Group training organisation policy
The Northern Territory (NT) Government recognises the key role that group training organisations (GTOs) play in creating and maintaining training and employment opportunities for Territorians. GTOs collectively are the largest employer of apprentices and trainees in the NT and are vital to the further growth of the apprenticeship and traineeship system.
The NT Government through the Department of Trade Business and Innovation through Workforce NT is committed to supporting a high quality group training network underpinned by the national standards for group training organisations and a policy framework that encourages GTOs to provide appropriate training and support to apprentices and trainees, meet the need of industry and grow apprenticeships and traineeships in the Territory.
The department recognises that there are a range of contributing factors that affect the ongoing viability of GTOs in the NT. The department will work in partnership with GTOs to increase apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities, in particular for Aboriginal and disadvantaged Territorians, and to assist GTOs to identify strategies that maximise structured employment and training opportunities in the industry growth areas.
The Group Training Organisation Policy has been developed to ensure a viable group training network into the future by providing a framework for:
- registration / recognition of organisations as GTOs
- assessment of NT registered GTO’s eligibility for funding under the NT Group Training Program
- ongoing assessment of all registered GTOs against the National Standards for Group Training Organisations and relevant legislative and policy requirements
- ongoing monitoring and evaluation of outcomes achieved by GTOs against established and agreed local benchmarks and continuing compliance with the requirements for recognition in the NT.
The responsibility for developing and maintaining this policy rests with the director of Training Services.
The executive director of Workforce NT is responsible for approving this policy.
Group training organisation
A profit, or not-for-profit, entity (usually a company) established to provide a group training service to employers, apprentices and trainees.
Group training services
GTOs employ apprentices and trainees and are responsible for ensuring those employees receive suitable training, on-the-job experience and appropriate support. To achieve this aim, GTOs will find a suitable ‘host’ employer for the apprentice or trainee to work with on a day-to-day basis.
Apprentices and trainees employed by GTOs may spend their entire apprenticeship or traineeship with one host employer who can offer a well-rounded training and employment experience. Alternatively, they may be rotated around a number of host employers who can each offer a specialised area of training.
Entities that are recognised as GTOs in the NT will have met the requirements of this policy and the National Standards for Group Training Organisations.
Recognition of GTOs and the employment of apprentices and trainees in the NT are governed by this policy and the Training and Skills Development Act 2016 respectively.
Organisations that satisfy the requirements set out within this policy will be placed on the Group Training National Register.
Recognition of group training organisations
Application for recognition as a group training organisation
To ensure the GTOs in the Territory provide and maintain a high quality service, the department will recognise an organisation as a GTOs according to the process outlined below.
Organisations seeking to be recognised as GTOs are required to comply with the two-part application process:
- meet the NT requirements outlined in this policy and the application for registration as a GTO in the NT
- demonstration of compliance with the National Standards for Group Training Organisations.
An application will not be evaluated until both the application form and the evidence of compliance with National Standards for Group Training Organisations have been submitted. Formal recognition of an organisation as a GTO will only occur once compliance with the National Standards for Group Training Organisations has been confirmed.
Evaluation of applications
Applications for organisations seeking to be recognised as a GTO will be evaluated against the criteria below. The department specifies that the organisation seeking to operate must have a physical location in the NT. The department will take approximately four weeks to evaluate an application depending on the nature of the application and the amount of evidence and research provided by the applicant. As part of its evaluation the department may:
- conduct its own research into demand for the proposed services
- contact organisations that have supplied letters of support to verify their position or to obtain further information
- contact other State Training Authorities
- request company searches
- request further information from the applicant.
Where it is deemed that an organisation is required to undergo a full or partial compliance audit against the National Standards for Group Training Organisations, the organisation will be advised in writing and a date for conducting the audit will be negotiated. This may extend the evaluation period.
Organisations are responsible for meeting all audit costs and any costs associated with rectifying any outstanding non-compliances identified through audit.
Once the departments’ officers have evaluated the application, a recommendation will be prepared for the director of Workforce Initiatives with final approval by the executive director of Workforce NT.
Organisations that have their primary registration in the NT may be approved for a period up to three years. GTOs will be required to undergo a full compliance audit against the National Standards for Group Training Organisations prior to the expiration of the registration period where they intend to continue operating as a GTO in the NT.
Extensions to GTO registration periods may be approved by the department under extenuating circumstances or whereby the registration has lapsed and may adversely affect the employment and outcome of apprentices / trainees apprenticeship or traineeship.
For organisations whose primary registration is in another jurisdiction, recognition to operate as a GTO in the NT may be approved by the department for a period of up to three years but will not extend the period of their primary registration.
