Supplementary recurrent assistance policy

The Northern Territory (NT) has a diverse population. For many clients from remote communities English is not their primary language. In addition people in remote communities are often disadvantaged due to the lack of ‘underpinning knowledge’ of mainstream vocational education and training (VET).

The Department of Trade, Business and Innovation (the department) recognises the need to provide some students enrolled in skill based vocational training with integrated support to develop underpinning knowledge, language, literacy and numeracy skills to achieve outcomes in VET.

Supplementary recurrent assistance (SRA) will be allocated to public vocational education providers based on their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student numbers and by focusing provider effort on the eight priority areas for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education:

  • improving Aboriginal literacy
  • improving Aboriginal numeracy
  • increasing the employment of Aboriginal Australians in education and training
  • improving educational outcomes for Aboriginal students
  • increasing Aboriginal enrolments
  • increasing the involvement of Aboriginal parents / community members in educational decision making
  • increasing professional development for staff involved in Aboriginal education, and
  • expanding culturally inclusive curricula.

SRA aims to assist providers to accelerate educational outcomes for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people beyond those which could reasonably be expected from mainstream and their own-source funding.

SRA is intended to supplement mainstream funding, not substitute or replace it.


SRA funding aims to improve Aboriginal literacy and numeracy and increase the enrolments, professional development and employment of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

SRA funding is only available to Charles Darwin University and Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education.

Funding for SRA is provided through a funding agreement with the department.

Mandatory requirements for SRA funding include:

  • the registered training organisation (RTO) must comply with the current national VET regulator standards for RTOs
  • compliance with the Training and Skills Development Act
  • ongoing compliance with the department policies and procedures as they relate to VET, and
  • compliance and cooperation in matters relating to audit.

Funding is based on performance data from the previous year and is capped at the maximum amount agreed in the funding agreement.

A final achievement report will be generated by the department based on the registered training organisation's (RTO) final AVETMISS data.

The department will forward the achievement report to the RTO for approval / signing.

Payments are made in two instalments. The first payment of 70% will be made on signing of the funding agreement. Subsequent payment is conditional upon achievement and payable following agreement and receipt of the signed achievement report.

Funding is calculated based the number of eligible full-time equivalent (FTE) students.

Eligible FTE students are Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are residents of the NT.

The FTE is determined by dividing the total actual hours delivered by 540 (average contact hours).

The FTE is then paid at the rate of $1,212.97 per FTE.

For example, a registered training organisation that delivers 10,800 hours to eligible students will have a FTE of 20 students.

10,800 hours / 540 contact hours = 20 FTE students.

Signed on 23 April 2020 by:

Tracy Clark
Executive Director
Strategy and Partnerships

Last updated: 28 April 2020

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