning and development, and building competency frameworks bring this difference to the fore.

When developing a skills profile for a job role, drawing upon units of competency from all training packages (which is a huge database and great asset) demonstrates that most job roles require 30-50 competencies, which is usually 2-3 qualifications worth.  For highly technical job roles and leadership roles, 50-80 competencies is commonplace.

The format for a job skills profile of 1. core competencies (employability/foundation skills), 2. functional competencies (skills required by many job roles such as leadership, management, IT and administration) and then 3. job specific skills work in an enterprise, industry or regional context.

Competencies for 1 job role are across multiple Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) levels, say Certificate III – Advanced Diploma, and usually from 2-3 different Training Packages, that could be managed by multiple ISC’s.

So, if you take a pick and mix approach to skills, matching competencies to the job role or the person, there are many options and good coverage of types of skills contrasted with matching a qualification to a job role or a person.

Where streamlining most needs to occur, across the whole training package system is in the core or common skills.  Using an online tool, that holds all national training packages for skills profiling, searches on ‘communicate’ and ‘team’ return results of 70+ and 120+ units of competency.  Whilst the levels of these units may be different it still seems significantly way more competencies for the same skills.

Taking the next layer in a job profile, functional competencies, again significant streamlining in leadership, management and occupational health and safety as examples would improve usability by enterprises, industries and regions.

The job specific component of a job skills profile has been over emphasised and it’s really these technical skills along which training package lines are drawn.  In reality, the job specific skills are a much smaller proportion of the overall profile if the core and functional skills have been designed appropriately.

Training Packages are changing, structured around 4 themes: Competency and Knowledge, Flexibility, Streamlining, and Foundation Skills.

The program of reform has been underway since mid 2009 and should be finished by mid 2014 and back in January 2011, the National Quality Council endorsed a new design model.

A number of years ago Wendy Perry and Associates Pty Ltd was contracted to review competencies from a training package.  The approach taken included identifying all the relevant job roles (around 30), building competency based skills profiles/job descriptions using Skillsbook and drawing in units of competency that fitted the role from across the training package database.  Instead of training package consultations, skills benchmarking workshops validated the competency based job skills profiles with industry based job descriptions identifying areas in common as well as gaps.  As a value add to the benchmarking activity, discussion went broader than looking at units of competency documentation, sharing insights on workforce development issues.  This process helped us to identify what to keep, delete and add, what was core to all job roles and electives that tailored the core skills.

The Industry Skills Councils (ISC’s) are custodians of Training Packages, with each council producing a Continuous Improvement Plan which outlines the changes to be made to the endorsed components of Training Packages in order to meet the existing and emerging skill needs of industry.  Service Skills Australia uses a process for continuous improvement that follows project scoping, drafting, consultation and feedback, feedback analysis, validation, quality check, submission for endorsement, endorsement, implementation, continuous improvement.

Information on Training Packages – policy and guidelines  provides a technical understanding of terms, language and development processes.

Written by Wendy Perry, Managing Director, Wendy Perry and Associates Pty Ltd, Head Workforce Planner, Workforce BluePrint.

Australian Apprenticeships – Changes to Incentives – Payroll Tax, Workcover

By | Funding, Reform, Vocational Education and Training | One Comment

Australian Apprenticeships – Changes to Incentives – Payroll Tax, Workcover

The Apprenticeships for the 21st Century Expert Panel recommended that the Australian Government reform the Australian Apprenticeships system, including through improved targeting of resources under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program (AAIP).

The Australian Government’s response supports the recommendation and agreed that incentives can be better targeted to meet Australia’s skills needs. Reforms announced in the 2012 Budget, respond to this recommendation and build on previously announced reforms to the Australian Apprenticeships system, including investment in mentoring, reform of support services and national harmonisation.

The following changes to the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program will be implemented from 1 July 2012:

  • changes to the standard employer incentives for employers of existing workers undertaking an Australian Apprenticeship (at the Certificate III level and above) in an occupation not listed on the *National Skills Needs List. The following changes apply for this cohort:
    • removal of the standard commencement payment
    • increased standard completion payment (from $2,500 to $3,000)
    • movement of the timing of payment of the standard commencement payment from being paid at three months after commencement to six months after commencement.

