The Small Employer of the Year Award recognises small businesses that have achieved excellence in the provision of nationally recognised training to their employees.

Nationally recognised training refers to training that is based on a national training package or accredited course which results in a person receiving a formal qualification or Statement of Attainment issued by a Registered Training Organisation. This includes Australian Apprenticeships.

2024 state or territory Award winners of this category are nominated to enter a short-listing process to the Australian Training Awards. The original application of the winners already address the award criteria below and are automatically submitted to the Australian Training Awards by the state or territory training awards.

Eligibility criteria for the Australian Training Awards

Organisations must be registered in Australia, with an Australian Business Number.

Nominees must:

  • meet the Australian Training Awards Conditions of Entry requirements
  • deliver nationally recognised vocational education and training to their employees that leads to formal qualifications or Statements of Attainment issued by a Registered Training Organisation under the Australian Qualifications Framework
  • employ 99 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees*
  • nominate in the state or territory where their head office is located, and
  • have won the equivalent state or territory training award in 2024.

* If these criteria are not met, nominees may be eligible to apply for the Large Employer of the Year Award.

Note: Joint applications are accepted from a partnership between a single Host Employer and a Group Training Organisation. Host Employers or Group Training Organisations who nominate for the award are required to have their partner agree to the nomination, however there is no requirement to jointly write the nomination.

Note: Nominations will not be accepted from organisations whose core business is the delivery of vocational education and training (these organisations may consider nominating for either the Large or Small Training Provider of the Year Award).

Section A: Overview

The information in Section A will not be considered or used for judging purposes, but it may be used as a summary of your organisation throughout the Awards process.

Business Details

Industry sector


Main business location


Number of full-time employees


Number of part-time employees


Number of casual employees


Number of contractors


Business structure (e.g. partnership, trust, company)


Length of time in operation (years)


Your training expenditure as a percentage of annual payroll


Business Summary

Provide a brief description of your business, including the products/services that you offer and any major milestones you have achieved.

(Limit: 500 words)

Section B: Selection Criteria

This information will be considered and used for shortlisting and judging purposes.

Criterion 1: Extent and quality of training for employees


  • Your involvement in designing training specifically for your business, either alone or in partnership with training organisations
  • The qualifications or courses that your employees are undertaking
  • The percentage of your employees who are actively engaged in training
  • Hours per month (average) that your employees spend in training
  • How you integrate on-the-job and off-the-job training
  • How you commit to equity in training such as for employees who are from groups that are under-represented in employment, education and training (such as people with disabilities, indigenous people, people from non-english speaking backgrounds, people in older age groups, people living in remote areas).

(Limit: 800 words)

Criterion 2: Achievements of the business and its employees that can be attributed to training


  • How training has improved the productivity and well-being of your employees (briefly describe the personal training achievements of a few of your staff)
  • How training has improved your relationships with clients
  • How training has improved the productivity and profitability of your business
  • How you measure the benefits of training
  • How training will improve your business in the future
  • How training is integrated into business planning.

(Limit: 800 words)

Criterion 3: Innovation and excellence in design and delivery of training


  • Details of creativity, innovation and excellence in the design, development and delivery of training for your employees
  • Innovative methods that you use to create positive relationships or partnerships with others to enhance the effectiveness of your training
  • Innovative approaches that you use to encourage access to training for your employees (e.g. Mentoring, e-learning, collaborative learning).

(Limit: 800 words)

For further information visit your relevant state or territory training awards website.