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RTO Setup

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Thinking about setting up an RTO? Get your ‘Why?’ right!


RTO setup is a complex and ultimately rewarding process. However, the road to success is it is not without many challenges. Investing in an RTO setup consultant who can assist in setting up your RTO right from its inception is a good idea.


A key component for continued RTO registration and business longevity is a clear idea of why you are in business in the first place.


The setup of an RTO is very different from other businesses. With an RTO setup, you:

  1. must adhere to a unique set of RTO guidelines and quality standards

  2. prove you are competent and know what you are getting yourself in for

  3. must operate in a competitive environment, where brand and understanding your market is everything.

You don’t get many shots at getting it right. Getting it wrong is costly and has far-reaching consequences.

So let’s look at the RTOs that have succeeded and those that have failed. It’s all about getting your ‘Why?’ right.


RTOs: Stories of successes and failures Chasing the funding


It’s a familiar story: you see on the news that the Government is funding thousands of training places. You tune in, as you have trained in one of these industries for years. You know, there are many people who need skills, and some jobs aren’t getting filled. It sounds perfect. You ask around, and you are told it’s a great idea. Time to set up an RTO! The only issue is that you have never run a business, created a business plan, or known about long-term strategy.


Sadly, many RTOs have been set up to capitalise on government funding. They are so focused on enrolments and completions that they fail to deliver a quality service to their customer which meets RTO standards . The focus on funding and this ‘Why?’ has led to the collapse of many RTOs. An RTO setup consultant can help you get your "why" right so this wouldn't happen to your RTO.


It’s time to expand.


You have finalised your RTO setup. It’s a success! You get great enrolment numbers, your completion rate is fantastic, you have a great staff, and you have passed your first audit. You have found the magic recipe! It would be crazy not to replicate this model and expand it. You set up a second office. It’s working out nicely. You are gaining momentum. You might as well open a third and a fourth.


It might even be time to buy an RTO that one of your mate’s friends is selling. You add up the numbers, and things are looking rosy. You are, however, finding it hard to get good staff and student numbers are not as easy to get in your new locations, so you need to be more easy-going with whom you enrol. After all, it’s not cheap setting up new locations.


In the race to keep feeding your insatiable appetite for success, you lose sight of what made you successful in the first place: getting it right in terms of structure, process and people. You have lost sight of your ‘Why?’. Many rapid expansions of RTOs are met with even more rapid closures.


Focus on your niche.


Happily, many RTOs are set up well and remain prosperous and achieve their goals; despite the challenges that all businesses face in a fluctuating market. Many of these RTOs focus on their niche, strengths and core proposition. Continuously building on what you do well is an important way to strengthen your brand and build trust with your students, staff and the VET regulators. A good brand and trust are priceless in the vocational education sector.


How to get your ‘Why?’ right.


Getting your ‘Why?’ right takes thought, consultation and planning. It is not only essential to understand it yourself, but you must communicate it in everything you do and say. Your ‘Why?’ should be part of every analysis, strategy and planning activity for your RTO setup.

So how do you get your ‘Why?’ right? Make the time to collaborate with people with expertise in the RTO industry. You need people with the right skills and experience to contribute and facilitate your thinking. You need people who can focus your energy and ideas and help you formulate a clear message woven through every part of your RTO setup and implementation.


Things change, and so might your ‘Why?’, so finding your ‘Why?’ is not a one-time deal.  Your ‘Why?” should be revisited routinely. Your ‘Why?’ should always give you the motivation and energy to serve your customers and your business.


If you get your ‘Why?’ right, adhering to RTO standards will be a seamless part of your proposition. You will stay market-savvy, competent and competitive because you are passionate about the customer journey and experience. Your brand will continue to grow and stand out because your customers, staff, regulators and suppliers connect with your ‘Why?’ too.


Why hire an expert?


RTO setup is a complex activity. It requires many diverse skills and an understanding of what works and does not work in the current environment. Good RTO setup consultants like RTO Intelligence experts are well-networked and keep up-to-date with market conditions, regulatory changes and regulatory decisions.


This know-how saves you a lot of time and money. We can provide you with a great source of support as you venture into an exciting new phase with many unknowns. We help you get your ‘Why?’ right so that when it comes to your RTO setup, you create rock-solid foundations to keep your customers happy for years.

Get in touch with us today at 1300 833 424 or contact us via email.

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