Individuals and Student Information

Essential Skills has a friendly culture and it’s a great place to study.
Call us for more info on (02) 4961 0016.


Essential Skills Training & Recruitment is committed to providing high quality vocational education and training. We specialise in training for the community services sector, delivered by our passionate and dedicated trainers.

In this handbook you will find information about our policies and training and assessment procedures.

If you have questions about any aspect of your training, please call or email our office and we will assist you with your enquiry.

Student Handbook

Smart and Skilled is a NSW Government program which assists individuals to access reduced cost training.

Visit the Smart and Skilled website for more information:

Essential Skills Training & Recruitment is approved to deliver the following qualifications under the smart and skilled program.

  • BSB40515 Certificate IV in Business Administration
  • BSB42015 Certificate IV in Leadership and Management
  • BSB51918 Diploma of Leadership and Management
  • BSB61015 Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management
  • CHC22015 Certificate II in Community Services
  • CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support
  • CHC32015 Certificate III in Community Services
  • CHC43015 Certificate IV in Ageing Support
  • CHC42015 Certificate IV in Community Services
  • CHC43115 Certificate IV in Disability
  • CHC43415 Certificate IV in Leisure and Health
  • CHC51915 Diploma of Community Services
  • HLT23215 Certificate II in Health Support Services
  • HLT33215 Certificate III in Health Support Services
  • HLT43015 Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance

This training is subsidised by the NSW Government.

Smart and Skilled Information

Smart and Skilled Course Information
For more information about course availability and funding eligibility for Smart and Skilled courses please contact;
Leisa Harrison
(02) 4961 0016

Through training, especially full qualifications, you can not only increase your skills and knowledge but often you can move into a new role or take on more or new responsibilities.

Click on an industry below to discover potential career opportunities:

Career Pathway – Aged Care
Career Pathway – Disability
Career Pathway – Community Care
Career Pathway – Cleaning, Food & Laundry

If you are enrolled into any nationally recognised accredited training with Essential Skills you will be required to provide us with your Unique Student Identifier (USI).

A Unique Student Identifier (USI) is a government issued reference number made up of numbers and letters. This gives students access to their USI account where they can see all of their training results from all providers including all completed training units and qualifications from the 1st January 2015.

The USI will make it easier for students to find and collate their VET achievements into a single authenticated transcript. It will also ensure that students’ VET records are not lost.

You can apply for a USI by going to and following the prompts or you can ask Essential Skills Training and Recruitment (ESTR) to apply on your behalf. If you would like ESTR to apply on your behalf you will be required to complete the USI privacy statement and supply us with identification. Contact our office for a copy of the application form.
All students will be required to supply ESTR with their USI before their certificate or Statement of Attainment can be issued.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is a form of assessment that assesses the skills, knowledge and experience that you already have. Previous training, formal and informal, work experiences and non-employment experiences such as community work, can be assessed. Your skills and knowledge will be matched against the program in which you are enrolled.

You should make your application for RPL on enrolment but you can apply at any time. If you would like to apply please request and RPL application from our office or download a copy below.

Recognition of Prior Learning can reduce the duration of the course and cost involved. This will be discussed with the student on a case by case basis.

Recognition of Prior Learning & Credit Transfer Application Form

Essential Skills Training & Recruitment recognises qualifications and Statements of Attainment issued by other RTOs. Credit Transfer recognises matching or equivalent unit codes completed in prior nationally endorsed qualifications.

If you have completed units that are similar or that have been superseded and are not recognised as equivalent then that evidence can be used toward Recognition of prior learning.

You will need to complete the application and submit a certified copy of the document for it to be processed. We ask that you apply for credit upon enrolment to ensure you do not complete the units again as part of your qualification.

You should make your application for credit on enrolment but you can apply at any time. If you would like to apply please request and Credit transfer application from our office or download a copy below.

Recognition of Prior Learning & Credit Transfer Application Form

Refund policy
If given formal notice of a withdrawal within 3 days of the commencement of training and receipt of materials. ESTR will refund fees paid in advance less

  • the admin fee of $500 for full qualifications
  • 20% of the total course fee for skills sets, single units or non-accredited training.
  • Or the customer may choose for the money paid to be held in credit for future programs less the admin fee.

Under normal circumstances, no refunds will be given after the commencement of a program, unless the client can provide a medical certificate or show extreme hardship. In these cases fees will be refunded on a pro-rata basis or reduced to cover our costs for course materials, postage etc.

If a client is dissatisfied with a refund decision they can submit a formal complaint, which will be reviewed by the CEO. A reply in writing will be provided.

If a program is cancelled by us prior to commencement, all fees will be refunded in full. Post commencement, fees will be refunded on a pro-rata basis based on training delivered to date.

To apply for a refund please contact our office for a Refund Request Form or print off the form below;

ESTR Refund Request Form

The administration fee of $500 will be required on enrolment, if your total course cost is less than $500 then the full fee will be taken on enrolment. The remaining fees will be invoiced over 5 instalments over a 10-month period throughout your training.