Also announced as part of the 2012-2013 Budget:

  • development of a new, streamlined, e-business enabled Australian Apprenticeships payment and tracking system
  • the Training Support Post Apprenticeship initiative that will provide $19.5 million over four years to support up to 3,500 people who have recently completed their trade training and are seeking to establish a new business or to operate as a sub-contractor.  This initiative will help sub?contractors and new business operators meet business and employment regulations, and develop sound financial and business plans.

Details of all the incentives on offer are available here:

Why the change?  Aside from balancing the budget it’s all about [low] completion with information on rates available here:

Apprenticeship and Traineeship annual 2010:

Completion and attrition rate for apprentices and trainees:

Overview of how completion rates are calculated:

Payroll Tax and Workcover – Guide to Legislation in each State/Territory

Note: Thanks to for compiling the information on Payroll Tax and Workcover.  Subscribe to their online service for the latest on funding opportunities.

Australian Capital Territory

Under the Payroll Tax Act 1987, a Payroll Tax exemption is the only incentive offered in the ACT for wages paid or payable. Details on all Payroll Tax exemptions can be found on the ACT Revenue Office Website

Payroll tax compliance including claiming of apprentices:


New South Wales

Employing an apprentice:

Payroll tax arrangements for apprentices and trainees;

Workcover incentives:

Current legislation:

Northern Territory

Payroll tax changes Budget 2012-2013:



Payroll tax changes:

Apprentice and trainee exemptions:

Workcover legislation:

South Australia

Revenue SA has all the information on payroll tax in SA:

This document explains payroll tax and how calculations are made in regard to gross wages when businesses employ an apprentice.

Workcover changes:


Payroll tax information: Tax

Employers guide to payroll tax:$File/PRT0255.pdf



Refocused VET:

Changes to payroll tax:

Workcover – Changes to premiums from 1 July, 2012

Western Australia

Payroll tax changes Budget 2012 – 2013:


Note: Applications are currently being invited from private Registered Training Organisations to delivery traineeship and apprenticeship training.

Registered Training Organisation?  Here’s information on User Choice Funding.

Australian Apprenticeships Reform – Background

On Tuesday 6 December 2011, Senator Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations outlined the Australian Government’s intentions for reform of Australian Apprenticeships.

The seven member Expert Panel, chaired by Mr Jim McDowell included a Skills Australia board member and individuals from industry, unions and academia. The Expert Panel was appointed by the Australian Government in July 2010, to provide advice on reform options for the Australian Apprenticeships system. The Expert Panel presented its final report to the Australian Government.

The report was publicly released on 21 February 2011.

Expert Panels Report

Page 2 and 3 has actions points. Recommendations are on page 18.

The Australian Government sought submissions from interested parties on future reform options for the Australian Apprenticeships system, following the release of the Expert Panel report. This was an opportunity for stakeholders and members of the community who have considered the report to provide their feedback and suggestions. Submissions are now closed.

  • Submissions received in response to the Expert Panel report

The Government also consulted with stakeholders to consider additional opportunities to align the Australian Apprenticeships system with the needs of the economy, particularly in relation to support services, government financial support and simplifying the system. A discussion paper was released to support consultations:

  • Australian Apprenticeships Reform Discussion Paper (PDF 820KB | RTF 437KB)

In line with the shared responsibility theme, the consultations focused on getting input from Australian industry and employers more broadly, key industry sectors, state and territory Governments and those organisations which are involved with the delivery of Australian Apprenticeships.

User Choice – a national initiative

By | Funding, Vocational Education and Training | 2 Comments

From a recent round of national workshops on Applying for Funding and Grants a knowledge gap on information for User Choice funding and policies was identified.  Thanks to for compiling this information including funding arrangements for all states and territories.

