In the ever-changing Vocational Education and Training industry, as a business manager, you need to be on your toes ready to adapt. Either the increasing pressure of compliance by ASQA or the need to be better than the competition. RTOs need to stay as flexible as possible to be able to adjust to these constant changes. Staying financially stable with a steady cashflow is the platform to growth.
The following article gives you 5 tips on how to reduce costs in in your RTO to help you stay as flexible as possible and ready for change.
You can see what your RTO does well and what could be improved without having to make any compromises that could affect your organisation.
1. Compare budget with actual expenses
Go through your records and see if there are any significant discrepancies between your budget and actual spendings. Try to find out why there are any differences and make the more considerable overruns your priority. The costs that are higher than what you planned for, indicate room for reduction and costs that are lower than expected, might be signs of a decrease in quality or other problems. The best way is to list planned and actual costs in a spreadsheet. Compare these regularly to see how you’re going and you know where to make reductions in expenses.
2. Stay compliant with the Standards of ASQA
This might not come to your mind immediately when you think about how to reduce your RTO costs, but it is an important factor. On 6 July 2018 ASQA revised fees to offer training provider cost reductions if they show high levels of compliance. This means:
- Training providers that need a greater level of regulatory attention and oversight will pay higher costs for regulation.
- Assessment fees are only charged when there is an audit requirement for the renewal of a registration.
- Cost reductions for RTOs that demonstrate high level of compliance.
3. Maximise the use of your physical space before getting a bigger one
Space is another factor that gets overlooked a lot. There are more space-wasters than you would think: piles of paper, bad placement of furniture, unnecessary overpacked storage, too many supplies, etc… Go through your office and make a list of spaces that could be used for dual purposes, for example you could use a meeting room as a break room, hire Co Spaces for when you need larger meeting rooms, encourage staff to work from home and hot desk. There are different opportunities for saving space, depending on what kind of RTO you have. Obviously if you require space for simulated training, a co spaces wont cut it!
4. Quick & simple savings
You can save money by making small changes that won’t affect the quality and performance of your RTO. These quick savings include:
- Check the invoices of suppliers. It is quite common that they overcharge by mistake. For example missing discounts, double billing or incorrect charges are not rare.
- Check if your trainers and assessors professional development is relevant to their role. Even if it is, check for cheaper options with the same accreditation.
- Try to avoid creating unnecessary small orders of supply. If you buy regular with the same quantities, there is a higher chance of getting discount deals and less administrator effort.
- Evaluate if your RTO might be over-insured. Safety is good, but useless if you have insurance for something that is impossible to happen.
- If you need to create documents for compliance, try to use templates and make these accessible for everyone in the organisation. This saves time and money. We have you covered with a Training and Assessment Strategy Template and a Professional Development Template.
5. Save big with technology
Technology is one of the biggest cost savers an RTO can benefit from. If you apply it wisely you will be able to save thousands of dollars. Nowadays there are plenty of options to go digital and trying to operate the business virtually wherever possible is not that difficult anymore. You can:
- Have meetings online instead of spending money and time for travelling.
- Safe physical space with virtual offices and files.
- Get rid of time-consuming processes that include paper. Printing, collating, posting, filing, processing, scanning, uploading, retaining and destroying are massive wasters for money and time.
- Only consider solutions that include a resource library for VET tools. These are convenient, don't waste time and save money. Your team won't need to worry anymore about creating assessment content and can focus on other areas.
- Digital files are edited within seconds. A mistake or en edit on a paper file brings a long process with it. This costs time, money and nerves...
- Streamline processes by integrating multiple apps you use, to ensure a fast data-flow that saves time.
The most efficient digital solutions are cloud-based. They are extremely advantageous because they connect everyone with everything at any time:
- A cloud improves activities like searching for a file or sharing them with colleges. Think about how much time gets wasted every day if an employee needs to go from file to file to find something or if they need to share big files via email. A file saved within the cloud is found and shared within seconds!
- Imagine all your paper files get destroyed in a fire or damaged by water. Accidents are out of control for an RTO and can happen anytime. This can cause massive recovery costs, which would be saved if you use cloud storage.
- Cloud services are updated automatically. There is no need to spend cost-intensive hours on manually updating your system when you are using a cloud application because it updates and refreshes itself.
- Most pricing models are in a pay-as-you-go form. This means that you only pay as long as you require the service. Make sure you choose a provider with a 30-day cancellation option.
Make sure that you choose a solution that is specifically made for the Vocational Education and Training sector. This will make the implementation process a lot easier and help to increase efficiency and quality for your Registered Training Organisation.
One of the biggest expenses for a training provider is the cost of assessment. If you can't make time to figure out which of the outlined advice to follow first, use this handy calculation tool to see how high your assessment expenses are. It will make the decision easier.
We hope this helps your Registered Training Organisation to save big. Try to evaluate where you could implement some of the above. Each training provider is different and might be able to save money where others can’t. Cloud Assess is an Online Assessment Solution that moults into the needs of any Registered Training Organisation as it was developed for VET. To find out how Cloud Assess helps RTOs save money, press the button below for a free trial: