Frequently Asked Questions

 

Here are the answers to questions training providers often ask about Smart and Skilled.

Smart and Skilled training

The NSW Skills List identifies the qualifications eligible for a government subsidy under Smart and Skilled. Developed through extensive industry and community consultation and labour market research, the Skills List includes a wide range of vocational qualifications to support the diverse skills needs of NSW employers.

The Skills List enables people in NSW to make more informed choices about their training, knowing that Smart and Skilled courses can give people the skills they need to get a job, advance their career or continue onto further study.

The Skills List covers all industry sectors in NSW and includes qualifications up to Advanced Diploma. All NSW apprenticeship and most new-entrant traineeship qualifications are on the Skills List.

View further information on the NSW Skills List.

If the student meets the Smart and Skilled eligibility conditions to undertake a qualification up to and including Certificate III, and if they don't have any post-school qualifications, they will pay the lower fee for their first Smart and Skilled subsidised course at Certificate III level or lower.

They will pay a higher fee for any subsequent Smart and Skilled courses they undertake.

Eligibility

If a person is:

  • 15 years old or over, and
  • no longer at school, 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, Australian permanent humanitarian visa holder or New Zealand citizen

or

  • a NSW apprentice or trainee

they may be eligible to enrol in a government-subsidised course with an approved Smart and Skilled training provider.

Providing they meet the Smart and Skilled personal eligibility criteria, they're entitled to enrol in a subsidised course up to Certificate III level.

They can also enrol in subsidised training in targeted priority areas at Certificate IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma level, depending on the availability of funding for these courses.

NSW apprentices and most new-entrant trainees are eligible for a government subsidy for the training that supports their apprenticeship or traineeship.

Previous qualifications do not affect eligibility, but may affect the student fee.

View who is eligible for Smart and Skilled training.

A course undertaken as part of a person's secondary education does not count as a post-school qualification. If the person has not achieved any other qualifications after leaving school, they are eligible to enrol in a Smart and Skilled course at any qualification level and they will pay a lower fee.

If the person has obtained a qualification at Certificate III level or lower after leaving school, they're entitled to enrol in a subsidised course up to Certificate III level, but they will pay a higher fee than someone who has not achieved any qualifications since leaving school. If they already have a Certificate IV or higher qualification, they are not eligible for a subsidy for qualifications up to Certificate III. However, from 2016, if they have a Certificate IV or higher qualification they will be able to access subsidised Smart and Skilled training up to Certificate III level, providing they meet the personal eligibility criteria for Smart and Skilled. As they already have a post-school qualification, they will pay a higher fee for their Smart and Skilled training than someone who does not have any qualifications.

If the person has a post-school qualification at any level, including a university qualification obtained overseas, they are eligible to enrol in a subsidised course at Certificate IV or above, but they will pay a higher fee than someone who does not have any qualifications.

These conditions do not apply for apprentices or for trainees who are new entrants undertaking specific traineeships. These students are eligible for a government subsidy for the qualification that supports their apprenticeship or traineeship, regardless of any previous qualification they have, and they will pay the relevant student fee.

Also, most foundation skills courses do not count as a post-school qualification. For a list of these courses, view training for people who want extra learning support under Smart and Skilled.

From 2016, if the person has a Certificate IV or higher qualification they will be able to access subsidised Smart and Skilled training up to Certificate III level, providing they meet the personal eligibility criteria for Smart and Skilled. As they already have a post-school qualification, they will pay a higher fee for their Smart and Skilled training than someone who does not have any qualifications.

They may also be eligible for subsidised training in targeted priority areas at Certificate IV level or higher, depending on funding availability.

If they commence an apprenticeship or new-entrant traineeship, they may be eligible for a government subsidy under Smart and Skilled for the qualification that supports the apprenticeship or traineeship.

The person is eligible to enrol in Smart and Skilled training if their immigration status falls under one of the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection refugee or humanitarian or onshore - protection visa categories.

You are advised to review these categories on the Immigration Department website at the time of the person's enrolment.

NOTE: Individuals on current temporary humanitarian stay visas, temporary humanitarian concern visas or bridging visas are eligible to enrol in Smart and Skilled where their training commences on or after 1 January 2017.

For further information, view Asylum seekers and refugees.

Student fees

Approved Smart and Skilled training providers determine the payment arrangements for their students. They must publish information about these arrangements and must inform students about them before enrolment.

The person should advise their Smart and Skilled training provider that they have already completed these modules, or units of competency, and that they would like a credit transfer for them. If they are granted credit transfer for one or more units of competency, the approved Smart and Skilled training provider will recalculate the student fee based on the units/modules for which the person is given credit transfer.

The student fee can also be recalculated and reduced if the person is granted recognition of prior learning.

For more information, view Recognising your existing skills under Smart and Skilled.

If the student transfers to another training provider of their own accord, the new Smart and Skilled training provider applies the standard credit transfer rules to calculate your fee and subsidy.

If the student has to transfer because the original training provider has closed down or their government contract has been cancelled, the fees charged in total by the two Smart and Skilled training providers cannot exceed the student fee quoted by the initial training provider.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

From 2016, if they have a Certificate IV or higher qualification they will be able to access subsidised Smart and Skilled training up to Certificate III level, providing they meet the personal eligibility criteria for Smart and Skilled.

If they commence an apprenticeship or new-entrant traineeship they may be eligible for a government subsidy under Smart and Skilled for the qualification that supports the apprenticeship or traineeship.

They may also be eligible for subsidised training in targeted priority areas at Certificate IV level or higher, depending on funding availability.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who are eligible are exempt from fees for any Smart and Skilled courses.

View further information for training for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students under Smart and Skilled.

Concession fees

Eligibility for fee exemptions and concessions is determined when the person enrols in the course, based on the details they provided at that time. It is not possible to change the type of fee they pay after they have commenced their training.

Disadvantaged students

Smart and Skilled supports disadvantaged students by offering fee exemptions to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) students, students with disabilities and the dependants of Disability Support Pension recipients. Fee concessions are also available to students receiving Australian Government welfare benefits and the dependants of Australian Government welfare recipients.

Lower-cost foundation skills courses are available for people who want help with language, literacy or numeracy skills to help them get a job or do a vocational course.

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. This is important for meeting equity objectives, as it ensures there is no financial disincentive for training providers to enrol these students.

For more information, view training for disadvantaged students under Smart and Skilled.

Students in regions

Smart and Skilled helps regional students access quality training in a number of ways.

For example, the courses on the NSW Skills List are relevant to industry needs across NSW and have good job prospects.

Through this Smart and Skilled website, regional students have improved access to published information on courses and training providers in their regions. Students can search for the courses delivered in their region through the Course Finder.

Approved Smart and Skilled training providers also receive a top up to the subsidy (called a loading) for training delivered in regional and remote locations to ensure there is no financial disincentive to deliver training in regional areas.

Apprentices and trainees

All NSW apprentices and new-entrant trainees in traineeships on the NSW Skills List are eligible for a government subsidy under Smart and Skilled for the qualification that supports their apprenticeship or traineeship.

Apprentices, eligible new-entrant trainees and their employers can choose an approved Smart and Skilled training provider that best meets their needs. Their choice of training provider does not affect the fee that is paid. The fee they pay is the same regardless of which approved Smart and Skilled training provider they choose.

Rather than paying yearly or by semester, apprentices and eligible trainees under Smart and Skilled pay a fee for the qualification. They may still pay in instalments over a number of years, but the fee is an amount for the qualification, fixed at the time the apprentice or trainee commences.

Under the NSW Government fee-free apprenticeship initiative, NSW apprentices that commence their training on or after 1 July 2018 may be eligible for fee free training. For more information, go to vet.nsw.gov.au. For eligible apprentices there will be no requirement to pay the fee.

If they're starting a new-entrant traineeship, their Smart and Skilled fee for the whole qualification will not be more than $1,000.

For more information, view apprenticeship and traineeship qualifications under Smart and Skilled.