The Certificate 3 Guarantee supports eligible individuals to complete their first post-school certificate III qualification.

What training is available?

The Certificate 3 Guarantee is targeted at certificate III qualifications because they are considered the entry-level qualification most often needed to gain employment in many industry sectors.

Foundation skills and lower-level vocational qualifications may also be delivered in certain circumstances.

For more information, including other student cohorts who can access training, refer to the Certificate 3 Guarantee program policy below.

The full list of subsidised qualifications is available on the Priority Skills List.

How does the program work?

The list of registered training organisations (RTOs) approved to deliver each subsidised qualification is published on the Queensland Skills Gateway.

Individuals are free to choose their preferred RTO from this list. The subsidy is paid directly to the RTO as training is delivered and reported to the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training.

How can RTOs participate?

RTOs must be pre-approved by the department as a Skills Assure Supplier (SAS) to deliver training and assessment services under the Certificate 3 Guarantee. Read more about becoming a SAS.

What level of subsidy is available?

The subsidy represents the level of government contribution for a qualification and varies between qualifications based on a number of factors.

The investment priority or importance of the training influences the size of the government subsidy. Training in vocational areas that align with important economic and industry skills needs will receive a higher government subsidy.

A higher subsidy will also be paid to support participation by disadvantaged learners (concessional students), and for training delivered locally in identified country and remote locations areas of Queensland, and Cape York and the Torres Strait.

The full list of subsidy levels for qualifications is available on the Priority Skills List.

Does the individual need to contribute to the cost of training?

Given the benefits that accrue to individuals from training, students undertaking certificate III level training and non-concessional students undertaking lower-level vocational training, will be required to contribute to the costs of their training through a co-contribution fee.

The co-contribution fee is determined by the SAS, and may be paid on behalf of the student by the employer or another third party, but cannot be paid or waived by the SAS, or any organisation related to the SAS, unless approved by the department.

The Queensland Government covers the full cost of training through the Certificate 3 Guarantee for high priority qualifications as part of Fee-Free TAFE.

What outcomes are expected?

Each SAS is measured on successful training completions, quality of training experience and whether the training resulted in employment or career advancement.

Individuals need access to a range of information to ensure they make an informed choice about a subsidised training place. To support this, a SAS must meet a number of performance standards if they wish to participate and maintain their SAS status for the program. Refer to the SAS policy below for more information.

Program documents

Registered training organisations interested in delivering services under the Certificate 3 Guarantee must read and abide by all conditions specified in the related policy documents for the program:

Policy documents

1. Certificate 3 Guarantee program policy 2021–24 (v1.3, September 2023) (PDF, 567KB) – effective 1 September 2023
2. Skills Assure Supplier policy 2021–24 (v1.2, July 2023) (PDF, 742KB) – effective 1 July 2023

Program fact sheets

3. Certificate 3 Guarantee – Registered training organisation (RTO) fact sheet (v1.2, July 2023) (PDF, 577KB)
4. Certificate 3 Guarantee – Student fact sheet (v1.3, September 2023) (PDF, 553KB)
5. Certificate 3 Guarantee – Support for disadvantaged learners fact sheet (v1.2, July 2023) (PDF, 529KB)

SAS fact sheets

6. Skills Assure Supplier marketing and disclosure directive (v1.1, July 2023) (PDF, 867KB)
7. Skills Assure Supplier third party arrangements directive (v1.2, July 2023) (PDF, 470KB)

Other SAS documents

8. VET investment programs – Skills Assure Supplier audit evidence requirements (v3.2, June 2023) (PDF, 1.4MB) – effective 1 July 2023
9. Industry proposal – Funding submission for apprenticeships, traineeships and other qualifications (DOCX, 135KB)
10. Priority skills localities and location loadings list (XLSX, 179KB)

Historical program documents

Access Certificate 3 Guarantee program documents from previous financial years.

Frequently asked questions

For further information on the Certificate 3 Guarantee program, view the frequently asked questions.

Free training

Fee-Free TAFE is available under the Certificate 3 Guarantee, and will cover the full cost of training for students studying a high priority qualification through TAFE Queensland and CQUniversity only.

Free Apprenticeships for Under 25s is available under the User Choice program for eligible Queenslanders studying a high priority apprenticeship or traineeship.

Related information

Last updated 11 April 2024

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