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

It is essential that you have the language, literacy, and numeracy (LLN) skills to allow for successful participation in and completion of your chosen qualification. The Australian Core Skills Framework (ASCF) identifies five core skills as essential for participating effectively in the workplace and education sector. These five skills are:

  • Learning
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Oral communication
  • Numeracy

LLN requirements for successful completion vary from qualification to qualification. Part of Essential Skills Training and Recruitment’s enrolment process is to determine your current LLN capabilities compared to the benchmarks required for the successful completion of the qualification. You will be provided with a link to complete an online LLN assessment as part of the pre-training review process. If there are any gaps identified between your current LLN capabilities and the course benchmarks, we will look at what support we can provide to help you develop your skills to the required level or may suggest an alternative course suitable to your current skill level.  Please note, Essential Skills Training and Recruitment will also take into consideration your previous study when assessing your LLN capabilities.

Outlined below are the ACSF benchmarks for each qualification. Our entry level is a level below the ACSF level, therefore where students are at the entry level, rather than the course level, additional support will be offered around those core skills.

BSB40520 Certificate IV in Leadership and Management




BSB50420 Diploma of Leadership and Management




CHC32015 Certificate III in Community Services




CHC33021 Certificate III in Individual Support




CHC42021 Certificate IV in Community Services




CHC43015 Certificate IV in Ageing Support




CHC43121 Certificate IV in Disability Support




CHC43415 Certificate IV in Leisure and Health




CHC52021 Diploma of Community Services




10966NAT Certificate IV in End of Life Doula Services




Essential Skills Training and Recruitment is committed to providing students access to flexible learning options to accommodate their diverse and varying learning styles and needs, whether it’s face to face, self-paced or via a blended learning approach i.e., a combination of both online/distance learning and face-to-face training in the classroom or online in the virtual classroom environment.

Regardless of the mode of delivery, you will need to have some basic digital literacy skills and access to the required technology to successfully undertake your chosen course. All of your Learning and Assessment material will be provided to you online via your Student Portal. You will also complete and submit your assessments via your Student Portal.

As part of the Enrolment Application Pre-Training Review process, we will assess your level of digital literacy and access to technology by asking you to answer a few questions.



  • Access to a computer, laptop, iPad or Tablet with reliable internet and email access, and a camera and microphone to interact in the virtual classroom environment. Note: Please be wary of your data usage within your limits.
  • Latest version of Google Chrome for optimum compatibility.
  • Latest version of Adobe PDF Reader.
  • Microsoft Word 2010 or higher or equivalent application. Some units of competency may require you to also have access to other Microsoft Office applications i.e., Excel, PowerPoint etc.
  • Microsoft Teams (for Virtual Classroom) Free download from https://www.microsoft.com/en-au/microsoft-teams/download-app or to a mobile device/iPad from the App Store or Google Play.
  • 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.
  • Internet Skills such as using the internet to search and find information and completing online forms.
  • Email Skills such as composing and sending emails, attaching files and replying to emails.
  • Computer Skills such as logging into apps, using a webcam and microphone, creating, saving, uploading and downloading documents.

Please note: 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 the virtual class so we can verify your identity.

If you are considering enrolling in a self-paced distance/online or blended learning delivery program, please refer to our Online and Blended Learning Delivery Service Standards. This also explains our commitment to you in key areas.

If you enrol in a Full-Time or Recruitment Program that includes a work experience placement, you must be aware of the following requirements;

  • ESTR will arrange the work experience placement and it is an unpaid placement.
  • You will need to obtain all of the relevant pre-placement checks prior to commencing the work experience placement. These can include; – Criminal Record Check, Working with Children’s Check, NDIS Workers Screening Check, Current Influenza vaccination and COVID-19 Vaccination. ESTR will advise you of the specific checks you will require for your specific work experience placement.
  • As mandated by the Government’s Public Health Order, you must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to undertake a work placement in an aged care facility or in home and community care or disability services settings. ESTR will only accept fully vaccinated students into our programs. After consultation with our supporting industry organisations, medical exemptions for COVID vaccinations will not be accepted for students undertaking courses with us that require a work placement. This business decision has been made to ensure all students who enrol with us will have the opportunity to complete their placement hours to meet the requirements of their course.
  • ESTR does not guarantee employment from a work experience placement.
  • If your Criminal Record Check and/or Working with Children’s Check or NDIS Workers Checks returns with any disclosable outcomes, you may be asked to leave the course and no refunds will be given. This will be assessed on a case by case basis.
  • You will need to sign a Work Experience Agreement prior to attending the work placement.
  • You should attend the total amount of specified hours of work experience and complete the Student Logbook and any other documentation required.
  • You should be well groomed, clean and tidy in appearance. Wear full length black pants, black collared or polo shirt, name badge, and closed in shoes with non – slip tread
  • You must notify the Host Organisation and ESTR if you are unable to attend any scheduled shifts prior to the commencing time and make suitable arrangements to make up the missed time.
  • You will not be placed on a work experience placement on weekends, public holidays or on night or sleepover shifts.
  • A work experience arrangement may be terminated at any time at the discretion of ESTR or the Host Organisation where any party is being placed in a position of unreasonable risk or danger, conduct is inappropriate, or that the placement has become untenable for any reason.

