GTO frequently asked questions

What is a group training organisation? 

A group training organisation (GTO) is a labour hire provider that employs apprentices and trainees. A GTO will find suitable 'host' opportunities for each apprentice or trainee.

 A GTO is responsible for ensuring that its apprentices and trainees receive suitable work and training.

How do GTOs become recognised in Victoria?

In Victoria, we recognise GTOs that comply with the National Standards for GTOs (the Standards). 

GTOs are recognised by, not registered with us. This means we have reviewed their services and operations against the National standards.

For more information on GTO recognitions, see:

To view our GTO policy and procedures, see:

What are the National Standards for GTOs?

The National Standards for GTOs are designed to make sure GTOs deliver ethical, consistent and high-quality services to apprentices, trainees and host employers.

GTOs listed on the National Standards Database may use the Group Training logo as a mark of quality. It promotes and certifies GTOs that meet the National Standards.

For a full list of the National Standards for GTOs, see:

What does the GTO logo signify?

GTOs that are recognised by the VRQA can display the logo which signifies GTO Quality Group Training Organisation certification.

What legislation covers GTO operations?

Victorian GTOs are regulated as employers of apprentices and trainees, under Part 5.5 of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006.

We approve an employer before they can take on an apprentice or trainee.

We also regulate training contracts, which can only be cancelled, suspended or amended by mutual consent or with our approval. When disputes arise about a contract, we seek to resolve disputes.

Is there a minimum number of employees a company must have when applying for GTO recognition?

There is no minimum or maximum number of apprentices and trainees that an organisation needs to employ to be eligible for GTO recognition in Victoria.

What are the benefits for an organisation to be awarded GTO recognition?

Recognised GTOs are held in high regard as quality organisations that support apprentices, trainees and host employers.

State and Commonwealth incentives are available to recognised GTOs and in Victoria recognised GTOs may apply to the State Revenue Office be exempt from payroll tax.

Does an organisation have to be not-for-profit to be a recognised GTO?

No, both not-for-profit and for-profit organisations can apply for GTO recognition in Victoria.

What is the Apprenticeship Employment Network?

The Apprenticeship Employment Network (AEN) is the peak industry body representing not-for-profit group training organisations across Victoria. It is part of a national network of group training associations.

The AEN provides support and leadership to their member organisations in the areas of advocacy, negotiation and policy setting at state and national levels.  The core activity of AEN members is the employment and vocational training of young people in line with the Australian Qualification Framework.

Membership with the AEN is voluntarily for VRQA-recognised GTOs.

Is GTO recognition transferrable across Australia?

No. A GTO recognised in another state or territory will have to make application to us for recognition in Victoria.

Can a school or TAFE apply for GTO recognition?

Yes. We will consider applications from organisations that provide evidence that their proposed GTO operations comply with the National Standards for GTOs.

What is involved in applying for GTO recognition?

The application process has three key stages and requires applicants to:

  • provide suitable documents
  • participate in a financial and quality audit
  • participate in reporting processes.

The key steps include:

  1. Submit an application, including a compliance self-assessment against the Standards, and associated evidence.
  2. We conduct a financial capability assessment (FCA) audit to determine the organisation's financial viability. Applicants submit detailed financial information and business documentation to support the assessment.
  3. Once we confirm financial viability, we conduct a quality assurance (QA) audit to determine that the applicant complies with the Standards.

Can the VRQA withdraw my GTOs recognition?

Recognised GTOs may have their recognition withdrawn by the VRQA when they do not:

  • comply with the Standards and have failed to rectify compliance issues
  • adhere to the legislative requirements of employers of apprentices and trainees.

How often are GTOs audited by the VRQA?

During the five-year GTO recognition period, we will conduct a quality assurance audit to check the GTO is operating within the requirements of the National Standards. Certain events such as stakeholder complaints or reports of high-risk activity may also trigger a quality or financial audit.

Recognised GTOs undergo a financial capability assessment prior to their five-year recognition period expiring.

GTOs with successful financial capability assessments are award a further five-year period of recognition.