User Choice is a national policy to make Vocational Education and Training (VET) more responsive to the needs of industry and employers.

User Choice policy works in conjunction with the Australian Apprenticeships – system enabling employers and apprentices/trainees to:

  • choose an RTO to best provide them with training services; and
  • negotiate key aspects of training, such as where, how, and when it is provided.

User choice funding subsidises the cost of an apprenticeship in identified skills shortage areas for the employer.

How User Choice operates

User Choice is applied differently in each state and territory, according to regional and industry training needs. However, in most states, arrangements are changing.

Generally, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) compete for User Choice funding, either through direct funding applications or an electronic tender or bidding process.

State and territory training authorities (STAs) decide which Australian Apprenticeships are eligible for User Choice funding. The level of funding and how and when funds are allocated vary according to:

  • state or territory strategic initiatives; and
  • the changing demand for training

Applying for funding

RTOs can only tender for funding for training they are registered to deliver.  When applying for User Choice funding, RTOs will be asked to provide the following information:

  • scope of registration – the vocations and related qualifications to be offered
  • state and national codes for all qualifications · the proposed numbers of students for off and on-the-job
  • the proposed number of off-the-job hours to be delivered during the application year.

An RTO can apply for User Choice funds in a state or territory other than the one they are registered in if they delivering training in that state or territory. They can only apply for funding for training they are registered to deliver.

Enterprise RTOs

In some states and territories, enterprise RTOs (whose core business is not training) are funded differently to RTOs whose core business is training. In South Australia, for example, enterprise RTOs are funded at 50% of User Choice funding rates for non-enterprise RTOs.

Australian Capital Territory   All links and forms for User Choice are available from this link

New South Wales

In NSW, User Choice operates for all new entrant traineeships and selected apprenticeships in specific geographic regions.

Funding of registered training organisations for training delivered under User Choice is administered through the NSW Apprenticeship and Traineeship Training Program.

Apprenticeships delivered by TAFE NSW are outside the User Choice arrangements.

The Approved Providers List (APL) is one of the main mechanisms used to manage a number of the programs offered under the NSW Training Market. Access a brochure to find out more about the APL and how to become an approved provider.

Fact Sheets and Brochures

Frequently asked questions

What is funded

Providers are approved through a tender process.

Tenders are usually invited in September or October of the last year of the two year contract period. The current Approved Providers List Contract expires in December 2010. The call for tenders for the 2011-2012 Approved Providers List was planned for September/October 2010. The tender period is open for approximately four weeks.


A single set price is paid per apprenticeship or traineeship qualification irrespective of the mode of delivery.

In addition to the set price for apprenticeship or traineeship training, financial incentives in the form of higher price weightings are available to the following priority groups:

  • apprentices or trainees employed in a small businesses
  • apprentices or trainees in regional and rural locations
  • apprentices or trainees undertaking apprenticeships or traineeships with high equipment costs
  • indigenous people or people with a disability

Payment is prompted by the electronic lodgement of participant and training activity data in the format specified in the APL Contract.


Some critical documents you need to read:

  • A complete guide to apprenticeships and traineeships in NSW – explains the regulatory framework of the apprenticeship and      traineeship system and provides information on participants’ roles, responsibilities and funding.
  • The 2011-2012 Approved Providers List (APL) Contract – details eligibility, delivery requirements and compliance, financial and legal issues, and includes attachments including the ATTP requirements and ATTP price rates.
  • NSW Vocational Training Orders, Commissioner Information Bulletins and qualification documents – these three documents form a package of official information on individual or related apprenticeships or traineeships which includes job and qualification descriptions, competencies, training resources, industrial relations contacts etc.


For assistance with the Approved Providers List and contractual conditions in NSW: Phone 02 9266 8008, Fax 02 9264 5501. Email  For information on the NSW apprenticeship and training system contact: Phone 13 28 11 .

Northern Territory

The User Choice Program provides funding for the delivery of structured training and assessment for full-time, part-time and school-based apprentices and trainees in the Northern Territory. Qualifications that are approved for delivery as apprenticeships and traineeships in the NT are eligible for funding. Funding is awarded through the use of Workforce NT, community consultations and NT Government priorities.

The choice of RTOs may be limited in some cases, such as where there are small numbers (a thin market), but the objectives are the same. Each state and territory sets its own policies regarding User Choice and the amount of funds RTOs receive for providing structured training to each apprentice or trainee.

What is funded

Applications are invited from RTOs for the User Choice Program to deliver training services to apprentices and trainees (including school based) in the Northern Territory in 2012.

2012 Applications for User Choice funding have now closed.

  • 2012 application information (pdf 132 kb)
  • NT occupational shortage list
  • 2012 Annual Hours Curriculum (AHC) rates (pdf 411 kb)


RTOs wishing to provide structured training for apprentices and trainees are required to have a presence in the NT and to be familiar with:

  • NT Apprenticeships and Traineeships Policy (pdf 85 kb)
  • NT User Choice Policy (pdf 73 kb)
  • NT School-Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships Policy (pdf 107 kb)
  • NT School-Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships Policy – Update (pdf 18 kb)
  • NT Apprenticeships and Traineeships Travel and Accommodation Policy (pdf 59 kb)
  • Apprentice and Trainee Travel and Accommodation Subsidy Scheme Policy (pdf 30 kb)

Subsidies (for travel and accommodation) are available  to apprentices and trainees who are required to travel for training blocks.

In general the Department of Business and Employment (DBE) funds:

  • Certificate II and III qualifications for new employees
  • Certificate IV or Diploma only if it is entry level to employment or a progression from a lower level qualification
  • one progression, for example from Certificate II to III or Certificate III to IV
  • existing workers in accordance with the User Choice Funding Program Policy.

RTOs that are successful in applying for User Choice funding must enter into a funding contract (known as a Resource Agreement) with DBE.


User Choice Program Manager, Department of Business and Employment, GPO Box 2391, Darwin NT 0801, t: (08) 8901 1323?, e:


The Queensland User Choice program enables apprentices, trainees and their employers to select a preferred Registered Training Organisation (RTO) from a list of Pre-qualified Suppliers for the delivery of accredited training to meet their specific needs.

Pre-qualified Suppliers can claim payment from the Department of Education and Training for training delivered to eligible apprentices and trainees.

2010 – 2015 Documents
The above page provides comprehensive information on User Choice – Getting started under the Pre-Qualified supplier, getting started package document.  Further information on policies and documentation relating to the User Choice 2010 – 2015 program is also available.

2010 – 2015 Program

The User Choice 2010 – 2015 program aims to provide funding aligned to the skill needs of industry and respond to changing government priorities in a timely manner.

A number of key principles underpin the program, including, ensuring that the program is transparent, flexible, responsive, consistently applied and easily understood.

The three key considerations of the program are the government’s funding priorities, the price paid for qualifications and the purchasing strategy used to obtain training and assessment services.

To deliver publicly-funded training and assessment services to apprentices and trainees, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) must apply for, and be approved by the Department as, Pre-qualified Suppliers.

What is funded

The funding priorities under the User Choice 2010 – 2015 program will be:

  1. Priority One (100 per cent subsidised) – Priority One is those qualifications which lead to occupations identified as critical priorities as identified in the Queensland Skill Shortage List. All School-based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (in all qualifications declared as an Apprenticeship or Traineeship) and participants from priority population groups, excluding Priority Four and Unfunded qualifications, will be funded as Priority One.
  2. Priority Two (75 per cent subsidised) – Priority Two is those qualifications which lead to occupations not on the Queensland Skill Shortage List but are identified as high priorities which demonstrate a high level of occupational links with skills development, and are required to meet legislative requirements related to skills.
  3. Priority Three (50 per cent subsidised) – Priority Three is those qualifications which lead to occupations not on the Queensland Skill Shortage List but are identified as medium priorities which demonstrate a lower level of occupational links, and are not required to meet legislative requirements related to skills.
  4. Priority Four (25 per cent subsidised) – Priority Four is those qualifications which lead to non-entry level occupations and provide a key workforce development opportunity for existing workers and industry.  These qualifications will be funded under User Choice arrangements as a component of the Productivity Places Program, a joint Commonwealth and Queensland Government initiative.
  5. Unfunded – Unfunded qualifications are those which lead to occupations not on the Queensland Skill Shortage List and which are not a funding priority. This includes those qualifications which are not entry level qualifications identified by industry.

These funding priorities align with the skill outcomes required by industry.

The Queensland skill shortage list is compiled from national and state data, together with industry input, and is reviewed annually with updates throughout the year. Qualifications classified as a Priority One are those addressing skill shortages. The Queensland priorities are detailed in the User Choice 2010 – 2015 Qualification and price list.

Priority population groups are those declared on the national Apprenticeship/Traineeship Contract, such as individuals of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin, individuals from a non-English speaking background and individuals with a disability, impairment or long-term condition.


User Choice 2011 – 2012 qualification and price list (XLS, 100KB) updated 06/02/2012
User Choice 2011 – 2012 restricted qualifications price list (XLS, 33KB) updated 06/02/2012
User Choice localities and location loadings (XLS, 784KB) updated 14/09/2011


Information regarding qualifications funded under the User Choice 2010 – 2015 program is available at User Choice 2010 – 2015 Qualification and price list.

User Choice 2010 – 2015 policies are available at the User Choice 2010 – 2015 documents page.


VET Investment, Department of Education and Training, PO Box 15033, CITY EAST QLD 4002, Email:, Phone: (07) 3227 6271, Facsimilie: (07) 3229 3470

User Choice contract management enquiries:

VET Contract Management and Performance, Department of Education and Training, Email:, Facsimile: (07) 3229 3470

South Australia

Skills for All will replace the User Choice system during 2012, but existing User Choice Funding Agreements will continue to be met until they expire on 30 June 2012.

With the launch of Skills for All in 2012, User Choice is being phased out and no new User Choice Funding Agreements are being offered.

Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) with existing User Choice Funding Agreements in South Australia will continue with their User Choice claim arrangements using the Apprenticeship Traineeship Information System (ATIS).

What is funded – 2011 User Choice Policy at a glance (PDF)

Pricing – SA User Choice Unit Price List (PDF)

Documents – User Choice Funding Agreement 2011 (PDF)

Apprenticeship Traineeship Information System

Apprenticeship Traineeship Information System (ATIS) is the online system that automates processes related to User Choice arrangements. It will remain active for training providers with existing User Choice Funding Agreements.

ATIS services include:

•User Choice claims (training providers who have a current User Choice Funding Agreement can make online claims for on-job and off-job delivery)

•User Choice Acquittal (training providers can complete and submit their User Choice Acquittal report online)

•online access to view contracts of training by both training providers and Australian Apprenticeship Centres (AACs)

• scope of registration (RTOs can view their scope of registration and qualifications).

To obtain access to ATIS each user must complete an ATIS Login Application Form and agree to the ATIS User Agreement. For new user access, download the ATIS login request form (PDF) and the ATIS User Agreement (PDF)

Contacts  For more information, call TAS on 1800 673 097 and ask to speak to a User Choice Officer.


Skills Tasmania reserves the right to negotiate the subsidy amount for RTOs wishing to train large numbers (20 or more) of apprentices or trainees for individual enterprises. This includes enterprise-based RTOs. (An enterprise based RTO is defined as an RTO which is wholly owned by a trading enterprise and whose sole purpose is to deliver training to the employees of that enterprise). In these cases enquiries should be directed by email to:

Carolyn Nichols, Manager Strategic Directions (Learners), Skills Tasmania, Ph: (03) 6233 4642, email:

2012 Application

RTOs may apply to deliver apprenticeships and traineeships in Tasmania year round, if they have appropriate scope, by completing the following User Choice Application and 2012 – 2014 Skills Tasmania Funding Agreement.