If required for an individual, a payment plan can be arranged, to assist participants to pay fees over the duration of the program. ESTR cannot accept more than $1000 upfront from an individual student as part of our financial management policy to ensure fee protection for students.

If you are not working in the community services industry and are undertaking a course with us the following will incur additional fees;

  • Working with Children Check – $80 this must be organised by the student.

If a replacement textbook is required by any student, the student will be required to pay for the cost of the replacement book – between $15 – $120 (depending on qualification).

If external Learning Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) support services are required this is at the expense of the student/employer.

Any client dissatisfied with any program or activity related to the provision of training and assessment services has the right to submit a complaint. Complaints should be made in writing using the ESTR Complaints Form or other written format. Once a written complaint is received, you will be contacted by Essential Skills Training and Recruitment’s (ESTR) CEO within 7 days of receipt of the compliant, to discuss the nature of your complaint and work with you to try to resolve the matter.

All complaints will be finalised as soon as practicable, or at least within 30 calendar days, unless there is significant reason the investigation will take longer. You will be advised of the outcome in writing. Where ESTR considers more than 60 calendar days is required to finalise the complaint, you will be advised in writing of the reasons and regularly updated on the progress of the matter until the matter is resolved.

If you feel that no satisfactory solution has been reached, you have the right to appeal the decision made by ESTR where reasonable grounds can be established, or request an independent party to investigate. Any fees associated with independent parties to review a matter will be at the complainant’s expense. You can also refer your complaint to our registering body; ASQA (Australian Skills Quality Authority). Please note that ASQA does not act as an independent party for reviewing complaints, and you must have followed ESTR’s complaints and appeals process before making a complaint about ESTR to ASQA.

PP-054 Complaints and Appeals Policy

Any client dissatisfied with a decision made by ESTR has the opportunity to submit an appeal. Appeals can include, but is not limited to;

  • An assessment decision
  • Decisions made about a students enrolment e.g. deferral, suspension or cancellation
  • Any other decision that is made after a complaint has been dealt with by ESTR

Appeals should be made in writing using the Assessment Appeal Form or other written format within 14 days of the decision or outcome. Once a written appeal is received you will be contacted by Essential Skills Training and Recruitment’s (ESTR) CEO or Leadership Team within 7 days of receipt of the appeal, who will review the appeal and work with you to try to resolve the matter.

If a student is dissatisfied with an assessment decision, in the first instance, you should contact the assessor directly in an attempt to understand the decision before making a written appeal. If you are still not happy, you are entitled to lodge the appeals form.

An appeal can be resolved by any of the following means;

  • No further action by ESTR
  • Reassessment by another assessor
  • Another registered provider will be asked to arbitrate and reassess if necessary
  • The complainant can request an independent party investigate (at their expense) or make a complaint with ASQA (only after following ESTR’s complaints and appeals process first).

Digital literacy

To undertake online or blended learning you need to have the required Digital Literacy skills needed to successfully undertake your course in the online/digital learning environment. As part of the Enrolment Application Pre-Training Review process, we will assess your level of digital literacy by asking you to undertake a Digital Literacy Self-Assessment Quiz. We will then discuss the quiz outcomes with you and make recommendations about whether the course is suitable for you, as well as identify areas where you may require additional support.

Online learning technology requirements

You will access your learning materials through the aXcelerate Student eLearning Portal. The following are the minimum technology requirements needed to successfully undertake your chosen course in the online/digital learning environment;

Computer, Laptop or Mobile Device with Internet Connection
  • Reliable internet connection. Note; Please be mindful of your data usage limits.

  • Webcam and microphone

  • Microsoft Windows 7 or higher, or Mac OS version 10 or higher
Internet Browser
  • Latest version of Google Chrome is recommended for optimum compatibility
  • We recommend that the following Browser Settings be enabled;
    – Cookies
    – Pop-ups (in both Internet browser and security software)
    – JavaScript
PDF Reader
  • Latest version of Adobe PDF Reader
Word Processing Applications
  • Microsoft Word 2010 or higher 
  • Some units of competency may require you to also have access to other Microsoft Office applications i.e. Excel, PowerPoint etc.
Applications The following applications will be used for Virtual Classrooms;

ESTR will confirm the specific application needed on enrolment.

For participation in the virtual classroom environment you will be required to have your camera enabled and hold up photo ID to the webcam at the beginning of each virtual class so we can verify your identity.

  • Some courses may require you to create and upload photographs or videos, so you may also need access to a digital camera or mobile video device. 
  • Genius Scan application. Whilst not essential,this scanner application is highly recommended as it allows you to quickly and easily scan your assessments and export them as multi-page PDF file using your mobile device.This app is available for Free download from thee App Store or Google Play.


*** NOTE: Even though are studying online or through a blended learning approach, you may require access to workplaces or simulated workplaces to complete the performance evidence requirements of some units of competency This is discussed as part of the Enrolment Application Pre-Training Review process and strategies will be implemented to address this.

Click here to learn more about our online learning tools.

Click here to read our full online service standards.


RTO ID: 91729 | Legal name: Trissig Pty Ltd