Frequently asked questions - Smart and Skilled program 2023-24
Smart and Skilled is the central NSW Government program for vocational education and training (VET) and is also the vehicle for delivering NSW Fee Free.
Applications for the 2023-2024 Smart and Skilled Contract were assessed through a rigorous, competitive process. Applicants were required to demonstrate their capability, capacity and quality of delivery of training and assessments. Areas that were looked at in the assessment process included organisation region and qualification.
The assessment process ensured that the successful Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) are suitably qualified and capable of meeting the requirements of delivering training under the Smart and Skilled program.
Refer to your 2023-2024 Smart and Skilled contract offer (Annexure) for instructions on how to accept the offer.
If your organisation accepts the contract offer, you will need to provide payment and administration details, as well as personnel information. Before accepting the offer, you need to complete the Data Maintenance section on STS Online.
Smart and Skilled contract documents are comprised of:
- the Contract Terms and Conditions,
- the Operating Guidelines and Policies
- the organisation's Approved Qualification Activity Schedule(s), where relevant.
Before accepting the offer, your organisation should carefully read, review and understand the Smart and Skilled Contract documents, which include the Contract Terms and Conditions and the Operating Guidelines and Policies, the Approved Qualification Activity Schedule(s), where relevant. and the Smart and Skilled Prices, Fees and Loadings Schedule.
By accepting the Smart and Skilled Contract, your organisation is agreeing to comply with the Contract Terms and Conditions, Operating Guidelines and Policies and any other Policies that may be issued from time to time. This will enable your organisation to deliver the approved program under Smart and Skilled. Please note that by accepting an offer, your organisation will assume all risks associated with the Smart and Skilled contract and its performance.
If the contract acceptance is not completed by the specified date in your offer letter, the contract offer will expire and be formally withdrawn.
Enrolments, for students who meet Smart and Skilled eligibility, for full qualifications on Approved Qualification Activity Schedule(s) can begin from the day after the contract offer is accepted. Please read the Smart and Skilled Fee Administration Policy before commencing enrolments to determine whether student fees are applicable. Where they are, the student fees for each qualification can be found at qualifications prices and fees schedule.
However, training can only commence from 1 July 2023 as per the Activity Schedule(s). To ensure compliance with program requirements, we encourage you to carefully review the Smart and Skilled eligibility and Fee Administration Policies and the Activity Schedule(s) before enrolling students.
The Notification of Enrolment Process is a process that an organisation must undertake using the Provider Calculator that is available in STS Online. It allows an organisation to enrol students for subsidised training (full and part qualifications). It can be done online for one student at a time or for multiple students at a time by uploading an Excel spreadsheet into the calculator.
The Provider Calculator allows you to check student eligibility and fee, create an enquiry (quote), process individual or bulk Notification of Enrolment to create a Commitment ID, search for and enter details for school-based apprentices and trainees (SBATs).
If your organisation is an existing Smart and Skilled provider, you may continue to deliver subsidised training to current Smart and Skilled students who commenced the Approved qualification in previous Activity Periods to completion of the qualification.
Once all contract offers have been accepted the TPPPQ Program will be set up for the contract period. Providers approved to deliver part qualifications will have access to the Training Needs Identification form via STS Online. Providers must submit requests for funding via the form. Providers with successful applications will be issued with Provider Activity Schedules. (PAS) which specifies the Training Commencement Period, the part qualification (bundles of nationally accredited UoCs or nationally accredited skills sets) to be delivered and the training completion date Please read all TPPPQ policies and guidelines, that can be found on STS online, before submitting a TNI.
The Smart and Skilled Contract details all the requirements of the provider to be eligible to receive payment of subsidies and any applicable loadings.
There are a range of resources available to assist your organisation with Smart and Skilled. For example, the Provider’s Guide to Smart and Skilled includes an overview of Smart and Skilled and refers to other important user guides and information, which can all be found in the Support Documents section of STS Online.
Additionally, a Strategic Relationship Manager (SRM) will be assigned to assist you, and the department will provide a series of webinars on various aspects of Smart and Skilled.
We offer an on-boarding program that will guide you through the process of becoming an approved provider, which includes an overview of the Smart and Skilled program and its key features, STS Online, financial caps management, notification of enrolment, managing apprentices and trainees, contract and performance standards, and quality and compliance.
By participating in our on-boarding program, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the Smart and Skilled program and how to deliver high-quality training to learners.
The Pre-Qualified List is a list of RTOs who have applied and met the eligibility and assessment criteria. The list can be used to introduce additional capacity for subsidised training if required.
If an RTO is placed on the Pre-Qualified List, it means they have satisfied the eligibility and assessment criteria for the specific markets for which they have applied. They may be offered a Smart and Skilled contract in the future if the department identifies more training capacity is required.
Being on the Pre-Qualified List does not guarantee that an RTO will be offered a Smart and Skilled contract. The department will only offer contracts if additional funding becomes available and if the department identifies a need for additional training capacity in a specific market.
No, the decisions are final. However, RTOs on the Pre-Qualified list may be provided an opportunity to enter a Smart and Skilled contract in the future, dependent upon the training needs and funding availability.
The Department may choose to engage with RTOs on the Pre-Qualified List at any time, however, RTOs may be asked to provide updated information prior to entering a Smart and Skilled Contract with the Department, if the time this occurs is following the 23/24 Activity period.
Yes, you can only continue to enrol students provided they commence training prior to the end of current contract period on 30 June 2023. However, you must consider how you will manage your continuing students and financial cap management, where applicable. You can no longer enrol new students under Smart and Skilled after 30 June 2023.
You may continue to deliver Subsidised Training to enrolled students who commenced training in any Activity Periods previously approved by the department, but the training must be in the same Approved Qualification and Smart and Skilled program unless otherwise advised by the department.
No. After 1 July 2023, it is imperative that all references to Smart and Skilled be completely removed. This includes the removal of any mention of Smart and Skilled on your organisation’s websites, course information, advertising, communications, and any discussions with potential students. It is important to ensure that this deadline is met in a timely and efficient manner to avoid any confusion.
The Transfer Out Process refers to instructions that Smart and Skilled providers must adhere to if they are unable to continue providing training to their students. These guidelines include notifying Enrolled Students of their choices for continuing their training and ensuring that all students receive a Statement of Attainment or Testamur that accurately reflects their training and assessment progress.
No, the applicant cannot appeal the department's assessment and allocation decision for Smart and Skilled application 2023-24. The decision is final and binding.
No, the assessment outcome is final, and there will be no review or reconsideration of any part of this outcome.
Your dedicated Strategic Relationship Manager (SRM) will work closely with your organisation to help understand your training delivery plan. There may be opportunities to request adjustments to Financial Cap(s). Further information can be found in the 2023-2024 Smart and Skilled – Skills Delivery and Management Policy.
Yes, however the purpose of the feedback process is to provide applicants with a fair and informative overview of their application's performance against the assessment criteria.
If you would like to request feedback of the assessment process, please email us at SmartandSkilled.Application@det.nsw.edu.au.
You will be provided an opportunity to obtain a Statement of Performance detailing the reasons your application was unsuccessful. The statement will include general comments regarding the performance of the application against the established assessment criteria. Specific information contained in any successful or unsuccessful applications will not be disclosed beyond what is required to be publicly disclosed.
The duration of the feedback processwill vary depending on the volume of requests received. However, Training Services NSW strives to provide a timely response to all applicants.
Any remaining questions
If you have outstanding questions, concerns or a complaint, please send a detailed email to SmartandSkilled.Application@det.nsw.edu.au.