Step 1 – 2012 – 2014 Skills Tasmania Funding Agreement

All Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) are required to enter into a 2012 – 2014 Skills Tasmania Funding Agreement with Skills Tasmania when obtaining a subsidy for training with Skills Tasmania in 2012.  It applies to all programs (except Adult Literacy Programs) and is for the delivery of training program commencements between 1 January and 31 December 2014 for individual programs entered into annually.

Step 2 – User Choice Application [Word 539KB]

RTOs can apply for User Choice funding anytime throughout a calendar year provided the qualifications that are being applied for are on their Scope of Registration at the time of applying.

Where an RTO wishes to deliver training to a single enterprise for 20 or more apprentices or trainees in the one qualification, they must request prior approval before lodging a User Choice application.

Skills Tasmania will subsidise training for delivery in Tasmania only, unless there are no RTOs who deliver a particular qualification in the state, in this case, User Choice will be paid for the closest RTO.

Only the approved application form listed is accepted. Agreements will only apply to commencements after the date of issue and will not be issued retrospectively.

What is funded

Skills Tasmania has changed the way in which agreements are issued to registered training organisations (RTOs).  The changes to the issuing of an Agreement are as follows:

  • An Agreement, known as the “2012-2014 Skills Tasmania Agreement” is for a period of three (3) years.
  • Every RTO is required to enter into an Agreement with Skills Tasmania if they wish to apply for any subsidised programs managed by Skills Tasmania for the period 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2014.
  • An Agreement can be entered into at any time within the three year period, but must be in place before submitting an application for any of the programs managed by Skills Tasmania.
  • Only one Agreement per RTO is required, i.e. per RTO Registration Number.
  • RTOs must have a signed Agreement in place before being given Purchasing Contract IDs for payment purposes.
  • There is no need to enter into an Agreement each an application is submitted.


Application forms are available for individual training programs.  If successful, the application will form what is referred to in the Agreement as Part 3 “Schedule of Purchased Programs”.  If an application is successful details relating to claims for payment will be given to a RTO.

Each time an application is submitted for any of the programs RTOs will be required to agree to the terms of the Agreement already entered into and that the organisation is bound by the 2012-2014 Skills Tasmania Agreement.

By signing the 2012-2014 Funding Agreement, RTOs are in no way guaranteed of program subsidies within the three year period.

Documents RTOs must still apply for through the individual programs using the specific application forms provided on each of the programs websites which are available at:

  • Funding/Subsides for      Apprenticeships and Traineeships (User Choice)
  • Skills Equip
  • PPP+

Contacts Free call number: 1800 655 846, Email:


All Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), including TAFE Institutes, are required to enter into a Service Agreement with the Victorian Skills Commission (VSC) in order to deliver government subsidised training under Skills for Victoria.

What is funded

2012 Service Agreement Skills for Victoria Program – reference guidelines, documents and Acts for the 2012 Service Agreement valid for students commencing training between 1 January 2012 and 31 December 2012



RTOs that are contracted to deliver Victorian Government subsidised training will be involved in contract compliance audit program to ensure compliance with the conditions under which they are contracted. Information on the audit requirements can be found under Auditing.


TAFE and Training Line, 131 823 or, Skills Victoria Help Hub, 1300 842 754

Apprenticeship Administration Information Line, 1300 722 603 or

Apprenticeship Trade Bonus Hotline, 1300 855 282

Western Australia

The Department is strategically managing the Western Australian apprenticeship and traineeship system to:

  • manage public resources in the State vocational education and training system
  • strategically plan, fund and monitor publicly funded training
  • provide workforce development planning which includes:
    • a whole of Government approach
    • industry and regions
    • the Aboriginal workforce

The Department has released Skilling WA: A workforce development plan for Western Australia.  All information about tenders for training places is now listed on Tenders WA.

Contacts Phone: 08 6551 5000

Wendy Perry and Associates prepares for the low carbon economy

By | Sustainability, Vocational Education and Training | No Comments

Reducing costs, greenhouse gas emissions and energy use has been the result of a strategic commitment by Wendy Perry and Associates Pty Ltd to monitor and reduce consumption over the past four years.

