School operations

Purchasing Secondary Courses and Vocational Training from External Providers

Step by step guide for schools

Setting up Purchasing and Auspicing Contracts with an RTO or Access Agreements with another government school

Step 1: Consider your needs for a VET qualification and/or units of competency

  • Student career aspirations, student needs and subject selections
  • VCAA VCE VET Programs and requirements, for example qualifications/units of competencies which make up the VCAA program or other block credit arrangements
  • Local industry needs including alignment with skill shortage areas, and opportunities for future employment
  • Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) opportunities
  • Existing delivery resources/arrangements, for example opportunities for sharing program delivery across the district/cluster and economies of scale (e.g. facilities, staffing)

Step 2: Decide on the delivery mode

  • What delivery mode and learning teaching strategies are most suitable for your students? (e.g. do you have students with special needs, age of students, geographical considerations?)
  • Do you have both the teaching and physical resources that meet the requirements of the VET qualifications you have decided to offer to students? Is it most appropriate to:
    1. deliver and assess the qualification at your school with the RTO providing auspicing services, or
    2. send students to an RTO to access training and delivery, or
    3. access training and assessment from another school that is purchasing VET from an RTO?

Step 3: Identify the most appropriate RTO for each VET qualification and/or units of competency

  • Use Link to search the national register of RTOs and accredited courses to find RTOs registered to deliver the qualifications you require. The Victorian Skills GatewayExternal Link will identify TAFE Institutes and Government subsidised RTOs and the courses they deliver.
  • The Department’s Know Your RTOExternal Link intranet advisory tool provides information to help government schools to select an RTO.
  • Ensure that RTOs are registered with VRQA or ASQA and have the VET qualification and/or units of competency you are seeking to purchase on their scope of registration.
  • Follow the schools procurement policy and procedure to select a provider that will provide value for money (for example, cost, support services, quality systems, infrastructure).
  • Ask if they have experience in delivering VET to senior secondary students.
  • Confirm if it is financially viable for both parties to enter into arrangements.
  • When the RTO is undertaking scored assessment, ensure that all associated responsibilities are clearly understood.
  • Ensure that the RTO has systems, policies, procedures and safeguards in place to ensure students are safe and supported while undertaking the VET qualification and/or units of competency. This includes ensuring the RTO:
    • can provide a suitable and safe premises for students
    • can provide adequate supervision for students
    • has teaching staff that are appropriately qualified
    • has obtained Working With Children Checks for staff that will be supervising students in program delivery
    • implements strategies to prevent workplace discrimination, harassment and bullying
    • can appropriately manage student disabilities, medical needs and welfare issues
    • has appropriate emergency management plans and procedures in place
    • has published their complaints and appeals processes
  • Determine if any travel involved is suitable for your students.

Step 4: Consider duty of care requirements

  • Principals and teachers are held to a high standard of care in relation to students.
  • The duty of care requires all principals and teachers to take all reasonable steps to reduce risk.

Step 5: Negotiate with the RTO and complete the relevant standard Contract or Agreement

  • Ensure the RTO is aware of the key elements of the service to be provided, including deliverables and timeframes, and curriculum requirements (for example, VCE VET Programs and block credit arrangements, scored assessment where available, and the contribution of the VET qualification and/or units of competency to the VCE, including the VCE Vocatinal Major).
  • Clarify all costs the school will be accountable for, including any costs to students/parents such as a materials levy.
  • Establish timelines for reporting student progress and competency achievements.
  • Once the school has selected an RTO, a Contract or Agreement should be completed and signed by the school and RTO before delivery commences.

Note that contract variation can be made with the agreement of both parties.

Step 6: Establish how the arrangements will be implemented

Assign school contacts to be responsible for:

  • student and school administration requirements, including the RTO reporting on the deliverables listed in the Reporting Details schedule within agreed timeframes
  • ensuring that the RTO has adequate notice of any issues or problems that may affect the training and assessment environment (e.g. known student absence, pupil free days, excursions, or specific student needs such as literacy, numeracy and welfare or other items identified in the contract)
  • ongoing student support
  • ensuring successful student outcomes in terms of completion of the VET qualification and/or units of competency
Setting up Purchasing and Auspicing Contracts with an RTO or Access Agreements with another government school

Reviewed 17 March 2023

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