The Certificate 3 Guarantee gives eligible individuals the opportunity to complete a full certificate III level qualification that leads to a job outcome or career advancement. To do this, the Queensland Government subsidises the cost of training for eligible students and provides greater choice by allowing more training providers to deliver government subsidised training.

The investment priority or importance of the training determines the value of the government subsidy. Training in vocational areas that align with important economic and industry skill needs receives a higher government subsidy. A higher subsidy is also paid to support participation by disadvantaged learners (concessional students) and for local delivery into country and remote areas in Queensland, and in Cape York and the Torres Strait.

Can any training provider deliver Certificate 3 Guarantee courses?

Only training providers approved by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training to deliver training and assessment services can deliver subsidised courses through the Certificate 3 Guarantee program. These approved training providers are called Skills Assure Suppliers.

Am I eligible for Certificate 3 Guarantee if I hold an overseas qualification?

As part of the assessment process to determine if you meet all eligibility criteria to undertake Queensland Government subsidised training, the training provider must make an informed judgment about the qualification you gained overseas and whether it would enable you to gain or qualify for your desired employment in Queensland. The training provider must clearly document their reasons for how they arrived at that opinion or evaluation and be able to present this information at audit.

If you hold an overseas qualification that has been recognised by an Australian professional body or other organisation as meeting the registration or licensing requirements for a specific occupation, then you would be deemed not eligible to access the Certificate 3 Guarantee.

If you hold an overseas qualification that does not meet the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) standards, you may be eligible to access Certificate 3 Guarantee funding. Having your qualification deemed educationally comparable or equivalent by our Overseas Qualification Unit (or other similar government agencies) is not the same as completing an AQF qualification, so you may still be eligible for Certificate 3 Guarantee.

We provide overseas qualification recognition assessment services.

Am I eligible for Certificate 3 Guarantee if I hold a qualification that is not an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualification?

If you hold a bachelor degree or higher level qualification awarded by a tertiary institution or university in Australia, you are not eligible to access the Certificate 3 Guarantee as these qualifications form part of, and are nationally recognised within, the AQF.

If you hold a certificate level I to Advanced Diploma qualification issued prior to the introduction of the AQF in 1995, you are eligible to access the Certificate 3 Guarantee.

Can I complete more than 1 certificate III level qualification through the Certificate 3 Guarantee program?

No. Students are entitled to access government subsidised training for completed certificate III qualification only. For this reason, it is very important that prior to signing an enrolment form and committing to a course of study which will use up the entitlement, you take the time to consider the course you are choosing and to compare training options and costs.

However, certificate III qualifications completed while at school and foundation skills courses are not counted and you will be eligible for the Certificate 3 Guarantee.

I'm already completing a certificate III qualification. Can I access the Certificate 3 Guarantee?

No. To be eligible to receive the Certificate 3 Guarantee, you must not already hold a certificate III or higher level qualification, or be currently studying or enrolled in another qualification. This includes any equivalent certificate III or higher level training completed at university or through an apprenticeship or traineeship. It doesn't matter if you paid for this training or if it was subsidised by the government.

If I have deferred from university, am I eligible under the Certificate 3 Guarantee?

No. Students who have deferred from university are still enrolled at university and are therefore ineligible under the Certificate 3 Guarantee.

Can I get additional training to prepare for a Certificate 3 Guarantee qualification?

Yes. When you enrol in a subsidised qualification under the Certificate 3 Guarantee, your training provider will assess you to identify if you need extra training support. If you do, you can access help with reading, writing and maths (called Foundation Skills) or related certificate I and/or certificate II courses which lead to the certificate III qualification. The cost of this extra training is subsidised under the Certificate 3 Guarantee program.

What happens if my training provider stops offering a Certificate 3 Guarantee qualification I am enrolled in?

Under the training provider's contract with the department (their Skills Assure Supplier contract), if the training provider stops delivering your course, the training provider is obligated to assist you to move to another Skills Assure Supplier so you can complete your training.

If I continue my qualification with another training provider, do I get recognition for the training I have already completed?

Yes. The first training provider must supply you with a Statement of Attainment listing all units of competency you have completed for the course or qualification. You must present the Statement of Attainment to the new training provider so that your previous completed units of competency can be recognised.

Does the Certificate 3 Guarantee cover all training costs?

Individuals are expected to contribute to the cost of their training through a co-contribution fee. The amount of the co-contribution fee will vary from course to course and between different training providers.

The co-contribution fee must represent the total cost to the student and include any enrolment charges, tuition fees, services fees, material fees and all other costs associated with delivery.

Full costs for some high priority qualifications may be covered under Fee-Free TAFE.

What fees can I be charged under the Certificate 3 Guarantee?

The training provider is required to charge a co-contribution fee for students undertaking a certificate III qualification and non-concessional students undertaking lower-level vocational qualifications. All training providers must advertise co-contribution fees up front and allow students to compare training provider fees. The co-contribution fee may be paid by the student or on their behalf by an employer or another third party but cannot be paid by the training provider.

More information about co-contribution fees is outlined within the relevant program policy. As per the relevant program policy, training providers can, but are not required to charge a co-contribution fee to students undertaking foundation skills training and concessional students undertaking certificates I and II (lower-level vocational qualifications). Participants of Skilling Queenslanders for Work, Fee Free TAFE and VET in Schools cannot be charged a co-contribution fee.

Are there concessional rates under the Certificate 3 Guarantee?

The Queensland Government pays a higher level of subsidy for qualifications undertaken by concessional students. This should enable training providers to reduce fee costs for these participants and/or provide extra learning support. The following students are entitled to concessions:

  • students (or their partner or guardian) who hold a Health Care or Pensioner Concession Card
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
  • school students enrolled in a VET in Schools program
  • students with a disability
  • students who are adult prisoners.

How are subsidy levels worked out?

The value of the government subsidy varies for each qualification based on the relative priority of the occupation aligned to the qualification, and the indicative value of the qualification based on relative length and complexity of training delivery.

This means high priority qualifications will be subsidised at a higher percentage, and generally a higher dollar value, than low priority qualifications. High priority qualifications align to the skills needs of industry and Queensland's economy, and support employment opportunities. High priority qualifications are identified based on national skills shortages, Queensland Government commitments, and other evidence relating to training pathways shown to be effective in supporting job outcomes for graduates.

What can I do if I am charged extra or ongoing fees by my training provider?

All training providers are required to advertise their fees and provide you with a breakdown of all costs in a training fact sheet or information summary for the qualification. If you are charged a fee that was not agreed upon prior to commencing the course, speak with the training provider about this. If you are unable to resolve this with the training provider, contact the department on 1300 369 935 or email

Will the fees for a qualification be the same if I change training providers?

Not necessarily. The amount of your out-of-pocket expense varies depending on the course you select and the training provider you choose. All training providers must clearly advertise their co-contribution fees upfront to enable students to compare fees before choosing to continue their training with another training provider.

Can I be reimbursed for the costs of training I have incurred to date if I withdraw from the course?

This depends on each training provider's refund policy. This is why it is very important that you clearly understand the terms and conditions in the training provider's refund policy and clarify any concerns you may have, prior to finalising your enrolment and commencing training.

Last updated 11 April 2024

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