Coronavirus (COVID-19): FAQs for RTOs

The training I deliver is practical in nature. Can this training be delivered in the context of coronavirus (COVID-19)?

In-line with the Victorian Chief Health Officer's advice, training providers can continue to deliver training.

To make sure training continues safely, the Victorian Department of Education and Training strongly encourages training providers to deliver training remotely wherever possible, and to support staff to work from home.

RTOs delivering face-to-face training are encouraged to follow strict physical distancing guidelines. This may mean adjusting the classroom to create more space between people and between desks/workstations.

Where training is delivered face-to-face, it is important that the facilities and equipment are regularly cleaned and sanitised. 

Anyone who is unwell or is required to self-isolate, should not attend the RTO and should seek medical attention.

For more information and to access the physical distancing guidelines, see:

What changes to classroom arrangements should an RTO consider in the coronavirus (COVID-19) environment?

RTOs continuing to deliver face-to-face training must make sure that strict physical distancing guidelines are adhered to.

This may mean adjusting the classroom to create at least 1.5m between each person and each desks/workstation.

RTOs should also increase the cleaning of:

  • classrooms
  • common areas
  • equipment
  • utensils that are used by staff and students.

The Commonwealth and state governments have resources with information about the virus, including downloadable posters on how to stop the spread of the virus.

For more information, see:

What should an RTO do if a staff member or a student has a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19)?

If a student or staff member has a confirmed case of  coronavirus (COVID-19) or was in close contact with someone who has, seek advice from the Department of Health and Human Services on:

  • Telephone: 1300 651 160

If an RTO wants to reduce its scope of registration in response to coronavirus (COVID-19), what should it do?

If an RTO wants to amend or remove a training product from its scope of registration, it can do so at any time by using Form B.

There is no charge for removing items from an RTO's scope of registration.  

For more information about amending scope of registration and to access the form, see:

Can an RTO deliver courses that require students to undertake practical training?

Yes, RTOs can continue to deliver practical training however, training must be in-line with the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer and follow strict physical distancing guidelines.

The RTO must also maintain and promote good cleaning and hygiene practices.

For more information and to access the physical distancing guidelines, see:

What should an RTO consider when seeking to deliver online learning to its students?

We understand that RTOs will consider delivering online learning in response to COVID-19. 

If a VRQA-registered RTO seeks to provide online learning, it must be able to demonstrate that it is delivering to Victorian-based students and/or West Australian students only.

RTOs need to be aware that any changes to training delivery and/or assessment  maintain the integrity of the specific training package requirements. The RTO must also record details of modifications made to delivery and/or assessment in student files and any other appropriate RTO documentation. 

The RTO must maintain documented evidence of how the online training and/or assessment was conducted and how it ensured the training package requirements were met.

RTOs need to make sure that students have access to the technology resources to engage in online learning, including computers, printers, internet access and relevant software. The RTO should also consult with students to determine if they are capable and confident to undertake online learning.

RTOs delivering online learning should make sure that students are regularly logging on and undertaking their learning to progress through their qualification. Maintaining regular contact with the student by telephone and email will also be an important requirement.

Has the VRQA changed the RTO re-registration process?

Yes. We've paused site audits while physical distancing guidelines are in place.

Instead, we are conducting desktop audits.

In a desktop audit, RTOs need to provide relevant documentation, images and/or video files. The requested evidence must be provided electronically and within a set timeframe.

Our auditors will use this information to assess compliance with the registration requirements. We also require RTOs to have relevant staff available to talk to our auditors remotely.

Depending on the outcome of a desktop audit, some RTOs may require a site visit by an authorised officer to validate on-site requirements.   

If there are any issues with RTOs being unable to engage in a desktop audit, please contact us to discuss your individual circumstances:

We've also granted a six-month extension of registration for RTOs with registrations expiring in 2020.

This extension recognises the significant disruption to the sector and to RTO operations caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It also allows us to work with RTOs to conduct their desktop audit.

What should an RTO do if it thinks its training operations are no longer viable?

If an RTO is unable to address the requirements of their registration or is no longer financially viable, it should contact us to discuss.

If an RTO seeks to close the business, it will need to complete Form C Request by RTO to Cancel Registration. In cancelling registration, the RTO will need to provide a complete copy of student records, as detailed in the form.

For a copy of the form, see:

It's important that if an RTO is considering cancelling its registration, that it advises us of its intentions at the earliest possible opportunity.  

To contact us:

Can RTOs apply for government support funding?

We do not manage government funding. Publicly funded vocational education and training in Victoria is managed by the Higher Education and Skills Group which is part of the Victorian Department of Education and Training.

RTOs that are a small to medium enterprise may be eligible for financial support from the Victorian and Commonwealth governments. 

For more information, contact the Department of Education and Training:

RTOs may also be interested in the Commonwealth Government's JobKeeper program.

For more information, see: