Back to Blogs
Blog Img

Selecting the right RTO and avoiding buyer's remorse

​Top 5 tips for selecting the right Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and avoiding buyer’s remorse.

Selecting the right training provider can be a crucial component of ensuring your transition to civilian employment is smooth as possible. Making the decision to upskill and undergo professional development either through obtaining a nationally recognised qualification or even a micro-credential or short course deserves to be researched thoroughly before making the purchase.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of dodgy training providers out there. At Transformed we often hear horror stories from clients who have wasted valuable time and money and experience buyer’s remorse from selecting the wrong RTO.

We want you to avoid that terrible feeling that comes from not getting what you paid for – so here are some tips to enable you to select the right RTO when you are identifying your training needs as part of your transition to civilian employment.

Not all qualifications are built the same and the cheapest is well…the cheapest, but is it the quality you expect?It’s not just about the money.

Training providers might offer the same qualification – and by the course code and unit codes they can appear the same, so you’ll go for the cheaper one right? Wrong! It pays to dig deeper and don’t compare price and course codes alone.


TIP 1: Top notch RTO’s write their own material and have it endorsed by industry bodies.They may only offer a select number of electives, but it means if they create it, they can also contextualise material to suit the learner as they own it.

Whilst it is true that qualifications must follow a standard training package and contain core and elective units -not all electives are offered by every training provider.This can be a key difference if you want a particular elective included in your qualification. Training providers often purchase ‘off the shelf’ materials to fill elective lists that are of poor quality and often don’t meet expectations of industry and employers.


TIP 2: Don’t assume all training providers are the same. Look for a reputable provider with a proven track record of success and industry engagement – ask what awards they have won and what their completion rates are.

All RTOs are not created equal.

Whilst all RTOs are governed by a set of standards and regulating body, not all providers are current in the industry or engage industry experts. In fact, things like the level of student support, quality of material, delivery modes and learner experience can differ greatly.There are many differences between government owned training provider such as a TAFE and a private RTO which are worth considering.


TIP 3: Ask about the specific industry experience and currency of the trainers.

Another buying mistake commonly made is assuming all trainers and assessors have industry experience. Whilst RTO’s must demonstrate industry currency under the NVR standards, the standard on industry currency is not very clear and many trainers and assessors don’t actively work in the industry day to day.The best RTO’s use part-time trainers who work part-time as trainers as well as work in industry.This ensures they are up-to-date and have relevant and recent examples they can share.


TIP 4:It’s always best to deal directly with the RTO - Don’t get ripped off by a ‘free’ qualification.

There are many organisations and individuals out there acting as ‘training brokers’ that promise to link you up with low-cost or fee-free training or interest free loans which can end up costing up to 7 times what the course value actually is in the repayment structure.

Only RTO’s can access state subsidised training places and government funding.These vary by state so your RTO will be able to explain the differences and find out what is applicable to you.Some RTO’s offer payment plans that are interest free and you only pay for the course fee in instalments – no hidden costs.


TIP 5:Figure out what training delivery mode would best suit you – not all RTO’s can deliver the way you are comfortable learning.

Are you a ‘self-starter’? Can you motivate yourself to work on your own initiative without needing constant direction? Online study might be the best delivery mode for you. But, if you prefer the face to face delivery mode than look for providers that offer that mode.

Perhaps, given today’s challenges with getting together in a room with a group of people, it’s a blend of scheduled webinars to keep you on track combined with self-paced learning.Ensure you check with the RTO what is offered in terms of student support and learner experience.Need to see a demo of their online platform to feel comfortable with the online platform - just ask! They should be able to provide this easily and answer any questions you have relating to studying successfully with them.


Finally, there’s plenty of training industry jargon that can confuse the buying process for you - demystify the jargon around vocational education and training with Transformed's VET Jargon series of videos – start with this one “What is an RTO?’ here:

Contact us to see how we can assist you in selecting the right RTO for your meaningful post-service career.

Visit the WorkPath Australia Employment Program website to learn more about transitioning into your post-service career.​

Vertical Scope Group are proud to have partnered with Transformed, Australia’s leading Registered Training Organisation to help veterans seamlessly transition from the military. Transformed specialise in delivering nationally recognised, world-class training and offer veterans tailored study plans so that they can professionally upskill while still in uniform.
To learn more about how they can help you plan your civilian career please visit their website: