Nominations for 2021 are now closed. Check back later for more information about the 2022 Awards.

The Small Training Provider of the Year Award recognises a registered training organisation that offers a specific range of training products and services and demonstrates excellence and high level performance in all aspects of vocational education and training.


To nominate for this award, an organisation must:

  • be a registered training organisation for which the delivery of vocational education and training is the core business
  • be delivering less than 50 qualifications (which are listed on its scope of registration)
  • have won the aligned category at the relevant state or territory training awards
  • apply in the state or territory where the majority of the training is being delivered. The application must focus on the training delivered in that state or territory.

2021 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.

Note: To maintain the integrity of the Australian Training Awards, applicants to the 2021 Small Training Provider of the Year Award will be subject to quality assurance checks by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), or by the applicable regulatory authority in Victoria and Western Australia.  These checks will inform the selection process of applicants and finalists to this award category. 


This information will be considered and used for short listing and judging purposes. Please be aware that your responses to the criteria will be strengthened by the inclusion of measurable and verifiable indicators (including student outcome data, client satisfaction data and external validation data).

The considerations listed under each criterion are provided to clarify what to include when writing against the criteria.

Criterion 1: Leading practice in vocational education and training

How you provide exceptional vocational education and training? For example, you may consider:

  • How you demonstrate excellence and high level performance in national training arrangements
  • How you demonstrate creativity and innovation in the design and development of your processes and techniques (operational or educational)
  • How you provide creative and innovative solutions to emerging training needs
  • The systems you have in place to manage, evaluate and enhance your VET products and services
  • How you undertake continuous improvement and apply quality controls within your organisation.

(limit: 800 words)

Criterion 2: Strategic planning processes

How you plan and coordinate vocational education and training? For example, you may consider:

  • Details of the external environment in which your organisation operates and its relationship to state/territory and national policies and priorities
  • The systems you have in place for planning and communicating purpose, vision, goals, values and core business strategies (and for creating alignment across your whole organisation)
  • The role of your leadership team in strategic planning
  • How your planning processes embrace innovation and change, including your capacity to plan for (and adapt to) future changes in vocational education and training
  • How you engage with ongoing VET policy reforms, including your capacity to implement change as a consequence of reform initiatives
  • How you ensure the sustainability of your operations, including your understanding of risk and risk management.

(limit: 800 words)

Criterion 3: Student, employer and market focus

How you monitor client and market needs? For example, you may consider:

  • Your knowledge of – and how you respond to – students, employers and markets, including the systems you have in place for collecting and analysing data on client needs and expectations
  • How you identify and attract new clients and new markets, and how you address these without impacting the sustainability of your operations
  • How you collect and analyse data on student outcomes and completions
  • How you measure success (e.g. outcome and completion data, satisfaction surveys, independent validations and evaluations, industry recognition, business outcomes from training activity)
  • How you encourage access to your VET products and services, and the success you have achieved in meeting the needs of equity groups.

(limit: 800 words)

Criterion 4: Human resource capability

How you build the capacity of your workforce? For example, you may consider:

  • The strategies you have in place to build staff capability (e.g. job design, personnel selection, staff training and development, performance management systems, two way feedback systems)
  • Your capacity and flexibility to meet changing training needs and new training markets, including your response times for upskilling staff
  • How you ensure constructive management/employee relations, including the emphasis you place on teamwork, participation and communication
  • How your organisation recognises the well-being of staff as critical to business success.

(limit: 800 words)

Criterion 5: Partnerships and links

How you establish genuine partnerships to support vocational education and training? For example, you may consider:

  • The strategies you have in place to identify local/regional issues (e.g. social, economic, industrial or environmental issues) and how you incorporate these into your service delivery
  • How you establish and monitor positive relationships with individuals, enterprises, industries and community groups
  • How you build new, innovative and effective partnerships in the local or wider community
  • How you ensure your partnerships are reciprocal (i.e. where each partner brings resources to the partnership and shares in outputs from the partnership).

           (limit: 800 words)

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