RTO Typology

JSA is developing a new method of categorising RTOs to assist with providing advice on the adequacy of the Australian VET system.


There are over 4,000 Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) delivering Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications, apprenticeships and short courses throughout Australia.

Jobs and Skills Australia is developing an RTO Typology to add to our understanding of how the VET system operates. The typology is one way (among many) of looking at similarities and differences in how RTOs operate and relate to students, communities and industry. It highlights the diversity of our VET sector, even within singular categories such as Private RTOs and Adult and Community Education providers.

The methodology paper is an important step in our work. We are seeking feedback on how the design of the segments correspond with day-to-day practice and any suggestions for how the typology might help RTOs and other stakeholders improve decision making.

Further information

RTOs are typically grouped together using the Australian Vocational Education and Training Management Information Statistical Standard (AVETMISS) provider type classification. Provider type is largely determined through ownership and funding structures, which create classifications such as TAFE institutes, universities, enterprise RTOs, community organisations, industry and professional associations and schools. Under this grouping approximately 3,000 private RTOs appear together despite their significant diversity in terms of size, scope, delivery footprint, student cohort and business model.

The RTO Typology addresses this challenge by segmenting the VET system to create groups of like RTOs. The typology aims to take the provider type classification as a starting point and reorganise and break it down further using established statistical techniques for sorting large volumes of data, to work out which RTOs fit into each of the groups. This methodology is explained in detail in the report.

The RTO Typology methodology paper sets out the methodology for developing the RTO Typology, outlines amendments made as part of stakeholder co development processes and indicates how JSA intends to use the RTO Typology to provide advice and analysis of the VET system.

Substantial improvement to the typology has occurred since its initial creation in mid 2022. Key stakeholders, including state and federal government organisations as well as VET peak bodies, have been engaged at various points throughout the project. The typology was guided by the hands-on experience of key stakeholders, with them providing input into the principles used for the classification, the defining features of the classification, and into the structure of the final clusters. The typology was iteratively augmented after each consultation through this co development process.

What’s next?

The RTO Typology will be used by JSA to analyse the VET landscape and its impact on outcomes achieved for students across VET. JSA intends to continually improve the typology by incorporating new data that may become available over time.

As with the development of the first iteration of the RTO Typology, stakeholder feedback is vital to support our ongoing improvement process.

JSA welcomes questions or feedback on this methodology paper for the RTO Typology.

Please send your feedback or any questions to RTOTypology@jobsandskills.gov.au. Feedback closes AEDT 5 pm, Friday 28 June 2024.


RTO Typology - Methodology Paper

DOCX 1.9mb


RTO Typology - Methodology Paper

PDF 1.01mb