For the 2010-11 year total emissions for vehicle travel, electricity, waste, purchased paper, flights and taxi travel reduced down to 6.18tCO2e – a 34% saving on the previous financial year.

A base year energy and emissions analysis for 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008 identified scope 1, scope 2 and selected scope 3 emissions as totalling 63.9tCO2e with the activity contributing to the majority of the emissions related to business travel.  Since being made aware of the company’s emissions and energy use, 44.84tCO2e was the total emissions for 2008-9 and 21.54 tCO2e for 2009-10.

Sustainability is a strategic priority for the company, reflected in values, behaviours and core competencies.  Emissions savings were made by engaging with our team, utilising readily accessible technology for online meetings and collaboration, reducing interstate travel and the introduction of a policy that recognises who is responsible for business travel.

“A commitment to reducing our emissions has really paid off as we can show a 36% saving from last financial year in our fuel costs and a 41% saving in our travel expenses.  Electricity costs have risen slightly and so in the New Year we are installing solar panels to further reduce electricity and energy consumption.  The option to offset emissions will be included in client proposals and environmentally friendly office supplies will be another change introduced next year”, explains Wendy Perry, Managing Director, Wendy Perry and Associates Pty Ltd.

The company’s commitment to operating as a carbon neutral corporation during the 2010-11 inventory period has meant the unavoidable GHG emissions are offset using carbon offsets registered under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and equate to the equivalent of taking approximately 1.7 passenger vehicles off the road for 12 months.

“Wendy Perry & Associates is a great example of what can be achieved when a company draws focus on GHG’s within the business and across the value chain. A commitment, which when led from senior management and filtered through the organisational culture, ultimately leads to an improvement in operational efficiencies and expenses”, said Matthew Shorten Managing Director of BalanceCarbon, who has been working with the company since 2007.

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National Centre for Vocational Education and Research 2011 Conference, North Coast TAFE, Coffs Harbour

By | Research, Vocational Education and Training | One Comment

I haven’t missed many NCVER conferences over the years and I’m glad that I attended the 20th No Frills Conference in Coffs Harbour this week as it gave me an opportunity to take some time out to think of new initiatives and identify ideas to explore with others.

Hosted by North Coast TAFE, I spent 12-13 July 2011 working with the Institute on building their capability in workforce development which turned out to be a great lead into the conference.

At the welcome reception I met Samantha Connor, Access and Equity Officer from C.Y. O’Connor Institute who I knew via Facebook as well as many Australian VET Leaders from the LinkedIn group I manage – it was great to meet and catch up with people, like a reunion really and being greeted with a hug plus smiles from colleagues is lovely.

The first keynote was Elizabeth McGregor, Institute Director of North Coast TAFE talking from the thoughtful perspective of a user of research, leader, educator on Aiming high …how can research accelerate the shift from inputs to impacts?  Elizabeth answered what does quality VET do? by showing the overarching interconnection of workforce development with circles of individual development, community development and enterprise development all resulting in regional development.  What value do quality providers create? was her next Q and A demonstrated by an overarching ‘skills in use’ concept with circles of workforce participation, social inclusion and productivity resulting in regional competitive advantage.

Introducing a spectrum of moving from inputs through to outputs helped Elizabeth to ask the research community, are we telling our story?, do we need to tell it [as in VET specific/sector]? or has the time passed? (and by that I think she meant, it’s not about us, it’s about our clients stories), and is our research working towards solutions, rather than being a historical account or internally focussed on things that don’t matter as much? {as the plot line of inputs to impacts from our client’s perspective}.  Fresh ideas for research were the message here.

Concurrent sessions for the morning took me from Professional obsolescence or technical currency in VET? With Australian VET leader Regan Harding (TAFENSW – North Coast Institute), to IS Australia taking mainstream VET services to all Australians no matter where they live by good friend Lesley Wemyss from Crestfern working for this Darwin based private provider has introduced an innovative approach to taking industry standard skills training to regional and remote Australia.  A truly impressive model with a modular, mobile campus for construction, mining, energy and resources, transport and logistics, that can be deployed via road train, sea or rail across Australia.  Modules include state of the art industry workshops, accommodation units for trainers and high tech classrooms.  IS Australia are demonstrating that industry skills development in communities is so doable with great individual, community and employment outcomes.

Pecha Kucha is a presentation methodology in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each, and this was the format of the next series of 6 minutes and 40 seconds sessions (glad I was presenting in those and felt for the presenters (they did a great job) on ‘practice’.  Wasn’t sure what to expect and got an eclectic but also related series of presentations on Compassionate leadership practice by Mary Tehan from Ultimacy who presented a Compassionate Leadership model based upon LISTEN and then RESPOND; Completing for success at SWSI with Rosemary Lasaro and Jane Kelly providing practical examples of ways to increase completion rates; Dis/engaged you/th: connections and disconnections between practitioners and youth (as I was typing I just got the significance of the title – clever!)  by Melanie Worrall from the Australian Flexible Learning Framework; and What knowledge, what boundaries, what borders by Anne Bowden from TAFENSW – New England Institute (happy to have been your referee for your NCVER Community of Practice application too).

Taking an evidence based approach to workforce and client demand was my contribution to the conference with a session that demonstrated regional case studies (Kangaroo Island and Clare Valley/Yorke Peninsula) and ways to connect up various data sets and information from the ABS, NCVER (using the Public Atlas of VET and VOCSTATS), DEEWR (particularly labour market and Employment Services Area info), local regional profiles, major projects and local council plans to identify current and future workforce demand.  This coupled together with qualitative and quantitative data from local businesses and industry with a regional skills profile all mapped to units of competency from National Training packages and qualifications identified strengths and development needs – the basis for a regional workforce plan and great intelligence for VET and employment service providers.

Enabling electronic verification of VET learner records presented by the ever positive and passionate (which is exactly what we need!) Allison Miller, a South Australian colleague from the Australian Flexible Learning Framework.  Allison identified emerging work around the ‘how to’ and reminded me of comments by colleague David Morgan from The Work Lab that we need to have a go, try it out and use the experience to inform our approach to all the barriers people put forward about why a central and national learner records system plus electronic verification of records won’t be possible (NB> this is exactly what Australia is heading towards).

The conference dinner at Bonville Golf Resort saw us have drinks and finger food on the lawns overlooking the stunning golf course where conference goers had a chance to win a prize by chipping a golf ball over a couple of mounds, past a sand trap and as close to a hole in one as they could get.  Not being a golfer I passed on the opportunity and it was great to see Berwyn Clayton, Lesley Weymess and Pat Lange give it a go. 

Keynote for the second day was Peter Coolbear, Ako Aotearoa, National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence, New Zealand on Vocational education research in New Zealand: old issues and emerging opportunities from a funder’s perspective.  Peter talked about use-inspired research based projects and the application of Pasteur’s Quadrant

Over skilling and job satisfaction in the Australian labour force, by Kostas Mavromaras from NILS, Flinders University presented interesting figures on the economic value of over skilling or over educating or over skilling + over educating.  Most strikingly was the difference in pay/week via gender with the main message for me being related to skills utilisation, wage expectations and match of skills to job roles.

Industry engagement models: matching expectations of industry and RTOs presented by fellow Australian VET Leader, Rebecca Hall from International Education Resources Group, and Greg McMillan from ProVoc Australia Pty Ltd proved very popular.  Greg presented models from a domestic VET perspective with live examples and Rebecca outlined approaches for international student and partner engagement.  Let’s do the skills and competency map to the models as industry engagement capability is an identified gap (will follow you both up later).

As my flight was at 1.00 pm from Coffs Harbour to Sydney and then home to Adelaide, I missed the afternoon sessions.  Please feel free to post links on info with your comments and parts that you enjoyed and follow me up or join the Australian VET Leaders group.