For enterprise RTOs

Many rail organisations operate as enterprise RTOs. Enterprise registered training organisations are defined by the following characteristics:

  • the core business of the registered enterprise is not the provision of training;
  • the enterprise RTO provides accredited training for the employees of the enterprise
  • the enterprise RTO is embedded or integrated within the business processes of the enterprise.

The concept of the enterprise RTO is relatively new in Australia (no more than 20 years) and it is therefore not surprising that there is not as much information on the process of Skills Recognition in enterprise RTOs as there is for other situations.

A 2005 study of enterprise RTOs identified the following benefits of RPL for employers and employees (Cleary, M. and Down, C. (2005) Enterprise RPL Project, Brisbane, ANTA)

‘Enterprise RPL processes can reduce the time involved in making RPL assessments, provide assessment on-site and, therefore, reduce the costs both to the employer and the employees while still retaining a rigorous and consistent process. Additional benefits of an enterprise-based RPL system include:

  • a process designed to specifically meet the enterprise’s needs
  • a process that can be integrated into other enterprise processes such as work appraisal, workforce deployment, and remuneration
  • an assessment process which is designed to fit in with production and service schedules
  • the reduction of time employees are non-productive on account of skills development activities’

The following recommendations also come from this study:

‘Before an enterprise-based RPL process is established, the following activities need to be undertaken:

  • identifying the areas within the enterprise for potential RPL
  • investigating potential outcomes
  • identifying possible RTO partners with appropriate registration parameters
  • investigating infrastructural barriers which will need to be overcome
  • discussion around the opportunities an RPL process might provide
  • gaining commitment to an RPL process from key people within the enterprise
  • identifying how the partnership(s) between the enterprise and RTO(s) will work, that is:
    • internal RPL process with external validation
    • RTO personnel work on-site to assess and evaluate the RPL process
    • RTO works on-site to develop enterprise capacity to assess RPL with validation from RTO
    • off-site, external RPL assessment supported by the enterprise
    • other suitable arrangements
    • designing a suitable process, taking into account the special capabilities and resources each of the partners can contribute to the process’.


The Enterprise Registered Training Association (ERTOA) is a key national body that represents and supports enterprise RTOs. As part of the COAG RPL promotion project, ERTOA undertook research into RPL processes among a sample of enterprise RTOs. The model of best practice RPL processes in enterprise RTOs as follows, is adapted from the findings of ERTOA’s report.

For further information on enterprise RTOs, and a more detailed discussion of their RPL model, visit the ERTOA website at


A Skills Recognition model for enterprise RTOs


Adapted, with permission, from ERTOA (2009) RPL models in enterprise registered training organisations (final member’s report).