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Change-of-Ownership Requirements for RTOs

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

Australia currently has 4500 RTOs that train students nationwide via Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs. Overseen by ASQA (Australian Skills Quality Authority) and CRICOS (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students), RTOs operate under the jurisdiction and approval of the government. They are subject to numerous requirements that are bound by the law. RTO change of ownership also involves strict conformity with several rules.


RTO- Change of Ownership

To change RTO ownership means changing shareholders. RTO registration is listed under the owner’s name and ABN/ACN. Under Australian Law, this registration is not transferrable and may not be shifted between legal entities or corporate bodies.


To shift shareholding between establishments without disrupting the ABN/ACN connection, the RTO provider must inform ASQA of this intention, as ownership change impacts:

  1. The RTO’s financial position

  2. ABN/CAN legal obligations

  3. The positions of registered, executive, and principal executive powers

  4. Mergers between training providers

Changing the ownership of an RTO is a high-risk consideration. ASQA takes it extremely seriously. As such, registering the change of ownership application is a lengthy and complex process requiring many verification steps, including full auditing of the RTO and the buyer to ensure the new RTO provider is suitably qualified, skilled, and experienced to deliver quality VET courses and outcomes.


They must also be demonstrably aware of their ASQA/CRICOS responsibilities within the VET framework.


RTO registration requires a demonstration of compliance in terms of the following:

  1. Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015

  2. Fit and Proper Person Requirements 2011

  3. Financial Viability Risk Assessment Requirements 2011

  4. Data Provision Requirements 2012

  5. Australian Qualifications Framework.

  6. Cooperation with ASQA compliance monitoring activities

  7. VET course licensing requirements

  8. Payment of registration fees

Further requirements must be fulfilled if training is to be provided to overseas students.


More details can be found here on the full scope of compliance responsibilities and obligations.


Changing RTO Ownership? Call RTO Intelligence

The process for ownership changes of RTOs is not simple – and it is strongly advised that buyers and sellers of RTOs seek professional guidance from experts such as the team at RTO Intelligence. We can help you successfully navigate the complicated minefield of RTO compliance and the rules about ownership changes.

Among the many comprehensive services we offer, we help RTO buyers and sellers through the following:

  1. Linking RTO sellers with prospective buyers

  2. Intelligence reviews of RTOs that meet buyer criteria

  3. Intelligence reviews of RTOs for the creation of detailed business overviews for sellers

  4. Conduction of feasibility reviews to report in detail on existing RTO operations for the need to restructure, modify, build, package, and sell.

  5. Due diligence checks for buyers concerning quality compliance

  6. Conduction of targeted audits

  7. Comprehensive setup support

  8. and much, much more

Call the team at RTO Intelligence on 1300 833 424 in Australia or complete our online contact form. We look forward to working with you to help you succeed in your RTO.

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