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.

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
(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

Fee policy

Please refer to the course outlines in the courses section for full fee information.

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. ESTR cannot accept more than $1000 upfront from an individual student as part of our financial management policy to ensure fee protection for students.

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

If the participant would like to pay their course fees off in fortnightly or monthly instalments so that the payments are smaller and more manageable, a direct debit payment plan will be arranged through a third party provider called Debitsuccess Pty Ltd (ABN 32 095 551 581).  Debitsuccess 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 Debitsuccess, 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, a $200 enrolment fee will be required upfront and there will be an additional cost of; a one off $12 administration fee and 4% of the course fee, these fees and other fees that may be charged by Debitsuccess are outlined in the table below.

Fee Amount When Payable
 Administration  $12.00 Once  only  when  Product  is  first established
Additional Fees 4% of the course fees Fee is included in your weekly/fortnightly payment plan
Reversal Up to $15 On the Dishonour of a payment
Debt Collection* $50 plus 25% of full outstanding balance.

For example, if your outstanding balance was $200, the Debt Cancellation Fee owing, in addition to the outstanding contract balance of $200, will be $100 (comprising $50 plus 25% of the remaining balance (i.e. 25% of $200).

On cancellation of the product due to your failure to pay the required amounts under your customer/membership contract resulting in the referral of your account to Debt Collection.

* This fee will only be charged if Debitsuccess provides Debt Collection Services to the business providing goods or services to you. If this is the case, the terms relating to Debt Collection Services set out in your customer/membership agreement will also apply.

Recovery of Outstanding Student Fees

Once an invoice is issued, you will receive automatic reminder emails from Xero (the accounting software Essential Skills Training and Recruitment uses for financial management) days 1, 7, 14 & 21 after the invoice is issued. If payment is not received within 21 days, the Essential Skills Training and Recruitment Finance Officer will contact you for payment. If payment is still not received after 90 days, it is passed on to the debt collection services to follow up.

Additional Costs

  • If a replacement textbook is required by any student, the student will be required to pay for the cost of the replacement book which is between $15 - $120 (depending on the qualification).
  • If external support services are required this is the expense of the student/employer. E.g. Interpreter
  • If a replacement Certificate or Statement of Attainment is required to be reproduced there will be $20 fee associated with this that must be paid before the certificate is released.
  • If you are working in the community services sector and require a Working with Children’s check, this will be at your own expense. Approximately $80

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

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

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