Smart and Skilled is a NSW Government program that helps people get training in in-demand skills and industries. The program began in 2015 and has been effective in delivering training in key qualifications and geographic and occupational areas. The last time registered training organisations (RTOs) had a broad opportunity to enter Smart and Skilled was in 2017.

The Smart and Skilled application process ensures prospective and existing providers deliver the best possible training offerings to the training sector that meet geographic, occupational, and industry needs.

Through the Smart and Skilled application process, RTOs had an opportunity to apply to continue in or enter for the first time the NSW government-subsidised vocational education and training sector.

The Smart and Skilled application process determined which RTOs are suitable for Smart and Skilled contracts and financial allocations for 2023-24.

The application process required RTOs to provide information around:

  • Eligibility including evidence of financial viability
  • The operational structure of the RTO
  • The quality of training provision including:
    • Teaching and leadership practices
    • Student-centered approach to training experience
    • Individualized support for students, particularly students with a disadvantage and/or with an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander background
  • The programs, regions, and qualifications applied for including:
    • Previous student commencement numbers
    • The number of students expected to commence in 2023-24
    • Additional information around assessment practices and innovative approaches to training

The information provided through the application stage has been competitively assessed by Training Services NSW. The assessment process was designed to ensure Smart and Skilled funding is aligned with labor market needs and results in a choice of providers for students, while also lifting training system quality.