The Certificate 3 Guarantee supports eligible individuals to complete their first post-school certificate III qualification.
The program also supports school students to access training and Queensland's Year 12 graduates to transition to employment by providing free training in high priority qualifications.
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.
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.
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 free TAFE for under 25s.
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 and SAS Agreement for more information.
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:
1. Certificate 3 Guarantee program policy 2021–23 (PDF, 187KB) – effective 1 July 2021
2. Skills Assure supplier policy 2021–23 (v1.1, July 2021) (PDF, 392KB) – effective 1 July 2021
Program fact sheets
3. Certificate 3 Guarantee – Registered training organisation (RTO) fact sheet (PDF, 137KB)
4. Certificate 3 Guarantee – Student fact sheet (PDF, 70KB)
5. Certificate 3 Guarantee – Support for disadvantaged learners fact sheet (PDF, 142KB) or (DOCX, 102KB)
SAS fact sheets
6. Skills Assure supplier marketing and disclosure directive (PDF, 155KB) or (DOCX, 107KB) – still in effect as at 1 July 2021
7. Skills Assure supplier third party arrangements directive (PDF, 199KB) – effective 1 July 2021
Other SAS documents
8. VET investment programs – Skills Assure supplier audit evidence requirements (v3.1, 31 August 2022) (PDF, 1.7MB) – effective 31 August 2022
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 for under 25s
Free training for under 25s is available through 2 Queensland Government VET investment programs – the Certificate 3 Guarantee and User Choice. Read more about free training in high priority areas for under 25s.