RTO vs TAFE: Know the Difference to Attract More Students Leave a comment

As an RTO, you know that the VET sector is constantly evolving. New technologies are emerging, industry needs are changing, and students are looking for more flexible and customised learning options.

To differentiate yourself from TAFEs and other RTOs, you need to be able to offer students the best possible training experience. This means understanding the key differences between RTOs and TAFEs and leveraging your strengths to attract and retain students. This blog, “RTO vs TAFE: Know the Difference to Attract More Students ” will tell you all the differences and will help you market your RTO in a beneficial manner.

What is an RTO?

An RTO, or Registered Training Organisation, is a private provider of nationally accredited vocational education and training (VET) courses in Australia. RTOs are regulated by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) and must meet strict quality standards.

RTOs offer a range of VET qualifications, including diplomas, vocational graduate diplomas, advanced diplomas, and Vocational Graduate Certificates (I, II, III, IV).

What is a TAFE?

TAFE, or Technical and Further Education, is a government-owned system of colleges that offer a wide range of VET courses. TAFEs are funded by the Australian Government and receive additional funding from state and territory governments.

TAFE colleges offer a range of educational qualifications, from certificate courses to postgraduate diplomas. They can also provide you with a bachelor’s degree, associate degree, Diploma, and Advanced Diploma, depending on the course you choose.

Key Differences Between RTO vs. TAFEs

RTOs and TAFEs are both providers of vocational education and training (VET) in Australia, but there are some key differences between the two.

RTOs are privately owned and operated, while TAFEs are government-owned and operated. This means that RTOs have more flexibility to offer specialised courses and flexible learning options, but they may be more expensive than TAFEs. TAFEs, on the other hand, offer a wider range of courses and are generally more affordable than RTOs.

Another key difference is that RTOs are more likely to focus on emerging industries, while TAFEs are more likely to focus on traditional industries. For example, RTOs may offer courses in cybersecurity or renewable energy, while TAFEs may offer courses in nursing or engineering.

In terms of cost, RTOs may be more expensive than TAFEs, but this varies depending on the provider and the course.

Finally, RTOs are more likely to be smaller and more specialised than TAFEs. This can be an advantage for students who are looking for a more personalised learning experience.

How to Differentiate Your RTO from TAFEs

Here are some ways on how to differentiate your RTO from TAFEs:

  • Focus on a specific niche or industry. This will help you to develop a reputation for expertise in your field and attract students who are interested in pursuing a career in that industry.
  • Offer specialised courses that are not available at TAFEs. This could include courses that are in high demand or that are tailored to the needs of a particular industry.
  • Provide flexible and customised learning options. This could include offering online courses, blended learning options, and part-time study options.
  • Offer competitive pricing. Make sure that your course fees are competitive with other RTOs and TAFEs.
  • Build strong relationships with industry employers. This will help you to ensure that your courses are aligned with the needs of the workforce and that your graduates are able to find jobs in their chosen fields.


By differentiating themselves from TAFEs, RTOs can attract more students and grow their businesses. By focusing on a specific niche or industry, offering specialised courses, providing flexible and customised learning options, and building strong relationships with industry employers, RTOs can set themselves apart from the competition and become the preferred choice for students who are looking for high-quality VET training.

Are you an RTO looking for quality RTO resources VET Resources is your partner. We also offer free RTO consultation for RTOs. For more information contact us here.


Q.1. Do I need to be an RTO to deliver training?

A.1. Yes, you need to be a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) to deliver nationally accredited vocational education and training (VET) courses in Australia. RTOs are regulated by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) and must meet strict quality standards.

Q.2. What is the role of an RTO?

A.2. RTOs play an important role in the Australian education system by providing high-quality VET training. RTOs offer a wide range of courses, including apprenticeships, traineeships, and short courses. RTOs also provide training to workers who need to upskill or reskill in order to remain competitive in the workforce.

Q.3. What is the difference between vocational education and higher education?

A.3. Vocational education is focused on developing the skills and knowledge that are required for specific jobs or occupations. Higher education, on the other hand, is focused on developing academic knowledge and research skills.

Vocational education courses are typically shorter than higher education courses and can be completed in as little as a few months. Higher education courses, on the other hand, can take several years to complete.

Vocational education courses are offered by a variety of providers, including RTOs, TAFEs, and universities. Higher education courses are typically offered by universities.

Suggested Read: Cyber Security in Australia Necessity of RTOs

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