For training providers - Smart and Skilled
Introduction for training providers on the NSW Smart and Skilled program. This provides NSW Government subsidised training. Access guidelines, policies, fee arrangements and support.
What is Smart and Skilled?
Smart and Skilled is a NSW Government program that helps people get qualifications in in-demand skills and industries. It’s a key part of the NSW vocational education and training system.
Smart and Skilled gives eligible students:
an entitlement to government-subsidised training up to and including Certificate III
government funding for higher-level courses (Certificate IV and above) in targeted priority areas.
STS Online and the Smart and Skilled application portal - what’s the difference?
Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) who are already delivering subsidised training until June 2023 as Smart and Skilled providers use STS Online for self-service administration.
All RTOs that applied to become providers for the Smart and Skilled program 2023-24 were required to submit information via the Smart and Skilled application portal. The application process ran from 1 November to 2 December 2022. The application form was accessible within the Smart and Skilled application portal from 1 November 2022.
Go to our STS login page. Google Chrome or Firefox is required.
New process for varying a Smart and Skilled contract: Financial Cap Review 2023-24
A new functionality has been developed on the Smart and Skilled Application portal where contracted providers will find the assessment of Financial Caps, the areas that are to be covered in their response, the capability to successfully submit their response to the Financial Cap Review and make adjustment requests.
- For further information go to our Financial Cap Review page.
New process for overpayments to providers
Inaccuracies in Training Activity Data submitted by training providers to the Department have resulted in overpayments being made.
From 15 March 2023 the Department of Education is introducing a new process for identification notification and recovery of overpayments made to training providers under Smart and Skilled contracts.
Find out more on our new process for overpayment process page.
Which qualifications are included?
The NSW Skills List identifies which qualifications are eligible for a government subsidy under Smart and Skilled.
Also see the Apprenticeship and traineeship training program search of qualifications.
Who delivers training for Smart and Skilled?
Approved Smart and Skilled training providers in NSW include TAFE NSW, Adult and Community Education (ACE) colleges and private training organisations. See Skills NSW. Training Services NSW updates approved providers about their responsibilities via this website, emails and logins for RTOs.
Who gets training under Smart and Skilled?
While eligibility depends on many factors, Smart and Skilled course participants include people who are:
15 years old or over, and
no longer at school or home-schooled students, and
living or working in NSW (or an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person living in specific NSW border areas), and
an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, humanitarian visa holder or New Zealand citizen
- a NSW apprentice or trainee
There are different categories of student fees based on the program, the qualification, and the characteristics of the student.
Support for disadvantaged students
Ways that Smart and Skilled supports disadvantaged students includes:
- Fee exemptions to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, students with disabilities and the dependents of Disability Support Pension recipients.
- Fee exemptions for refugees and asylum seekers (and eligible partners) for training up to and including Certificate IV.
- Scholarships for training up to and including a Certificate IV for:
- young people who are eligible for a concession fee
- young people who are or have been in out-of-home care
- people who are experiencing or have experienced domestic and family violence and their dependents.
- Fee concessions are also available to students receiving Commonwealth Government benefits and the dependents of benefit recipients. See Disadvantaged students and Subsidised training for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
- Fee-free foundation skills courses area available for people who want help with language, literacy, or numeracy skills. See Foundation Skills, Community College providers and NSW Skills List.
Training providers are compensated through a top up to the subsidy, called a loading, for the typical additional costs associated with providing training to specific categories of disadvantaged students.
See the Loadings page for details.
Essentials for training providers
Approved Smart and Skilled training providers must:
- deliver quality training
- adhere to Smart and Skilled guidelines and policies
- implement the new fee arrangements and
- establish consumer protection processes.
There are key policies and guidelines you must follow.
Guidelines and policies for Smart and Skilled
The NSW Quality Framework has important information on regulation, provider selection, eligibility, and assessments.
The framework describes best practice for high quality providers. It encourages behaviour to improve provider performance. It promotes a student-centred approach to training.
Visit the NSW Quality Framework page for more information on how it works.
Other essential guidelines and policies for approved training providers include:
Access these and other essential documents on our provider contract and policies page.
Each approved Smart and Skilled training provider must develop and implement a continuing professional development policy. This should include trainers, assessors, administration officers and RTO managers. View the Smart and Skilled Teaching and Leadership Policy.
Protecting consumers and handling complaints
Approved Smart and Skilled training providers must have a consumer protection and complaints-handling system in place. This is required by the Smart and Skilled Consumer Protection Strategy, the NSW Quality Framework, and the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). See the Consumer protection page.
Prices, fees, and loadings
As an approved training provider, you need to know the fee arrangements for Smart and Skilled including:
VET Student Loans
If you're interested in becoming an approved VET Student Loans provider, the Australian Government's VET Student Loans website provides further information.
For more information
For further support and advice for training providers under Smart and Skilled:
Contact Training Services NSW. This is a division of the NSW Department of Education that looks after vocational education and training in NSW. Email: TSNSW Customer Service & Operations or call 1300 772 104.
See our Training Provider pages in Vocational Education and Training
See our Training Provider page in Apprentices and Trainees
Search for Smart and Skilled courses and providers.