Answers to help you with setting up your RTO

become an RTO


a. How hard is it? 


To help you in your journey to set up an RTO we have provided some FAQs.

If you would like more specific detail click here add your Name and email so that a short video can be forwarded to you. The video takes you through a simple example of likely expenses. 


How hard is it to set up an RTO?

  • It isn’t as hard as you think. It takes diligent and concentrated attention to detail, some expert guidance and the determination to succeed!
  • Setting up an RTO can be a tricky process; But here are the essential concepts and information that need to be understood.
  • Assistance can help considerably to make the process easier and to help you with ways to understand the Standards for Initial Registration

What are the costs for setting up and starting an RTO?

The costs involved in becoming a RTO range from registration fees to infrastructure costs and the purchase of training materials, student management system, equipment to support your students and relevant assessment resources. 

Any organisation applying to become an RTO must pay an application fee to the relevant registration body.



The initial application fee starts from $8,800 which includes the cost of the initial appraisal and compliance audit. This depends on number of sites, number of qualifications and/or units you are putting on scope and how you will apply. Please check your accrediting body for the most current details.

Other cost factors to consider:



  • Training and assessment material (average courseware costs $4000 per qualification)
  • Consultant (working with RTO Mentor prices start from $4997.00 for our RTO Success course which includes 5 hours consultation. Other solutions are available and depend on how many courses you want to put on scope and if you want a project where we coach you to achieve the result or RTO Mentor to complete everything for you)
  • Any specialised equipment or other resources you may require to deliver the training / assessment  (depends on what you intend to put on scope for example if you wish to deliver Forklift training you need access to a forklift)        
  • Staffing
  • Training rooms (if required)
  • Database to maintain AVETMISS compliant student data (Varies. An average cost starts from $100 per month + set up fees)
  • Online resources (if required) to support your students, such as a learning management system, online materials, website and associated costs, marketing costs  
  • Any professional development, or mandatory workshops
  • Insurance coverage – public liability, worker compensation, other essential insurances to run a business.

How long will the registration take?

An RTO is more than just a business, where you find a premises and register a business name. It is a regulated business that requires processes, applications and audits to be completed before you can commence operation. The process and documents that need to be submitted are detailed within your regulators website we would recommend that once the RTO structure and the training and assessment material has been set up, you can then apply for registration of your RTO.


For ASQA registrations, the immediate next step is to complete your financials and send them in. They need to be approved before anything else happens. Once you have completed the application and sent in the required documents, the next step is to wait to be contacted by your registering body. They will notify you about the next steps and how long it will be. The registration process can take from 2 to 6 months. The actual time taken will depend upon how the application will be assessed. This is determined based on risk factors relevant to the application and the nature of evidence required to assess the application.


Do I need a training room?

For domestic students, this depends on what you write in your strategy. If you say you will be using a training room then you need to be able to show your own leased property, or an agreement in place to use premises, such as a Club, Council hall or other such arrangements.

You may also need to show council approval to train in these premises – check with your local government.  


Do I need all my training and assessment tools for the audit?

Yes, you require tools for every unit of competency you have specified in the Strategy. You are expected to provide everything to show that you are ready to operate your RTO business as soon as you are given your registration number. During the audit you will be asked questions relating to the rules of evidence and principles of assessment for your tools. 


Can I deliver all my training and assessment online?

Yes, you will need to make sure you meet all of the units of competency, and to show clear activity online. A good online Learning Management System will be able to rpovide this information – such as when the student logged in, what they watched, saw, what activities they did, how far they are through the course. 

RTO Consultant RTO Mentor