Existing recognition status
GTOs with existing recognition status are required to provide the department with evidence that the requirement of the National Standards for Group Training Organisations have been met and complete the application form. Applications will be subject to an evaluation based on criteria in scope of registration below.
Interstate group training organisations
Interstate GTOs may apply for recognition as a GTO in the NT.
Interstate applicants are required to demonstrate that:
- the National Standards for Group Training Organisations have been fully implemented within NT
- local resources are in place to function effectively as a GTO within the NT.
Interstate GTOs applying for recognition in NT are also required to submit an application form, which will be evaluated according to the criteria in scope of registration. In evaluating an application the department may:
- request a copy, if not already supplied, of an audit report for any compliance audit conducted against the National Standards for Group Training Organisation's head office state
- consult with the State Training Authority in the state in which the head office or sponsoring body is situated and request the results of any compliance audit conducted
- advise the applicant of the need for a partial of full compliance audit of the NT operations by a the department approved auditor.
Scope of registration
Organisations seeking recognition as a GTO in the NT are required to submit a business case which addresses the criteria below. An organisation’s response to the criteria will be evaluated by the department and will form the basis of the GTO’s approved scope of registration. The organisation will provide evidence of its ability to:
- appropriately service the industry, industry sectors and geographical areas and meet the specified targets identified in the application
- provide for appropriate training and support to apprentices and trainees
- assist the NT Government in growing the apprenticeship and traineeship market
- comply with the requirements of the Northern Territory Training and Skills Development Act 2016
- remain financially viable.
Extending the scope of registration
GTOs are required to apply to the department to extend services to industries, industry sectors and / or geographical regions not included in their approved scope.
The department may require the GTO to provide further information including but not limited to:
- market size and trends
- marketing plan
- financial management
- employment projection mix.
Withdrawal of recognition as a GTO
Under this policy, the department may withdraw recognition of an organisation as a GTO where the organisation fails to:
- comply with the National Standards for Group Training Organisations
- comply with all relevant Australian and NT government legislation
- comply with all relevant department policies and guidelines
- adhere to its obligations as a legal employer of apprentices and trainees.
Closure of a group training organisation
A GTO must inform the department immediately of any matters that may materially affect its on-going operations or financial viability. The department will liaise with the chair of the National Apprentice Employment Network Board of Directors on any matter that may have the potential to impact on the financial viability and / or capability of the organisation.
In the event of a closure, or pending closure of a GTO, the department’s primary concerns will be to ensure:
- the continuity of employment and training of apprentices and trainees
- all employee-related entitlements can be met.
In the event of the closure of a GTO, all efforts will be made to negotiate and facilitate the transfer of the employment of apprentices and trainees to other GTOs, existing host employers or new employers.
When a GTO ceases to trade, an application must be made to the department to seek the withdrawal of the organisation’s recognition as a GTO in the NT. Alternatively, the department may declare that an organisation’s recognition has been withdrawn where it becomes evident that a GTO can no longer operate and the organisation will be advised of such a decision in writing.
Monitoring and evaluation
A key aspect of managing the on-going quality and integrity of group training in the NT is the process for monitoring and evaluating continued compliance for recognition. As a minimum, all recognised GTOs in the NT are required to:
- submit their annual audited financial statements within thirty days of the statements being tabled at the organisation’s annual general meeting, or by 31 December, whichever comes first.
- conduct a self-assessment of the organisation’s compliance with the National Standards for Group Training Organisations and provide the department with a self-assessment report, signed by the chair of the board of directors.
- undergo a quality compliance audit against the National Standards for Group Training Organisations at least once every three years or as determined by the department.
Failure to maintain compliance may result in the withdrawal of recognition to operate as a GTO in the NT.
Recognised GTOs, in addition to the above, are required to comply with the following reporting and monitoring arrangements. Submission of a bi-annual report detailing:
- corporate governance and financial management arrangements
- achievements against the employment projection and mix as specified in their applications
- compliance with relevant department policies and guidelines and Australian and NT government's legislation.
Where non-compliance is identified through audit, a strategy to address such non-compliance will be developed and agreed between the GTO and the department. The strategy and strategy timeframe will be dependent on the extent of the non-compliance.
All non-compliance must be rectified in accordance with the agreed strategy and timeframe and signed off by the auditor prior to the GTO being found compliant, placed on the national register.
Any GTO unable to comply with the National Standards for Group Training Organisations may lose its recognition status, be removed and from the national register.
Contract of training
Under the department’s Australian Apprenticeships Support Services (AASS) arrangements, the Australian Apprenticeships Network NT is responsible for assisting all NT employers, apprentices and trainees complete and lodge the contract of training.
Other relevant policies / key documents
Signed on 16 July 2018 by:
Last updated: 23 April 2019