Group training organisations
Group training organisations directly employ apprentices and trainees and place
them with host employers. Many employers find the group training model
convenient and effective, as the GTO shoulders the administrative burden that
would otherwise be borne by the employer.
What’s the difference between apprenticeship regulation and GTO regulation?
All states and territories regulate employers and apprentices/trainees in
relation to their training contract obligations (i.e. employer obligations to
provide skilled supervision and appropriate facilities).
Group training regulation places additional regulatory responsibilities on GTOs.
It outlines standards, for example, for the induction and hosting arrangements
that are inherent to the GTO model.
The co-regulatory approach
In June 2016 the VRQA Board endorsed a new co-regulatory model for Victorian
group training organisations with the Apprenticeship Employment Network
(formerly known as the Group Training Organisation of Victoria). This is similar
to the VRQA’s arrangements with school system owners that are appointed as
review bodies. Under the model:
- The AEN administer an annual online self-assessment questionnaire for all
Victorian GTOs. The questions are designed to measure compliance against the
- Each GTO is allocated a score and provisional risk rating. The AEN provides
the results to the VRQA.
- The VRQA will source third party information against standard three
(governance and administration) through financial viability assessments
- The VRQA will decide which GTOs require an independent audit to supplement
- The VRQA will make all decisions on new applications, suspensions and
Standard 1. Recruitment, Employment and Induction
- 1. Before apprentices/trainees enter into an Employment Contract and a Training Contract, the GTO informs them about their employment conditions, the host employer arrangement, the training, the support services to be provided and the rights and obligations of the parties.
- 2. The GTO inducts apprentices and trainees to the apprenticeship/traineeship system, including explaining:
- the apprentice/trainee’s responsibilities under the Training Contract, to the host employer, the GTO, the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and the school (if under School-based arrangements); as well as
- the processes involved in accessing support and dealing with employment or training issues that may arise.
- 3. The GTO provides clear and accurate advice to host employers to:
- take reasonable steps to ensure they understand the apprenticeship/traineeship system; and
- obtain their agreement, by means of a Host Employer Agreement, to their role and responsibilities in training and supporting the apprentice or trainee while in their workplace, in meeting their obligations to maintain a safe workplace and in working cooperatively with the GTO and RTO.
- 4. The GTO actively participates in the RTO’s development of the Training Plan, which is based on competency-based progression and completion principles and relevant to the qualification, the occupation, the host employer’s workplace and the needs of the apprentice/trainee, in conjunction with the apprentice/trainee.
Standard 2. Monitoring and Supporting Apprentices and Trainees to
- 1. The GTO provides services that meet the needs of apprentices and trainees to facilitate the continuity of the Training Contract to completion and the quality and breadth of the training experience, including:
- support and mentoring throughout the Training Contract;
- providing resources or advice or procuring any special equipment for the workplace in order to meet access and equity and Work Health and Safety requirements.
- 2. The GTO monitors each apprentice or trainee’s progress against the Training Plan and:
- facilitates the integration of the training and employment experiences, including arranging for workplace rotations if required;
- requests that the RTO review the Training Plan when changes occur with the apprentice/trainee employment arrangements, including any workplace rotations, competency-based progressions or other changes.
- 3. The GTO has appropriate systems in place, based on the scale and scope of its operations, to manage and support apprentices and trainees in times of economic downturn or ‘stand down’ to facilitate the retention of the apprentice or trainee.
- 4. The GTO provides assistance, coordination and accurate advice to host employers for the duration of the Host Employer Agreement, and works with the host employer to provide appropriate on-the-job training, supervision, support and mentoring to the hosted apprentice/trainee.
- 5. Where there are any performance issues with an apprentice/trainee, the GTO manages these issues fairly
, and records the outcome and the feedback provided to the apprentice or trainee.
- 6. The GTO complies with Commonwealth, State and Territory requirements for competency-based progression and completion and supports genuine efforts to achieve the qualification in an appropriate timeframe regardless of the nominal duration of the Training Contract.
Standard 3. GTO Governance and Administration
- 1. The GTO complies with Commonwealth, State and Territory legislative and regulatory requirements and policies as they relate to the employment and training of apprentices and trainees in each State and Territory in which they operate.
- 2. The GTO is incorporated in Australia, a government entity, or regulated by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.
- 3. The GTO develops, monitors and continually improves its performance and strategic directions using performance data, the results of audits, assessments and surveys plus any other relevant information.
- 4. The GTO can demonstrate that it is financially viable and informs the registering body where early signs indicate issues associated with viability.
- 5. The GTO holds appropriate insurances according to the size and scope of its operations.
- 6. The GTO adheres to the principles of access and equity in all operations including marketing, recruitment, monitoring, support, governance and administration.
- 7. Clear and accurate marketing, advertising materials and other information is provided by the GTO regarding GTO services, the role and responsibilities of the host employer and the requirements of the apprenticeship/traineeship.
- 8. Complaints and appeals are dealt with by the GTO transparently in accordance with a documented complaints and appeals process, or referred to State/Territory dispute resolution mechanisms, where the completion of the Training Contract is at risk.