Release of the ACT Australian Apprenticeships (User Choice) qualification subsidy list 2021-22

Skills Canberra has released the 2021-22 ACT Australian Apprenticeships (User Choice) Qualification Subsidy List (XLSX). Subsidy amounts apply to commencements from 1 September 2021.

Commencements prior to 1 September 2021 remain entitled to the subsidy relevant at the time of their commencement.

Certain subsidies are listed as TBD (to be determined) due to a delay in the updating of relevant Victorian Purchasing Guides. The release of new and updated qualifications and associated subsidies through User Choice will continue to be an ongoing process.

Delivering ACT Government subsidised training

The ACT Government, through Skills Canberra, contracts registered training organisations (RTOs) to deliver subsidised training to eligible students.

RTOs may apply to Skills Canberra to receive funding to deliver nationally accredited training for any of the following ACT Government training initiatives:

  • Australian Apprenticeships (User Choice)
  • Skilled Capital

To receive funding and be listed on the ACT Qualifications Register as a funded provider, the RTO must have a Training Initiative Funding Agreement (Agreement), and comply with the ACT Quality Framework.

The Agreement sets out the terms and conditions under which the ACT Government may make funds available towards the cost of an RTO delivering subsidised training to eligible students. Holding a funding agreement does not however guarantee funding.

Training Initiative Funding Agreement (Agreement)

The initial term of the Agreement is 1 October 2019 to 30 September 2021 with provision to extend for 2 further 12 month terms.

Application Process

Applications for the new Agreement opened on 8 July 2019 and will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis.

The application process has 2 steps:

  1. RTOs must complete and submit an online application form form through the ACT Vocational Education and Training Administrative Records System (AVETARS). An AVETARS user account is not required to access the application.
  2. RTOs are required to undertake a financial viability assessment with the Independent Financial Assessor, Equifax Australasia Credit Ratings Pty Ltd trading as Corporate Scorecard.

Application Guidelines

The Training Initiative Funding Agreement Application Guidelines - Version 1.1 (DOCX 917KB) or (PDF 862KB) provide detailed information about the application process. RTOs are strongly encouraged to review the Guidelines before completing their application.

If you have any enquiries regarding the Agreement or the application process, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions - Training Initiative Funding Agreement (DOCX 140KB) or (PDF 245KB) or email Skills Canberra. The Directorate will respond to all enquiries within 5 business days.


Assessment Timeframes

The anticipated assessment time for applications is 2 months.

An RTO can notify Skills Canberra of any change of circumstances by submitting an RTO Change of Circumstances Notification (PDF 193KB) or by forwarding a copy of the notification form required by the Australian Skills Quality Authority by email to Skills Canberra.

On receipt of the notification, Skills Canberra reserves the right to seek further and more detailed information on the change, and may determine at its sole discretion, that such a change is sufficient to require the RTO to re-apply for a new Agreement.


Clause 8.1 of the Agreement states the mandatory terms and conditions regarding subcontracting.

Circumstances in which the Territory considers the arrangement between a Training Provider and another party (either an RTO, other entity or individual) constitutes a subcontracting arrangement requiring written approval by the Territory include, but are not limited to:

  • where the Training Provider engages an RTO that does not hold an Agreement or an organisation that is not an RTO, to conduct any training and/or assessment on its behalf
  • where any day to day responsibilities for the management of training delivery and/or assessment, for example administration of student records, is deferred to another individual or organisation.

The following instances do not, for the purposes of the Agreement, constitute a subcontract arrangement that require written approval by the Territory:

  • trainers and/or assessors hired as contractors or under an employment agreement
  • agencies, organisations or individuals contracted to deliver additional support, wrap around or work experience coordination services.

To apply for written approval, both the Training Provider and the proposed subcontractor must complete an Application for Subcontracting Arrangement Approval (PDF 1.28MB). Skills Canberra will notify the Training Provider of its decision within 30 calendar days of receiving the application. Failure to receive approval from Skills Canberra prior to commencing the use of any subcontracted service will be considered a breach of the Agreement and will constitute a default under clause 14 of the Agreement.

The written agreement between the Training Provider and the subcontractor for the intended subcontracting arrangement must establish the responsibilities of each party as per clause 8.3, for example, how the Training Provider will manage the subcontracting arrangement and ensure compliance with the Agreement. The written agreement may be the same agreement developed for Australian Skills Quality Authority's requirement under 2.3 of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015.

The written agreement must also include the names of all persons employed by the proposed subcontractor who will be involved in the training and/or assessment and their qualifications.

The written agreement must be in place prior to commencing the subcontracted service.


Brokerage Arrangements

Clause 8.2 of the Agreement states the mandatory terms and conditions regarding Brokerage Arrangements.

Circumstances in which the Territory considers the arrangement between a Training Provider and another party constitutes a Brokerage Arrangement include, but are not limited to, where a broker is providing marketing services or information and advice in relation to ACT funded training initiative and/or recruiting or enrolling students in ACT funded training initiatives on behalf of the Training Provider. In delivering services, the broker must not collect any Personal Information or collect Tuition Fees on behalf of the Training Provider.

The Training Provider must notify Skills Canberra in writing within a minimum of 10 business days of the proposed brokerage arrangement. The Training Provider must also enter into a written agreement with the broker before delivering any services. The written agreement must establish the responsibilities of each party and ensure compliance with the Agreement as per clause 8.2.(c).

ACT Quality Framework

The ACT Quality Framework - Version 2.0 (DOCX 2.21MB) or (PDF 607KB) (the Framework) underpins the delivery of training in the ACT. The Framework has been developed to promote excellence, transparency and quality in the vocational education and training sector in the ACT.

The Framework's components support the ACT Government's strategic direction for a flexible and responsive training sector that delivers high quality training.

The ACT Statement of Expectations (PDF 398KB) (the Statement) outlines the expectations for registered training organisation (RTO) conduct in the provision of training in the ACT.

The Statement is structured around 4 key principles of professional conduct. These principles serve as a minimum benchmark for professional behaviour and ensure public confidence in the integrity of the vocational education and training sector in the ACT.

The principles act as a point of reference for all ACT stakeholders including RTOs, business and industry, and students.

The ACT Standards for Delivery of Subsidised Training (the Standards) form a schedule to the Agreement and outline the mandatory standards for registered training organisations (RTOs) in the management and delivery of training in the ACT.

The ACT Standards Compliance Guides (Compliance Guides) outline the mandatory requirements for delivering training in each training initiative.

The ACT Government uses a range of audit methods to assess registered training organisation (RTO) compliance with the ACT Quality Framework. The Audit Guide for Training Providers in the ACT (DOCX 725KB) or (PDF 1.0MB) (the Guide) provides information about the audit strategy for ACT Government training initiatives.

The Guide provides the context, key objectives and an overview of the end-to-end audit process. It also provides information on the type of audits conducted and provides the methodology for RTO and student file sample selection.

Under the Training Initiative Funding Agreement (Agreement) each approved Training Provider must conduct an internal review a minimum of once every calendar year to self-assess its current level of compliance with the Agreement, the ACT Standards for Delivery of Subsidised Training and the associated ACT Standards Compliance Guides.

The objectives of the RTO internal review are to:

  • assist Training Providers to meet their contractual obligations
  • assist Training Providers to meet the minimum service requirements of each ACT funded training initiative
  • promote quality training and assessments systems
  • ensure accurate reporting and record keeping practices
  • provide a set of outcomes for Training Providers to self-assess compliance and assist in establishing a framework to identify and develop improvement practices.

The RTO internal review must be completed and submitted to Skills Canberra using the 2020 RTO Internal Review Tool (Online).

The 2020 RTO Internal Review Tool and Guidelines for the term 1 October 2019 to 31 December 2020 is now available.

Key dates:

  • Date published - 2 April 2020
  • Submission date - 1 February 2021

The 2020 RTO Internal Review Tool - Smartform Guidelines (DOCX 247KB) or (PDF 413KB) should be read prior to commencing the tool as it contains important information and guidance to assist Training Providers.

The 2020 RTO Internal Review Tool - Overview of Test Actions (DOCX 1.94MB) or (PDF 1.1MB) is also available. This document may assist Training Providers with planning their response to the test actions.

Delivering fee-for-service training

RTOs may choose to negotiate fees for the delivery of Australian Apprenticeship training directly with the employer and not apply for User Choice funding.

RTOs that wish to offer training for Australian Apprenticeships under a fee-for-service arrangement only do not need an an Agreement.

To be approved as a fee-for-service provider of apprenticeships training on the ACT Qualifications Register, the RTO must understand and agree abide by the ACT Statement of Expectations (PDF 398KB) by completing a RTO Nomination for Fee-for-Service Delivery (DOCX 76KB) or (PDF 214KB) and emailing it to Skills Canberra.

The nomination form will be assessed within 7 to 14 calendar days of receipt.

The outcome of the assessment will be notified in writing. RTOs that are unsuccessful may re-apply 6 months after receipt of the written outcome.

Compliance workshop

Skills Canberra provides a 1 day professional development workshop for RTOs delivering training under the Training Initiative Funding Apreement (Agreement).

The workshop focuses on assisting RTOs to understand the components of the ACT Quality Framework including the ACT Government's expectations for delivering quality training and complying with administrative and reporting requirements. The workshop provides information and support on how RTOs can demonstrate and maintain compliance with a selection of clauses, standards and requirements from the Agreement and the ACT Standards Compliance Guides.

Workshops are scheduled according to the level of stakeholder interest and demand. Please email Skills Canberra to register your interest.

AVETMISS reporting

The Australian Vocational Education and Training Management Information Statistical Standard (AVETMISS) provides a national framework for the consistent collection and dissemination of vocational education and training (VET) information throughout Australia by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

For more information on national AVETMISS requirements refer to AVETMISS support for RTOs on the NCVER website.

All RTOs with an ACT Funding Agreement must collect and report AVETMISS data on all ACT government funded training activity on a quarterly basis.

The following documents provide direction to RTOs on how to interpret, implement and comply with the AVETMISS reporting requirements for the NCVER VET Provider Collection.

RTO activity data must be validated using the online NCVER AVETMISS Validation Software. The validated AVETMISS files and validation summary report (csv file) must then be lodged in the ACT Vocational Education and Training Administration Records System (AVETARS).

RTOs that have no funded AVETMISS activity to report for the collection period, must advise Skills Canberra via email to AVETMISS reporting. RTOs that have active student records on AVETARS and have no activity to report should review the records and, where applicable, contact Skills Canberra to advise the student status so that the appropriate action can be taken such as cancellation. This does not apply to new enrolments.

The ACT Vocational Education and Training (VET) AVETMISS Data Standard (DOCX 100KB) or (PDF 367KB)  outlines data requirements for RTOs to be eligible to claim payments in AVETARS. The document is based on the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) AVETMISS Data Element Definitions document with ACT specific AVETMISS requirements added.

For further information, please email Skills Canberra or telephone 6205 8555.

RTO Forum

RTO Forums provide an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with Skills Canberra on current and future vocational education and training activities and related matters. The forums offer information to stakeholders about potential future directions occurring in vocational education and training in the ACT and various ACT and national funding and professional development opportunities.

The most recent RTO Forum was held virtually on Wednesday 12 May 2021. You can view the recording using the following link and password: