Making the decision to study is a big one. It can be stressful, thinking of how you're going to complete assignments or if you're going to be able to find resources or information to complete your assignments... Whatever it is, one of the biggest challenges when you choose to study is finding the right course provider. There are so many to choose from! Some offering cheaper courses than others, some allowing you to complete your course without any duration... It can be tough because choosing the right course provider is important as you will be gaining your qualification through them and it's hard to know which one is the best to use.
The best way to find the right course provider is to shop around. Contact a few that interest you and see which one works best for you. When you contact course providers what do you ask? How can you determine if their the best option for you? The Australian Skills Quality Authority has developed a checklist of questions to ask each course provider to help you to decide whether or not it is the right provider for you.
To help you decide which provider is right for you, this article provides a list of questions to ask each course provider. Consider all the information gathered from each of the questions. Using these questions will assist you to decide and make an informed decision of where you want to study for your qualification.
Questions To Ask Course Providers
Firstly it's best to confirm that the training provider is registered to deliver the qualification your interested in.
1) Are you a registered training/education provider organisation
2) What is your registration number?
For Australian residents, you can confirm that a training provider is registered to deliver nationally recognised training by searching the national database on vocational education and training in Australia through Training.gov.au. This is the official national register of information on training packages, qualifications, courses, units of competency and RTOs.
For International students you can confirm that the training or education provider is registered to deliver training or education programs to overseas students by searching Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS)—the official Australian Government website that lists that lists all Australian education providers and registered courses for overseas students on providers of training and education services to overseas students.
Even though you may be aware of the qualification and the job outcomes once you gain the qualification, you can confirm the knowledge and skills you can expect to gain from the course and what jobs are likely to be available to you
3) Which unit of competency or modules will you attain from training?
4) What jobs may the training lead you?
5) What are the job prospects on completion of training
6) Are there other requirements to the training- to improve your chances of getting a job once completion of the course?
When choosing a course provider don't settle for the cheapest one you find. Contact a few providers and find the one that meets your needs.
7) What is the total cost of the training, including any additional fees on the of course fees?
8) What is the refund policy?
9) What resources are provided as part of the course fee?
10) What resources, if any do you have to provide yourself?
11) What is the duration of the course?
12) What are the expected hours of attendance per week? (on campus)
13) How many hours are you expected to spend on learning and assessment activities outside of formal attendance time? (on campus)
14) How and when will you be assessed?
15) Will the training provider find you a workplace or will you be expected to find one yourself?
16) What support services are provided?
For those particularly looking for online study, here are some more questions to ask:
17) What are the technological requirements?
18) What computer and software will be needed?
19) What download speeds are required?
20) What level of computer literacy is required of learners?
21) Is there helpdesk support for technical issues?
22) Is there trainer support for the course? When is this available?
23) How will the assessment be conducted?
24) How do you ensure that the person participating in online activities is the person enrolled in the course?
25) Are there any additional fees?
When you find a suitable course provider that you are happy with read the enrolment agreement/contract carefully before you sign anything or pay any money. Ask the training provider to explain anything you are unsure of. You can also discuss conditions of enrolment with friends/family if you're unsure. It's important you understand and agree with any cancellation and refund conditions and ongoing fees. Ask for a receipt when you make a payment, make sure it is correct and keep it safe for future reference.
Making A Complaint Against A Course Provider
Choosing A Provider Fact Sheet - Australian Government - Australian Skills Quality Authority - July 2014