From 1 July 2021, legislative changes under the South Australian Skills Act (SAS Act) introduce new, simpler processes and clear responsibilities for training organisations. These FAQs explain what this means for you.
What are the key changes for training organisations?
- There is a new process related to how and when training plans are developed (they no longer need to be submitted as part of a training contract application).
- There is broader scope for the Commission to recognise other training, including higher education.
- RTOs are now referred to as Nominated Training Organisations (NTOs) in the new Standards.
- There are new reporting obligations for NTOs.
Who is accountable for ensuring the training plan is developed?
Under the new Standards, NTOs are responsible for preparing the training plan. However, they must ensure employers and apprentices contribute to its development.
The training plan is no longer required to be submitted to the Department for Education with a training contract application, but the NTO must notify Department for Education of its endorsement. The NTO must also ensure employers and apprentices have a final copy of the plan.
This process is outlined in the fact sheet about training plans and nominated training organisations.
How have obligations regarding training plans changed?
Once an NTO has accepted a nomination, it will have 28 days from the date of notification to prepare a training plan with the employer and the apprentice or trainee. The NTO will not be required to provide the Department for Education with a copy of the training plan, but they will be required to maintain a copy with their records and they may be required to provide the Department for Education with a copy if requested.
Do I have to use the training plan proforma?
Yes, NTOs need to work through the training plan proforma with the employer and apprentice or trainee and sign the relevant sections.
The information required in relation to the training being delivered can be captured in a different form such as your learner management system as long as all of the information is collected and maintained. This information needs to be shared with the employer and apprentice or trainee so they can keep track of progress throughout the training contract.
Why are RTOs now called Nominated Training Organisations (NTOs)?
The new legislation introduces the term “Nominated Training Organisations” (NTOs), as it is inclusive of registered training organisations (RTOs) and registered higher education providers, who can both accept a nomination in relation to a training contract.
How will a NTO be notified that they have been nominated by the apprentice and the employer?
As part of the training contract application – lodged by Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) providers – NTOs will receive a notification advising they have been nominated for a training contract.
This notification will be prompted through the ATLAS system, which AASN’s will continue to use for lodging training contract applications.
NTOs can then accept the nomination in the ATLAS Portal.
What if the training plan is unable to be completed within 28 days of nomination?
NTOs may apply to the Department for Education for an extension at least 5 business days in advance of the 28 day deadline, via the online application available on the Skills website.
Is there a requirement to periodically review training plans?
Yes. Training plans are required to be reviewed at least once every six months. Evidence of the reviews is not required to be provided to Department for Education, however the NTO will be required to maintain evidence of the reviews and may be required to provide Department for Education with a copy, if requested.
Do NTOs need to ‘accept’ the nomination to provide training before the apprentice or trainee sits the Upfront Assessment of Needs (UAN) test?
No. If a NTO has been nominated but has not yet established a training account, they may conduct the UAN and retain the right to accept the student depending on the outcome.
If a NTO has established a training account, then they have accepted their nomination.
What is the NTO’s responsibility if an apprentice is not attending training?
If an apprentice or trainee is not attending training, the NTO should first speak to the employer and the apprentice or trainee directly. If the apprentice or trainee is continually not meeting their obligations in a training plan, the NTO is required to inform the Department for Education via the notification available on the Skills website.
Is a new training plan required if there’s a transfer to a new NTO?
Yes. Substitution of a NTO requires a review of the training plan, and the new NTO must notify the Department for Education of its inclusion under the training contract.
If a training organisation is not fulfilling its responsibilities, what happens?
For any failure to comply with the obligations for Nominated Training Organisations, set out in the Act, the maximum penalty for a breach of the requirement is up to $5,000 and the expiation fee is $315.