Navigating the Maze of Compliance – A Comprehensive Guide for RTOs on Training Hours and Online Learning Leave a comment


We recently hosted an online webinar with VET industry experts John Price and Ben Thakkar related to VET Sector compliance. Here’s the valuable information they shared with the participants.

Hey there, RTOs! Are you scratching your heads over how many hours a week you can offer online or distance learning? Or perhaps you’re tangled up in the web of compliance requirements? Well, you’re in luck! We’ve got the answers you’ve been searching for, and they’re all right here in this blog post. So, let’s dive in, shall we?

The Flexibility in Training Hours: A Closer Look

When it comes to training hours, there’s a lot of flexibility, especially for non-CRICOS RTOs. The key is to focus on the course requirements, unit requirements, and the needs of your cohort. For instance, some courses, like those in Community Services, may require simulation or work placement, which can’t be done online. On the other hand, business courses can be pretty much done online. The trick is to define these requirements clearly and structure your training hours accordingly.

A Comprehensive Guide for RTOs on Training Hours and Online Learning

Factors to Consider

Course Requirements: What does the course curriculum dictate? Are there mandatory practical sessions?

Unit Requirements: Are there specific units that require face-to-face interaction?

Cohort Needs: Does your student cohort have the digital literacy to engage in online learning?

Structured and Directed Approach: The Golden Rule

Whether you’re offering online or face-to-face training, a structured and directed approach is crucial. This means that your training should be well-organized and focused, ensuring that you meet the training and assessment requirements as per Clause 1.8, 1.1, and 1.2. This is not just about ticking boxes; it’s about providing quality education that equips your students with the skills they need.

Why Structure Matters

A structured approach ensures that you cover all the necessary topics and adhere to the required standards. It also helps in tracking student progress and identifying areas that may need additional focus.

CRICOS RTOs: The One-Third Rule

For CRICOS RTOs, the rules are a bit more stringent. You can offer up to one-third of your training hours online, which roughly translates to about six hours per week. This can be done through self-study or trainer-led support. However, you must ensure that you have sufficient content and that it’s monitored by the RTO.

The Importance of Monitoring

Monitoring is crucial for ensuring that students are engaging with the material and meeting the learning objectives. This can be done through regular assessments, quizzes, and feedback sessions.

Compliance Requirements: The Nitty-Gritty

Compliance is a big deal, and it’s not something to be taken lightly. Whether you’re a non-CRICOS or CRICOS RTO, you need to ensure that you meet the training and assessment requirements. This involves a thorough understanding of the standards for training organisations and ensuring that you adhere to them.

Key Compliance Standards

Clause 1.8: This relates to conducting effective assessments.

Clause 1.1 and 1.2: These focus on the quality of training and assessment.


Navigating the maze of compliance and training hours doesn’t have to be a headache. With a structured and directed approach, you can offer flexible training options that meet the needs of your students and the compliance requirements.

Call to Action: Want to stay ahead in the compliance game? At VET Resources, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website for a plethora of resources designed to elevate your RTO’s compliance game. And don’t forget to check out our YouTube video for more insights!


  1. What is the difference between CRICOS and non-CRICOS RTOs?

– CRICOS RTOs are registered to offer courses to international students, while non-CRICOS RTOs are not.

  1. What are the common compliance issues faced by RTOs?

– Issues can range from outdated training materials to inadequate assessment methods.

  1. How often are RTOs audited for compliance?

– The frequency of audits can vary and is determined by a range of factors including past compliance history.

  1. What are the penalties for non-compliance?

– Penalties can range from fines to the revocation of RTO status.

  1. How can an RTO prepare for a compliance audit?

– Preparation involves a thorough review of all training materials, assessment tools, and internal processes to ensure they meet the relevant guidelines.

  1. What resources are available to help RTOs navigate compliance?

– Various resources, including templates and guidelines, are available to assist RTOs in successfully navigating compliance.

  1. How does online training impact compliance?

– Online training must meet the same compliance requirements as face-to-face training, including training and assessment standards.

  1. What are the key elements of a successful compliance strategy?

– A successful compliance strategy involves clear communication, meticulous planning, and rigorous execution.

  1. How can RTOs ensure quality in online training?

– Quality can be ensured through regular assessments, interactive sessions, and continuous monitoring.

  1. What re the technological requirements for online training?

– RTOs must have a reliable Learning Management System (LMS) and other necessary software to facilitate online learning.

  1. How can RTOs keep up with changing compliance regulations?

– RTOs can subscribe to newsletters, attend webinars, and regularly consult the “ASQA””website for updates.

  1. What role do trainers play in compliance?

– Trainers are crucial in ensuring that the training and assessment are conducted as per the compliance standards.

  1. What are the implications of non-compliance for RTOs?

– Non-compliance can lead to a range of penalties, including fines, suspension, or even revocation of RTO status.

  1. How can RTOs improve their compliance strategies?

– RTOs can improve their compliance strategies by regularly updating their training materials, conducting internal audits, and seeking expert advice.

  1. What are the benefits of a well-structured training program?

– A well-structured training program ensures that students receive a comprehensive education, which in turn improves the RTO’s compliance standing.

  1. How can RTOs effectively manage both online and face-to-face training?

– Effective management involves a balanced approach that takes into account the unique requirements of each training mode.

  1. What are the challenges of offering online training?

– Challenges include ensuring student engagement, meeting compliance requirements, and providing adequate support.

  1. How can RTOs overcome these challenges?

– RTOs can overcome these challenges by implementing robust monitoring systems, offering interactive learning experiences, and providing timely support to students.

The information presented on the VET Resources blog is for general guidance only. While we strive for accuracy, we cannot guarantee the completeness or timeliness of the information. VET Resources is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. Always consult a professional for advice tailored to your circumstances.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Get Free Sample