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NCVER Research Study Unveils Motivators of High-Performing RTOs

Altruism Drives High-Performing Training

The recent National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) study revealed that training providers strongly emphasise prioritising students’ needs and delivering an excellent training experience to achieve high performance.

NCVER’s report, titled “Beyond the standard: motivators of high-performing RTOs,” delves into the motivators that drive successful training providers and how they integrate these factors into their day-to-day operations.

Let’s take a closer look at the key findings of this research, which highlight the motivations and practices of high-performing RTOs and their potential to revolutionise the vocational education landscape.

Key Findings of the NCVER Report

The research findings shed light on several significant factors contributing to training providers’ success.

The research findings highlight the following vital motivators and their significance in high-performing RTOs:

Altruistic Intentions and Business Security

Firstly, the report emphasises the significance of altruistic intentions, wherein high-performing registered training organisations (RTOs) genuinely desire to impact their communities positively. These providers actively contribute beyond vocational education and become valuable contributors to society. While business viability remained a concern, the leaders of these RTOs demonstrated a deep commitment to contributing to their communities.

Fostering Strong Relationships

The NCVER report identified building and nurturing strong relationships with students and employers as vital for high performance. RTO leaders prioritised resources and efforts to ensure open communication, safe learning environments, and personalised student and staff support. They believed that establishing and maintaining robust relationships would naturally thrive the business aspect of their operations.

Transformational Leadership

NCVER’s research study also cited that high-performing RTOs exhibit transformational leadership styles, emphasising inclusivity and support for staff, students, and employers. Leaders prioritise collaborative practices, encouraging individuals to align their motivations with the organisation’s goals. Targeted guidance and professional development for RTO leaders can further enhance provider performance.

Unique Definitions of High Performance

High-performing RTOs defined high performance not solely based on measurable outcomes like completion rates but also on intangible aspects of their operations. These aspects included responsive student support, industry engagement, the development of excellent trainers, and resource dedication to industry collaboration. RTOs considered these elements as fundamental to their identity as high-performing organisations.

Business Sustainability Through Reputation

High-performing RTOs emphasised their reputation’s significance and word-of-mouth referrals’ power. By prioritising student support, employer collaboration, and community involvement, these RTOs enjoyed sustained business growth without extensive advertising. Their practices and values spoke for themselves, attracting students and maintaining enrolment quotas.

Implications and Recommendations

The findings of this research offer valuable insights into the motivators and practices of high-performing RTOs, presenting alternative approaches to promoting quality in the vocational education sector. Focusing on altruistic intentions and recognising RTOs’ broader societal role provide opportunities to foster interconnectedness between RTOs and their communities.

Encouraging RTOs to prioritise student support, employer engagement, and community contribution can improve student outcomes, industries, and the economy.

Key Recommendations for Promoting High Performance in RTOs

  • Promote Interconnectedness: Raise awareness about the positive impact of RTOs on students, industries, and communities, fostering reciprocal relationships between RTOs and local communities.
  • Enhance Leadership Capacities: Provide VET leaders with tailored resources, guidance, and support to navigate the complex environment of RTOs.
  • Recognise the Importance of Relationships: Encourage RTOs to prioritise strong relationships with students, employers, and stakeholders, emphasising open communication and personalised support.
  • Celebrate Intention-Based Performance Indicators: Acknowledge the value of efforts beyond measurable outcomes, such as responsive student support, industry collaboration, and resource allocation to industry engagement.
  • Foster Collaboration and Sharing: Facilitate platforms for high-performing RTOs to share best practices, experiences, and success stories, promoting collaboration among RTOs, industry stakeholders, and regulatory bodies.


The NCVER’s research on the motivators of high-performing RTOs unveils a new perspective on pursuing excellence in vocational education and training (VET).

By embracing the recommendations from this research, policymakers, regulators, and RTOs can create an environment that enables the broader adoption of performance-promoting practices and attitudes.

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