Guidelines and procedures

Competency based training

Under the competency based training model in the NT, an apprentice or trainee is signed off once their employer and RTO deem them competent. The RTO is required to notify Australian Apprenticeships Support Network NT of the completion within 14 days to enable the certificate of completion to be issued from the authority.

In the event of a dispute over the competence of an apprentice or trainee, the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade through Business and Workforce will investigate this and may seek an independent assessment.

Who can apply?

To access user choice funding in the NT, RTOs must:

  • be registered by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) in accordance with the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011, or
  • if not registered by ASQA, be registered by the regulator in their jurisdiction in accordance with the relevant vocational education and training regulatory legislation in that jurisdiction
  • have approved scope of registration to deliver the training package qualification for the relevant apprenticeship or traineeship as listed in the NT apprenticeships and traineeships database
  • be listed as a provider on the NT apprenticeships and traineeships database.

Approval to provide training and assessment services for apprentices and trainees in the NT is not a guarantee of funding.

Contractual arrangements

If an RTO is approved for user choice funding, the department will enter into a training contract with the RTO once the offer of funding is accepted by the RTO. The training contract will outline qualifications the RTO is funded to deliver and identify the performance and reporting targets.

Mandatory requirements for user choice funded RTOs include:

  • maintenance of registration and scope of registration as required by the relevant regulatory and legislative frameworks
  • adherence to AVETMISS and other reporting standards
  • compliance with the Training and Skills Development Act 2016 as it relates to apprenticeship arrangements
  • compliance with the Return to Work Act, section 126AA. The Act requires all employers (other than a self-insurer) to hold a workers compensation insurance policy with an approved insurer. For further information go to the NT WorkSafe website
  • ongoing compliance with the department’s policies, procedures and reporting timelines
  • compliance and cooperation in matters relating to audit
  • fulfilling roles and responsibilities as outlined in the training contract.

Duration of contract

The department provides funding on a calendar year basis. The contract duration will be for 12 months from 1 January to 31 December.

Funding priorities

The NT Government is committed to funding apprenticeship and traineeship training to meet the current and future skills demands of industry; however it reserves the right to identify priority areas for funding within a finite budget allocation. If an employer chooses an RTO that is not funded by the department, the costs associated with the off-the-job training will be met by the employer, including costs associated with travel and accommodation.

Apprenticeship and traineeship qualifications are available from Certificate level II through to Diploma and are eligible to be funded where they are identified in the training package as an appropriate apprenticeship / traineeship pathway. The eligibility of these qualifications to attract funding will be based on NT Government priorities.

Learner support

The department recognises the need to provide some apprentices and trainees with integrated one-on-one support to develop contextualised knowledge, language, literacy and numeracy skills. RTOs who receive user choice funding are eligible to apply for learner support AHC (annual hours curriculum).

Out of trade apprentices / trainees

Apprentices and trainees who have not completed the contractual requirements of their apprenticeship or traineeship due to the cancellation of the contract of training may be funded to continue their off-the-job training by the nominated RTO. Funding for off-the-job training will be provided for a period of up to 12 months while a new employer is sought. Any off the job training in this time must align to the work experiences achieved by the apprentice or trainee.

This option only applies to those apprentices and trainees whose training was funded through user choice prior to the cancellation of their contract of training.

Existing workers

An employee who has worked continuously for an employer either full-time for three months, or part-time or casual for 12 months, prior to entering into an apprenticeship or traineeship contract of training will be deemed an existing worker.

Under this policy, an existing worker:

  • is eligible to access user choice funded training to undertake an apprenticeship.
  • is not eligible to access user choice funded training to undertake a traineeship.

Exceptions to this policy are where the existing worker is:

  • a person who worked when attending school and is subsequently entering a traineeship with the same employer
  • undertaking a traineeship in an occupation experiencing skills shortages as listed on the NT Skilled Occupation Priority List
  • progressing to a higher level qualification within the same national training package, no more than 12 months after completing a previous apprenticeship or traineeship. The department will fund only the one progression, for example, Certificate II to a Certificate III.
  • an Aboriginal person.

Non-residents of Australia

The following people are eligible to enter into a contract of training in the Northern Territory and therefore participate in apprenticeships or traineeships, including those which may be funded under the User Choice Funding Program:

  • Australian citizens
  • New Zealand citizens who have resided in Australia for the last six months
  • persons with permanent residency visas
  • persons with temporary protection visas.

Other visa holders may engage in apprenticeships and traineeships provided their work and training rights allow this, based on information and advice provided by the Australian Government - Department of Home Affairs.

The department accepts no liability for false or misleading information provided by an employer or employee in relation to residency status that results in a person being illegally employed. Employers and RTOs must confirm the employability status of individual visa holders with the Department of Home Affairs.

If the department determines, after a contract of training has been registered, that the apprentice or trainee did not meet the eligibility criteria to undertake the apprenticeship / traineeship at the time of approval, the contract of training will be cancelled. The employer will be solely responsible for any financial consequences that ensue.

What is not funded under user choice?

Apprenticeships and traineeships are not available at the Certificate I level in the NT and are therefore not eligible for funding under user choice.

Apprenticeship and traineeship qualifications that are not funded through user choice may be funded on a ‘fee-for-service’ basis as negotiated between the employer and RTO.

Registered training organisation fees

The responsibility for the payment of any fees and charges related to the training of apprentices and trainees should be set out within the relevant industrial award or agreement the apprentice or trainee is employed under. Where the industrial award or agreement is silent on this matter, the employer is encouraged to assist their apprentices and trainees in meeting these additional costs.

Further advice on this matter should be sought through Fair Work Australia.

Last updated: 10 October 2019

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