Several aspects of a RTO’s performance are regulated through the Standards for RTOs; therefore, responsibilities and accountabilities over these areas must be established.
RTOs must establish an effective structure through which the RTO’s goals are achieved. This includes the managerial capacity to lead the organisation, determine and implement the frameworks, systems, processes and relationships by which authority is exercised.
Managerial agents and executive officers must be able to demonstrate their skills, knowledge and experience to support their appointment; and must be vested with sufficient authority to provide control over the RTO’s operations and to be held to account. Managerial agents and executive officers must meet Fit and Proper Person Requirements.
Risk management, compliance and administration are all elements of governance. Managerial agents and executive officers are accountable for the RTO’s financial viability, regulatory reporting obligations, Commonwealth, state and territory legislation and regulatory requirements relevant to the RTO’s operations, relationships with the national regulator (ASQA), and the internal compliance program.
Depending on the size and scope of operations, a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is responsible for governance or have a CEO and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), or have a CEO, CFO and Chief Compliance Officer (CCO), or have a Board of Directors supporting the executive officers.
The CEO will take responsibility for Human Resources, but some RTOs have a HR Manager.
Quality and Compliance
While the RTO’s CEO is ultimately responsible for compliance and sometimes the CCO is responsible for establishing a Compliance Program, RTOs normally nominate a staff member as Compliance Manager/Officer to take over administering the Compliance Program, including internal communication of regulatory requirements, compliance training, quality assurance (including assessment validations), internal audits, and internal compliance reporting.
Training and Assessment
Training and assessment activities include:
- Engaging with industry
- Designing Training and Assessment Strategies
- Developing/customising/updating training and assessment resources
- Employing and managing trainers and assessors
- Working with training package products
- Supporting student
Once again, the structure selected by a RTO will differ depending on the size and scope of the operations.
Some RTOs have a Training or Academic Manager that manages the above-mentioned tasks and a team of trainers that deliver and assess training. Some RTOs incorporate an Industry Liaison Manager/Officer that leads/coordinates industry engagement activities, an Instructional Designer to develop training and assessment resources, and a Student Support/Success Officer that provides and/or coordinates students’ inductions, and educational support.
RTO staff perform several administrative tasks. The RTO is responsible for maintaining accurate students’ records. This includes records of enrolment, training participation, assessment and certification.
The volume of work depends not only on the number of students, but also on specific regulatory and contractual obligations. For example, a CRICOS RTO needs to use the PRISMS system to process confirmation of enrolments, and funding contracts with state departments, or traineeship/apprenticeships normally attract some further administrative work.
RTOs normally nominate an Administration Manager/Coordinator, and several Administration Officers as required.
Finance, Accounting and Bookkeeping
The executive officers are responsible for managing finance, which includes budgeting, financial planning and regulatory financial reporting (ATO). Most RTOs also have an accountant or bookkeeper to deal with the day-to-day accounting/bookkeeping needs.
Critical tasks for RTOs are brand promotion, lead generation, lead qualification and lead conversion, online marketing, social media marketing and business-to-business marketing.
RTOs’ marketing is heavily regulated, and it is important that information provided to prospective students is factual, and accurately represents the training products offered. Most RTOs have a Marketing Manager/Coordinator and several Course Advisors. Social Media Managers/Coordinators are also normally part of the marketing team.
For CRICOS RTOs, the Marketing Manager is normally responsible (sometimes a shared responsibility with the Compliance Manager), for managing the Education Agents.
What is the best organisational structure for your RTO?
The response will depend on multiple factors (scope of operations, number of students, size of the RTO), and these organisational structures evolve with the business. Strictly from the compliance perspective, you need to ensure the tasks listed above are allocated to someone within your organisation.
Below are some common RTO Organisational Charts.
Organisational Chart 1
This is a typical structure for organisations that are applying to become an RTO. In some cases, the CEO act in multiple positions such as Compliance and Accounts Manager until the RTO starts to generate business. Similarly, it is common to see Training Managers to act as Administration Manager during the initial days of an RTO.
Organisational Chart 2
This is a typical structure for RTOs that have achieved some growth within the local market.
Organisational Chart 3
This is a typical structure for RTOs that have achieved some growth within the local and
International (CRICOS) market.
The above are only examples of common current organisational structures. Your RTO may require other positions or Job Roles relevant to your business model and operations.