This project will develop tools to accelerate collaborative working relationships between employers and registered training organisations (RTOs), and their shared expectations about training, support and assessment of learners.


Multiple reviews into the Human Services sector have revealed that Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), employers, and students have different expectations for training content, training delivery and assessment of learners.  Some reviews have identified a lack of communication, consultation, information and data sharing between RTOs and industry as key obstacles to developing quality training for the sector.  Lack of direct feedback mechanisms from employers to RTOs on the quality and content of their courses, has led some RTOs to focus on compliance, rather than the relevance and usefulness of their courses for the human services workforce.

Objectives of this project include developing resources that:

  • a wide range of employers and industry bodies find practical and easy to use, and is something that they will recommend to others
  • assist both employers and RTOs to better engage with each other
  • help to shift potential negative mindsets about engagement between employers and RTOs and assist with creating a positive culture around engagement with VET
  • encompass both formal and informal training and development processes as part of a broad approach to workforce development
  • gather examples of good practice and successful engagement between employers and RTOs


The first stage of the project involved conducting a brief scan of recent literature and data related to engagement between employers and RTOs/the VET system, as well as a series of conversations with representatives of the industry sectors represented by the HSSO - Early Childhood Education and Care, Youth, Community Services, Disability Support, Aged Care, Allied Health and Veteran’s Services.

The conversations explored the ways in which each sector currently engages with VET for the purposes of training and workforce development, the drivers for engagement, the types of people and organisations most likely to use and benefit from the guide, possible examples of good practice, and effective approaches for consulting with stakeholders in the sector.

The second stage of the project gathered views and insights from a range of employers and RTOs across the seven industry sectors as well as from across employing organisations of different sizes and different levels of organisational maturity in relation to workforce development.

To date 21 interviews and 5 focus groups involving more than 60 individual stakeholders across the full range of Human Services sectors have been conducted. Research and drafting of case studies has commenced.

Next Steps

Following completion of the engagement activities in Stage 2 we will analyse the findings and prepare a design brief for the guide. This design brief will outline the proposed structure, content and format of the How to Engage Guide.

We anticipate the Guide and resources will be published in November 2021.