RTOs Join Forces To Discuss Compliance

Emma presenting at the Inaugural RTO Managers' Meeting

Fortress Learning’s Compliance Manager, Emma Siebuhr, sharing Fortress Learning’s experience of the new TAE application process at the Inaugural RTO Managers’ Meeting.


The Inaugural RTO Managers’ Meeting was held in Brisbane on the 14th of February 2018. The meeting served as an opportunity for RTO Managers to come together and share their experiences with the new TAE application process and compliance in general.

Among those who attended were Fortress Learning’s Owner and Managing Director, Dr Bryan West; Fortress Learning’s Compliance Manager, Emma Siebuhr; and SAVE Training‘s Owner, Paul Pellier.

Bryan had this to say about the issue of compliance, and what it all means moving forward:

“It’s quite clear to many people who work in the Vocational Education sector, RTOs and so on, that the compliance landscape has changed. One expression that gets used is ‘the goal posts have shifted.’

The process of applying for the new Cert IV qualification certainly was a, let’s face it, it was a shock for many RTOs, ourselves included.

There were RTOs who had been doing things that had previously been considered perfectly compliant at audit, but were found to be no longer compliant in a number of areas. The inconsistency across the audits of those organisations seeking the new Cert IV meant that there was uncertainty.

So, what we at Fortress Learning decided to do was to approach a number of RTOs who we thought operated with integrity within the space and we basically invited them to meet together to share a ‘warts and all’ account of the application process.

On the day, we ended up with a few RTOs who participated. Not everyone who was invited chose to do so and that’s fine. We started the day by all signing a non-disclosure agreement and we spent the day drilling down into our experiences.

Our own Compliance Manager, Emma Siebuhr, kicked it off with a presentation about our whole Fortress Learning 14 month process from go to woe.

Then, the other Training Organisations explained and described what they went through, and we went through the whole thing: the nitty gritty, bit by bit.

We had opportunities to talk to each other, to interrogate, to ask clarifying questions and to really learn more about what it could be that the regulator is seeking to do.

I know, from our point of view, the learnings on the day were incredibly valuable. We’ve taken a few key ideas away that will inform the way we do things.

Also, I’m pretty confident that we’ve established the groundwork for further relationships with those other RTOs which will help to not just support us and our work, but ultimately, support the industry as a whole.”

Paul Pellier, Owner of SAVE Training, is hopeful for what the Inaugural RTO Managers’ Meeting means for the future of the VET sector. Here is what Paul had to say:

SAVE Training is a committed provider of the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and other TAE products. We and the other delegates at this meeting, regardless of each of our competitive advantages, have an obligation to create a rock solid foundation for the Vocational Education and Training sector by creating amazing trainers and assessors.

The meeting was just the beginning of a new approach to fostering and promoting quality outcomes which will benefit all, especially our graduates and the greater VET sector.”

Fortress Learning’s Emma Siebuhr, also shared her thoughts on the experience:

“It was great to listen to such intelligent minds and be part of that whole experience of understanding how other people do things. It has given us a really good understanding.

Being able to get together with the other RTOs is something we’ve been talking about for a really long time.

Networking and creating real relationships with the other RTOs was so valuable. Instead of seeing them as competitors, we were able to build a relationship that allows us to discuss things that we can do better. I think getting together with like-minded people like this really helps us moving forward. We do better – everyone does better!”


Fortress Learning is pleased to share our free Your Monthly Compliance Strategy with you. Your Monthly Compliance Strategy provides a structured approach to evaluating your organisation’s compliance with the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (2015). Click HERE to download your free Your Monthly Compliance Strategy.


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