Government subsidised training FAQs

Eligibility for government-subsidised places

How do I know where my qualifications fit compared to other courses?

Your training provider will be able to assess how your qualifications compare with the course you are interested in. For a general guide, see: Qualifications

I have completed the VCE (or VCAL Intermediate or Senior). Where do these qualifications fit in, for working out eligibility?

Generally, Victorians of any age whose existing highest qualification is a VCE, VCAL, International Baccalaureate Diploma, or a senior secondary school certificate from another Australian jurisdiction, are eligible for a government-subsidised training place in a qualification at any level.

There is a lifetime limit of two subsidised course commencements at each qualification level, regardless of whether you have completed the course.

I am an Australian citizen and I have completed a Bachelor Degree from an Australian university. Am I eligible for a government-subsidised training place?

If you were already 20 or over on 1 January, you would not be eligible for a subsidised place in a Diploma (or lower level vocational) course that is not part of an apprenticeship. You may be eligible for a government-subsidised apprenticeship, VCE or VCAL. Contact your provider for more details.

You may be eligible for other forms of assistance including a VET FEE-HELP loan to pay for all or part of your tuition costs for training at the Diploma level and above. 

Can I enrol in more than one course at a time and access government funding for both?

Yes. If you are eligible for a government-subsidised place, you can enrol in up to two government-subsidised courses at a time. In most cases you cannot commence more than two courses in a calendar year.

How many courses can I commence at the same level?

You can commence a maximum of two subsidised courses at the same level in your lifetime. This restriction applies whether or not you complete the courses.

The restriction does not apply to courses on the Foundation Skills List. It does not apply to students recommencing training in the same qualification at the same or a different provider.

In exceptional circumstances you can apply to the Department for an exemption to the lifetime limit of two commencements at the same level. Individuals should submit a short statement outlining their circumstances and why they believe they need to commence a further course at the same level. Statements should be addressed to:

Executive Director
Training Market Operations
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
GPO 4367

There are no other exemptions available for any other criteria. The Department will not consider applications relating to citizenship/residency, upskilling or yearly course limits.

I am a Permanent Resident, not at school and I have completed a Cert IV qualification. However, I need to undertake further English to gain the job I am after. Am I eligible for a government-subsidised place?

You may be eligible for specified English language courses because your highest existing qualification is below Diploma level and if you meet all relevant eligibility criteria. However if you had a Diploma level qualification or above you would not be eligible for a government subsidy but could complete a Foundation Skills course on a fee for service basis.

Foundation Skills List (pdf - 18.45kb) | Foundation Skills List (docx - 31.13kb) 

Contact your provider to find out what courses they offer.

I want to apply for government-subsidised Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for a training course.  Do the same eligibility rules apply?

Yes. You need to meet the eligibility requirements for government-subsidised training to access it.  Otherwise, you will pay for RPL on a fee for service basis. Only providers on the Approved RPL Provider List are able to deliver government-subsidised RPL. See:

Approved RPL Provider List (pdf - 48.66kb) | Approved RPL Provider List (docx - 30.36kb)

Government funding is not available for RPL in Approved Foundation Skills Courses.

Fees for government-subsidised places

What can providers charge for a course?

Providers are able to set fees at a level that they believe the quality, cost and reputation of their training warrants, so you should shop around for a course and price that is right for you.

To help make students aware of the variation in fees that providers charge, all providers delivering government-subsidised courses are required to publish standard fees on their websites.

For more information, see: Fees.

Can providers charge students a different fee for the same course?

Providers are required to publish their standard fees on their website, and this is the fee that you can usually expect to pay.

However, providers are able to calculate fees individually, taking into account factors such as when a person commenced their course, what other study they are undertaking, whether they have completed any previous training, and whether they are eligible for a concession or, fee waiver.

Prior to enrolling in a course, a provider should advise you of the fees and charges that will apply. These may vary from the standard published fees but the provider should explain why.

My course is going to be completed online. Does that mean I should pay a lower tuition fee, because I am receiving less tuition?

Not necessarily. The value of the training and the qualification are the same, even though you are studying by a different method. However, some providers may offer online courses at a lower fee.

If I move to another provider will I continue to pay the same fees?

Fees are not guaranteed to be the same whether or not the student changes provider. Fees will be set by individual providers. Students should shop around where possible: they may be able to pay less, the same or more. Note that lower fees do not necessarily mean students get the best value or outcomes from their training.


What concession fees are available?

Students with an eligible concession card (e.g. Health Care card) will pay 20 per cent of what non-concession students are charged for study in courses up to and including Certificate IV level. For example, in a course where a non-concession student is charged $1,000 a concession student will be charged $200. The determining factor will be the fee the provider would have charged if the student was not eligible for a concession.

For courses above Certificate IV, under the Indigenous Completions Initiative, Indigenous students pay 20 per cent of what the provider would have charged a non-concession student.

Students studying at the Diploma and Advanced Diploma level have access to income contingent loans (VET FEE-HELP loans) to meet the upfront costs of studying.

Centrelink has told me I am eligible for a Health Care Card but I can't get the actual card by the time I enrol. What happens?

Your provider will have a process in place to cover this situation. You should obtain a letter from Centrelink confirming your eligibility and application for the Card, and then discuss the situation with the provider before enrolment.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) fees

I have applied for an RPL assessment and the fee quoted is higher than what I would have to pay to do the course. Is that allowed?

Yes. The RPL fee may be high because of the time and expertise needed to conduct the RPL assessment and determine the outcome. The process may involve one-to-one interviews, site visits and consideration of your individual evidence by a qualified assessor. The RPL pathway can lead to the early award of a qualification without having to put in the time and effort of doing unnecessary additional study, so you may decide that the additional cost is worth it.

Training provider obligations

What happens if my provider decides to stop offering a course I am enrolled in?

Students should ask their provider about the options open to them. They may also wish to consult the website to locate other providers offering the course in which they are enrolled (or related courses).

The provider should make available to the student a current Statement of Attainment for any units of competency they have completed. The relevant regulator – either the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) or the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) – can help students who are unable to access a Statement of Attainment from their provider.


  • Australian Skills Quality Authority, phone 1300 701 801
  • Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority, phone 03 9637 2806

I have to continue my course elsewhere. Will I get recognition of the training I have done to date?

Students should seek credit transfer with their new provider for any units of competency already completed. The relevant regulators the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) or the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) can help students access the relevant records and ensure that Statements of Attainment are issued to facilitate this process. Students may also seek recognition of prior learning with their new provider for units of competency not yet completed.


  • Australian Skills Quality Authority, phone 1300 701 801
  • Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority, phone 03 9637 2806

What happens if a provider stops a course part-way through?

For the vast majority of students there will be opportunity to continue training at an alternative provider. Where this is not possible, students should seek credit transfer and/or recognition of prior learning in another course.

Will I be reimbursed for the costs of training I have incurred to date if I do not want to continue training with a different provider or I am unable to continue training because of lack of options?

It is up to the provider to set a refund policy and students will have been advised of that policy at enrolment. Most students will want to continue their training and will have options available to do so.

Information about training options

What is the Victorian Skills Gateway?

The Victorian Skills Gateway is an online one stop shop providing information  on  courses and training providers to suit the needs of students. It allows students to match their career aspirations to the right training and find out about their job prospects.

See: Victorian Skills Gateway