Mastering Compliant Marketing for RTOs: Your Path to Success

Mastering Compliant Marketing for RTOs: Your Path to Success

Navigating the regulations of RTO marketing can be complex, but it is crucial for maintaining trust and avoiding penalties. Here’s how you can ensure your marketing materials meet all necessary compliance standards and set your RTO on the path to success.

Essential Compliance Areas

Transparent Training Details

Clearly state training amounts and specify any cohort-specific information to maintain transparency.

Consent for Testimonials

Always obtain consent before using testimonials or photos in your marketing materials to ensure ethical practices.

Loan and Subsidy Disclosures

Provide complete details on any associated costs and potential debts from VET Student Loans or other subsidies to keep prospective students informed.

Ensuring Marketing Accuracy

Regularly review your marketing materials to ensure they remain current and accurate, preventing misinformation.

Importance of Compliance

Building Credibility

Accurate marketing builds trust with prospective students and enhances the reputation of your RTO.

Reducing Regulatory Risks

Compliance decreases the likelihood of complaints and potential regulatory actions, safeguarding your RTO.

Enhancing Student Satisfaction

Clear, honest marketing improves student satisfaction and recruitment, leading to better outcomes for all stakeholders.

Practical Steps to Compliance

Regular Review Processes

Ensure all marketing materials are checked and approved by the appropriate personnel to maintain consistency and accuracy.

Continuous Monitoring

Keep an eye on all marketing channels, including third-party promotions, to ensure ongoing compliance.

Comprehensive Marketing and Advertising Guidelines

Your RTO must honor all commitments made in any marketing or advertising materials. All information on any advertising or marketing material referring to your RTO and training assessment must be accurate.

Accurate Representation

Advertising and marketing material provided by your RTO—or a third party on your behalf—must:

  • Be in the name of your RTO only, and not use that of any business conducting advertising, marketing, or recruitment on your behalf.
  • Include the registration code of your RTO.
  • Include the code and title of any training product (as published on

Detailed Disclosures

Clearly include details about any VET Student Loans, government-funded subsidies, or other financial support associated with the RTO’s provision of training and assessment, including details about debts the learners will incur and how those debts will be repaid.

Guarantee Limitations

Do not guarantee that:

  • A learner will successfully complete a training product on your scope of registration.
  • A training product can be completed in a manner that does not meet the requirements of Clauses 1.1 and 1.2.
  • A learner will obtain a particular employment outcome where this is outside the control of your RTO.

Consent for References

Only refer to another person or organisation if the consent of that person or organisation has been obtained prior (e.g., obtaining written consent through a disclaimer in a student enrollment form which the student is required to sign).

Correct Use of Logos

Only use the nationally recognised training (NRT) logo in accordance with the conditions of use, as specified in Schedule 4 of the Standards.

Distinguishing Training Types

Distinguish between nationally recognised training and assessment leading to the issuance of AQF certification documentation and any non-accredited training or assessment delivered by your RTO.

Strategic Marketing Approaches

Printed Material (Newspaper / Brochures)

  • Ensure the RTO code is visible.
  • Include the NRT logo only when advertising a training product registered on your scope of registration.

Digital Marketing (Websites)

  • Ensure your RTO code is easily identifiable by including it in the website header or footer.
  • Use the code and title of any training product as published on
  • Keep your website up to date and only advertise non-current training products while they remain on your scope of registration.
  • Include the NRT logo only in association with training products registered on your scope of registration.

Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram)

  • Include your RTO code on social media pages.
  • Include your RTO code in posts/tweets.
  • Reference specific training products with their code and title as published on the National Register.
  • Use the RTO name and registration code as the social media page name.

Online Directories (Yellow Pages, TrueLocal)

  • Include your RTO code in directory listings.

Online Advertisements (Google AdWords, Groupon, Scoupon)

  • Include your RTO code in advertisements.
  • Refer to training products with their code and title as published on


  • Include your RTO code as a disclaimer at the end of the advertisement.
  • Obtain written consent from students speaking on behalf of the RTO before publishing the advertisement.
  • Ensure statements about course duration and employment outcomes are accurate and not misleading.

Managing Third-Party Marketing

Third-Party Compliance

  • Ensure any marketing undertaken by a third party meets Clause 4.1 requirements.
  • All advertising, marketing, recruitment, enrollment, and issuance of qualifications must be in the name of the principal RTO only.
  • Make it clear that a third party is recruiting prospective learners on behalf of your RTO.

Financial Aid and Subsidy Information

Where courses are paid via VET Student Loans, or are offered under a funding subsidy or other financial support arrangements, details must be included about:

  • The applicable government loan or subsidy (e.g., Certificate III Guarantee, User Choice, VET Student Loans).
  • The debt incurred by the learner, payments to be made, and any interest and other charges incurred.
  • Any loss of entitlement that may occur if a student undertakes a course associated with a funding subsidy.

Ensuring Comprehensive Compliance

Inclusion of RTO Code

Include your RTO code in all marketing material where nationally recognised training is offered. All marketing and advertising material must include your RTO’s name.

Use of Nationally Recognised Training Logo

Use the NRT logo only in accordance with the conditions specified in Schedule 4 of the Standards. Clearly separate marketing of non-accredited training from nationally recognised training.

Accurate Course Representation

Include the code and full title of the training product (as listed on the national register) in all marketing material. This ensures clarity and allows potential students to verify the information.

Detailed Course Information

Provide clear details about the amount of training and any variations for courses delivered to overseas students. Ensure information about limited entitlement schemes and potential loss of entitlements is clearly communicated.

Retaining Marketing Records

Maintain copies of all advertising and marketing materials, including those created by third parties. Retaining copies and keeping a register of all approved materials simplifies monitoring and compliance checks.

Third-Party Agreements

Ensure current and appropriate written agreements are maintained with third parties, specifying that third parties may not advertise or offer courses in their own name unless they are RTOs with the relevant course on scope.

Demonstrating Compliant Practice

Show systematic practices for reviewing marketing materials, such as reviewing these materials whenever training and assessment strategies change and assigning staff responsibility for accuracy checks.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls

  • Never advertise superseded qualifications past the permitted transition period.
  • Avoid claims that a qualification can be achieved in unrealistically short time frames.
  • Only provide factual information about training, and never guarantee outcomes outside your control.

Additional Requirements for VET Student Loans

For training providers approved for VET Student Loans:

  • Do not use social media marketing to mention the availability of a VET Student Loan.
  • Do not engage in cold-calling to market courses and offer a VET Student Loan.
  • Ensure that third parties (agents or brokers) do not provide information about a VET Student Loan.
  • Avoid offering benefits greater than a $30 value to encourage sign-ups.
  • Clearly state that VET Student Loans must be repaid in all marketing materials.

Final Thoughts

Compliance with marketing standards is essential for maintaining the integrity and reputation of your RTO. By following these guidelines, you can ensure your marketing strategies are not only compliant but also effective in building trust and attracting prospective students. Stay vigilant, continuously review and update your marketing practices, and always prioritise accuracy and transparency to uphold the highest standards in vocational education and training.

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