School operations

Purchasing Secondary Courses and Vocational Training from External Providers


Schools have primary responsibility for the delivery of senior secondary curriculum to their enrolled students.

To offer Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs, schools must enter into contractual arrangements with Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) if the school is not an RTO themselves, or if the school is an RTO but is not registered to provide the particular program it is seeking to offer.

These Guidelines have been developed to assist government schools as they engage with RTOs and schools for the provision of VET.

All government schools entering into arrangements with RTOs must have a valid, signed contract or agreement with the RTO for the delivery of VET programs. Refer to Student Resources Package Guide Reference 143 – Vocational Education and Training Delivered to Secondary School Students.

This guidance has been developed to assist government schools when engaging RTOs to deliver or auspice the delivery of VET as part of a student’s senior secondary program.

RTOs include:

  • TAFE providers
  • private RTOs
  • registered schools, including both government and non-government that are also RTOs and
  • Learn Local providers that are also RTOs.

Schools should use these Guidelines to understand their accountabilities and obligations when seeking to engage RTOs. The Guidelines also provide helpful suggestions on how schools should address issues of quality and value for money, duty of care arrangements for students, and the key planning issues that need to be considered when negotiating contractual agreements.

Non-government schools entering into similar purchasing arrangements are encouraged to obtain advice from the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) or Independent Schools Victoria (ISV) before entering into a contractual agreement with an RTO.

Critical to establishing beneficial arrangements between schools and RTOs is building respectful and professional relationships between the parties and establishing open and ongoing communication, to support the operation of the contract or agreement. This will ensure that both parties are engaged in ensuring the students’ needs and outcomes are met with the provision of quality VET arrangements.

Schools have primary responsibility for the delivery of senior secondary curriculum to their enrolled students

Reviewed 22 February 2023

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