To be eligible to deliver training and assessment services subsidised by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training through one of its VET Investment budget funded programs, a registered training organisation (RTO) must have Skills Assure supplier (SAS) status.
SAS status, if approved by the department:
- is granted for particular publicly funded programs and identified qualifications
- may be subject to conditions
- is subject to finite contractual timelines.
Note: User Choice SAS are RTOs that the Queensland Government approves to deliver publicly funded training and assessment services to apprentices and trainees.
SAS status is granted to successful applicants for the duration of the period specified in letters of authority, unless otherwise advised by the department.
Closing applications for 2020–21 SAS status
Applications to become a SAS for 2020–21 close at 5pm on 30 April 2021.
This means that an RTO will not be able to apply to become a SAS under the Certificate 3 Guarantee, Higher Level Skills or User Choice programs for the 2020–21 period, as the application system-Purchasing Online-will close at this time.
The Skills Assure initiative, announced as part of the Skills for Queensland - Great training for quality jobs strategy, will strengthen the quality of vocational education and training (VET) in Queensland.
RTOs will only be approved as a SAS where the department assesses that there is a need in the market for additional SAS. As part of this assessment, the department will assess whether there is a gap in the training market (i.e. whether existing suppliers are sufficient to meet demand for training).
The department has identified there are a small number of qualifications where a gap currently exists:
- Certificate III in Guiding (Certificate 3 Guarantee)
- Certificate III in Marine Craft Construction (User Choice)
- Certificate II in Timber Manufactured Products (Certificate 3 Guarantee)
- Certificate II in Kitchen Operations (Certificate 3 Guarantee/User Choice)
- Certificate III in Driving Operations (Certificate 3 Guarantee/User Choice).
RTOs must meet the following requirements to be eligible to apply for SAS status in Queensland:
- have an active RTO registration status on, or prior to, 1 July 2018 (as indicated on www.training.gov.au) to satisfy the department's requirements in relation to financial viability and training history
- RTO head office location is in Queensland (unless invited by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training to apply for SAS status)
- be registered to deliver (train and assess) the full qualifications in Queensland under its scope of registration (as indicated on www.training.gov.au) for the qualification(s) it wishes to deliver under Queensland funded programs
- have at least one vocational qualification on its scope of registration that is either on the Priority Skills List (if applying for Queensland VET Investment programs) or on the User Choice price list (if applying for the User Choice program) – Note: RTOs are not able to apply to deliver Foundation Skills qualifications only
- provide evidence of a minimum of 12 months delivery of training and assessment services and outcomes in Queensland in the vocational qualification (in full qualifications) or industry area being applied for within the SAS application – Note: delivery of 100% recognition of prior learning is not considered for training and assessment evidence
- provide employer and industry support for training quality and industry connections in Queensland – it should be noted that the department will also conduct its own investigations into the need for additional SAS in the industry area, including with external stakeholders
- meet the department's benchmarks for financial viability, determined through an external assessment process
- meet and adhere to the requirements of the relevant funding program and its policies and associated documentation
- meet the requirements of the SAS application process
- agree to the terms and conditions whether acknowledged in Purchasing Online (POL) or in a terms and conditions form.
How to apply
To apply, RTOs must complete and submit a SAS application through the department's Purchasing Online (POL) system for the funding program they are seeking to deliver i.e. Queensland VET Investment (Certificate 3 Guarantee/Higher Level Skills) or User Choice.
RTOs are required to nominate the qualification(s) they intend to deliver under the relevant funded program:
- If applying for Queensland VET Investment, the relevant qualifications for delivery in Queensland are available on the Priority Skills List.
- If applying for User Choice, the relevant qualifications for delivery in Queensland are available on the User Choice price list.
Please note that some qualifications in Queensland are restricted, meaning that no RTO can apply to deliver them. To find out which qualifications are restricted, please refer to the restricted qualifications information on the Priority Skills List and the User Choice funding and pricing.
As part of their application, RTOs must familiarise themselves with the contents of the SAS policy, specific program policies, and the Skills Assure Supplier Agreement (the Agreement) for the relevant programs. These are located on the relevant funded program pages, with copies of the Agreements located below.
For all the information on how to apply, it is recommended that RTOs refer to the SAS application guide (PDF, 630KB).
Application evaluation process
Assessment of SAS applications takes into consideration several factors including, but not limited to, the following:
- the accuracy of responses to the application questions
- the RTO's previous training and assessment activity in Queensland
- financial viability of the RTO, determined through an externally conducted assessment
- the RTO's compliance history in Queensland and nationally
- the RTO's subcontracting arrangements
- consideration of current market profile
- employer and industry linkages in Queensland, as provided by the RTO.
The department retains the right to conduct any other investigations as necessary and seek further information as required.
The SAS evaluation and assessment process is expected to take up to 12 weeks from the date the department receives all required documents and information from the RTO, not from the date the POL application was lodged by the RTO.
SAS status is only granted upon approval of an RTO's application and subsequent execution of the Agreement (for the relevant funding program) by the department.
Applicants will be notified in writing of the department's decision.
Successful applicants will be advised on their letter of authority to commence delivery against the approved qualifications and receive an executed Agreement for their records.
The department will publish information about SAS and their approved qualification(s) on the Queensland Skills Gateway.
Any training and assessment services delivered prior to the period specified on the letter of authority cannot be claimed for, or receive payment for, under the Agreement.
Operating as a SAS
SAS can commence using the Skills Assure logo and delivering services in accordance with the terms and conditions of their SAS approval, and in accordance with the relevant SAS and program policies and the Agreement.
Individuals undertaking subsidised training must meet the eligibility requirements of the approved funding program(s).
There are no application fees or annual registration fees directly associated with the SAS system.
Professional development opportunities to support suppliers to deliver quality vocational education and training will also be implemented by the department. SAS are encouraged to participate in available sessions to support their staff and gain a greater understanding of the program policies and agreements.
Key 2020–21 SAS documents
Queensland VET Investment programs
- Skills Assure supplier policy 2020–21 (v1.1, Aug 2020) (PDF, 327KB) or (DOCX, 154KB) – effective 1 July 2020
- Copy of the Skills Assure Supplier Agreement (for Queensland VET Investment programs) – Certificate 3 Guarantee and Higher Level Skills (PDF, 547KB)
- Registered training organisation (RTO) User Choice Skills Assure supplier policy 2020–21 (v1.1, Aug 2020) (PDF, 217KB) or (DOCX, 119KB) – effective 1 July 2020
- Copy of the Skills Assure Supplier Agreement (for User Choice) (PDF, 542KB)