In partnership with the NSW Government’s NSW Fee Free initiative, Essential Skills Training and Recruitment are offering Fee-Free courses for eligible students in a bid to help individuals develop their skillset for future employment in a range of sectors.

NSW Fee Free is a NSW Government program to provide fee free training to give people the skills businesses need. This program will run from the 1st January 2023 to the 31st December 2023. As a Training Services NSW high performing provider, Essential Skills Training and Recruitment can help eligible students obtain NSW Fee Free funded training.

To be eligible for fee-free training under NSW Fee Free you need to:

  • live or work in NSW
  • be aged 15 years or older
  • have left school
  • be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, humanitarian visa holder or New Zealand citizen.

Training under NSW Fee Free is fee-free and fully funded by the NSW and Commonwealth governments.

We can help you determine your eligibility for funding and which course is best for you, call our office on (02) 4961 0016.

All of our nationally accredited qualifications are currently available under the NSW Fee Free program. Please see the individual course pages for more information on available programs. 


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: https://smartandskilled.nsw.gov.au/

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

This training is subsidised by the NSW Government.

Smart and Skilled Information

Contact our office if you would like to enrol and we will forward you the appropriate enrolment documentation.

Smart and Skilled Course Information

For more information about course availability and funding eligibility for Smart and Skilled courses please contact;
Leisa Harrison, CEO
(02) 4961 0016
email: info@essentialskills.com.au

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

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).

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 www.usi.gov.au 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 Application

Essential Skills Training & Recruitment recognises qualifications and Statements of Attainment issued by other RTOs. Credit Transfer (CT) 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 (RPL).

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.

Credit Transfer Application

Fees will vary depending on whether you are enrolling in a subsidised course, or whether you are paying Fee-for-Service (non-subsidised training). Please refer to the course brochure in the courses section for full fee information.

On enrolment, you will be provided with a quote for your total course fees. Your total course fee will be invoiced according to our standard payment fee structure unless you have made alternative arrangements via a payment plan.

Please refer to the Student Handbook for our standard payment structure and more detailed information regarding fees and refunds.

  • The Enrolment Fee is required to be paid on enrolment to cover administrative and resource costs.
  • If your Student Fee is calculated as $0.00, your course is Fee-Free, and you will not be required to make a payment for your chosen course.
  • If your Student Fee is below $500 then full payment will be required on enrolment unless you have made alternative arrangements with ESTR.
  • If you are enrolling in a Diploma level qualification, you will be invoiced for the enrolment and administration fees as outlined in the table above, however your remaining course fees will be invoiced over (4) instalments over the first (10) months of your course. Agreed dates for payments will be finalised with you at the time of the confirmation of your enrolment.
  • Essential Skills Training and Recruitment cannot accept more than $1,000 upfront from any individual student. This complies with our financial management policy to ensure fee protection for our students.
  • All fees collected will be retained by Essential Skills Training & Recruitment.


Payment plans are available.  This is to be discussed with Essential Skills Training and Recruitment on enrolment.


Refund policy

ESTR recognises that there are circumstances where you may need to cancel your enrolment or withdraw from your course. Our course refund policy is outlined below. Please read this carefully to determine if you are able to request a refund.

  • If formal notice is given at least (3) or more days before course commencement, ESTR will refund all fees paid in advance.
  • If formal notice is given less than (3) days before course commencement of a short program i.e., Skill Set, Single Unit, One Day Courses or non-accredited training, ESTR will refund any fees paid in advance, minus 20% of the course fee OR it can be held in credit for future programs.
  • If formal notice is given less than (3) days before OR within (3) days of course commencement of a full qualification, ESTR will refund any fees paid in advance, minus the Enrolment and Administration Fee** OR it can be held in credit for future programs.
  • If formal notice is received after course commencement, no refund is applicable. All fees invoiced after commencement and up to the point of withdrawal is payable to ESTR.

**Enrolment and Administration Fees apply because ESTR has spent time and money processing your enrolment and arranging course materials.

  • If a program is cancelled by Essential Skills Training and Recruitment, all fees paid in advance will be refunded in full.
  • Under normal circumstances, no refunds will be given after course ‘commencement’, unless you 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 etc.
  • The term ‘commencement’ in this policy refers to your first scheduled workshop for face-to-face/blended students, or your course induction for distance/online students.

If you are eligible for a refund please complete and submit the  ESTR Refund Request Form. If you are dissatisfied with a refund decision, you can submit a formal complaint, which will be reviewed by the CEO. See complaints and appeals below

ESTR can offer payment plans to individual students who would like to pay their course fees off in weekly or fortnightly instalments so that the payments are smaller and more manageable. A direct debit payment plan will be arranged through a third-party provider called Xplor Debit Success Pty Ltd (ABN 32 095 551 581). Xplor Debit Success is a wholly owned subsidiary of TSG Holdings (AUST) No.2 Pty Ltd ABN 89 608 821 281 and a related company of Transaction Services Holdings Limited ARBN 125 664 860 (‘TSHL’).

Through Xplor Debit Success, the course payments will be direct debited from a bank account or credit card according to the agreed frequency until all course fees are paid. Please note, there will be an additional cost of a $13.64 administration fee related to this service and if paying by a direct or credit card, an additional 5.56% (including GST) on top of the course fees, to be paid directly to Xplor Debit Success for their services. This additional fee is spread out over the term of the students contract. This administration fee and other fees that may be charged by Xplor Debit Success are outlined in the table below.

FeeAmountWhen Payable
 Administration $13.64Once only when Product is first established
Additional Fees5.56% of course fees if payment by a debit or credit cardFee is included in your weekly/fortnightly payment plan
Reversal$14.95On the Dishonour of a payment


Please note that Fees are subject to change, as Xplor Debit Success is a third-party provider.

The fees noted in the table above are maximum amounts charged by Xplor Debit Success in relation to the provision of the product. The actual amounts payable is set out in your customer/membership contract. You will be notified in writing of the amount you pay before the Product is issued to you by Xplor Debit Success.

Please note in the instance of fee restructures instigated by Xplor Debit Success, or in the event of a miscalculation of fees payable at the setup of your contract, you will be liable for your full student fee, plus all fees as stipulated by Xplor Debit Success. If this results in a shortfall of fees collected by Xplor Debit Success, it will need to be rectified, by you, before the issuance of your completed qualification.

Any client dissatisfied with any program or activity related to the provision of training and assessment services has the right to submit a complaint. A form will be emailed or posted to you on request. All complaints will be actioned within 7 days of receipt.

Once a written complaint is received, the complaint will be reviewed by Essential skills management and you will be contacted to try to resolve the issue. If you are still unhappy it will be escalated to the CEO who will contact you to discuss further options for resolution.
The outcome shall be communicated in writing to the person making the complaint.

If you feel that no satisfactory solution has been reached, you can refer the complaint to an external body such as ASQA (Australian Skills Quality Authority).

Any fees associated with an external appeal will be at the complainant’s expense.
Resolution may be by any of the following:

  • No further action;
  • Written / verbal apology;
  • Refund of any money paid;
  • Provision of the same course at no cost;
  • Provision of the same course with another provider at no cost.


ESTR Complaints Form

Complaints and Appeals Policy

Any student dissatisfied with an assessment decision has the opportunity to submit an appeal. Before making a written appeal we ask that you first contact your assessor in an attempt to understand the decision.

If you are still not happy, you are entitled to lodge an Appeals form. This form will be emailed or posted to you on request or you can use the link below. The form needs to be received by us within 14 days of the initial notification of the assessment result.

Once a written appeal is received, the management team will work with you to try to resolve the issue. You will be issued a written response within 7 days of your appeal being received.

If you are still not satisfied it will be escalated to the CEO and another registered provider may be asked to arbitrate and reassess if necessary or you can lodge a complaint with ASQA (Australian Skills Quality Authority).
An appeal can be resolved by any of the following means:

  • No further action;
  • Reassessment by the original assessor
  • Reassessment by another assessor.

ESTR Assessment Appeal Form