Further education is a great way to help launch yourself into a new career and increase your earning potential. There are numerous ways of doing this, the most common being to study at a University, TAFE or Registered Training Organisation (RTO).
Going to University is the more traditional path and generally provides students with an academic degree upon completion. However, if you’re interested in a more work-related and vocational qualification, you’re more likely to be looking at studying with an RTO or TAFE.
TAFE, which stands for Technical and Further Education, is the biggest educational sector in Australia. And like any type of institution, there is a wide range in the quality levels of TAFEs. A common misconception people have is assuming a TAFE is better than an RTO for studying a vocational qualification. The reason for this assumption is because TAFEs are financially supported by the government, however this is not indicative of the quality of education, but rather the criteria they meet.
TAFEs generally do not usually specialise in any particular subject matter or industry, but rather have a catalogue of courses and qualifications. Therefore, a TAFE running a personal training course is likely to also be delivering a hairdressing course, a certificate in IT or an engineering diploma.
Another assumption people make is that because TAFEs are financially supported by the government, their qualifications must be of a higher standard. However, this is not the case as all TAFEs and RTOs are required to deliver to the same standard. All VET qualifications are accredited by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), irrespective of who delivers them.
TAFEEs and RTOs need to meet the same strictly monitored standards that are set by ASQA.
There are positives and negatives associated with completing qualifications at TAFEs or with an RTO. Obviously you need to consider the benefits of each and decide which option is best for you. RTOs often operate within a smaller, more focused area of expertise or industry. This can result in them having:
- a deeper understanding of the industry they’re operating within
- strong industry connections that can be important in establishing employment pathways
- specialised staff with expertise in that particular industry
We operate in the Fitness and Personal Training space, and only that space. We have done so for over 25 years, and because of this we have built an outstanding reputation in the industry. Having this reputation and experience means that employers have heard of us, and many have taken on our graduates when hiring new staff.
No matter what you decide, make sure you research your provider. Make sure they have all the relevant accreditations; they’re registered, their course is accredited and they have the relevant industry experience and expertise. All RTOs and TAFEs are registered with ASQA and must meet strict criteria to maintain that registration. You can check if an organisation is officially registered by checking with the https://training.gov.au.
You can browse our website to find out more about our fitness courses or give us a call on 1300 232 348 and talk to one of our career advisors, who can answer any question you might have about the fitness industry.