Vic Fees

VIC Fees & Funding

Skills First

We all know training is important. The great news is the Victorian government agrees. Victoria has undergone a vocational education revolution and now guarantees a subsidised training place for EVERY VICTORIAN who does not have a post school qualification, or who wants to gain a higher level qualification than they already hold. This is called Skills First.

There has never been a better time for individuals wanting to skill up regardless of the reason. To get a job, to be better at their existing job, upgrade their skills to help get a promotion! As long as the eligibility criteria are met the government is committed to helping Victorian’s up skill.

It really is a major commitment to lift the skills base of Victoria. What makes the program so ground breaking is that is provides educational opportunities across the entire community.

The opportunities that fall under Skills First are a big win for Victorian businesses and employers as well. Under the same program employers can help their people up skill and receive brilliant training.

It is all about up-skilling and encouraging Victorian’s to get a higher level of qualification than they already hold and be the best you can be.

Who is Eligible?

To be eligible, an individual must meet the Skills First Requirements as follows:
To meet general citizenship/residency eligibility requirements, an individual must be:

  • Australian citizen: or
  • Holder of a permanent visa; or
  • A New Zealand citizen

And are any of the following:

  • Under 20 years of age (as of 1 January in the year of commencement of training) and seeking to enrol in nationally recognised training
  • Over 20 years of age (as at 1 January in the year of commencement of training) and seeking to enrol in nationally recognised training in a course that is at a higher level qualification than the one the individual holds.

This does not include:

  • Completed VCE/VCAL, International Baccalaureate Diploma: and senior secondary school certificates from other Australian Jurisdictions
  • Completed qualifications listed in the Foundation Skills List
  • VET certificates completed as part of senior secondary qualification
  • Qualifications with the title ‘course in…’ which are not aligned to a specific level within the Australian Framework AQF
  • Non Australian qualifications except where equivalency has been formally established with a qualification within the AQF

An eligible individual must be aware that accessing a place in our Skills First funded course will impact access to further government subsidised training.

How many courses can an eligible individual do?

As long as you meet the  criteria, you are eligible to commence a maximum of 2 qualifications at the same level in your lifetime and undertake a maximum of 2 government subsidised courses at any one time.

For traineeships the individual must also be:

Employed in Victoria in either a full time or part time capacity under an award or registered agreement

Undertaking an Approved Training Scheme

A signatory to a training contract with their employer which is registered  with the VRQA

A signatory, jointly with the employer and the RTO to a training plan

Involved in paid work and Structured Training, either workplace based or off-the-job

Whether an individual is an Apprentice or a Trainee depends on how the qualification they are undertaking is designated in the relevant Approved Training Scheme. Information on current Approved Training Schemes can be found at

Exceptions to the Skills First Eligibility Criteria

Individuals referred to training under the particular arrangement set out by the DEECD may not be required to meet particular aspect of the Eligibility Criteria. Individuals undertaking training under the following arrangements must present the relevant referral form prior to enrolment –

  • Referred Job Seekers
  • Asylum Seekers and Victims of Human Trafficking Initiative
  • Access to the Skills First for retrenched employees and
  • Automotive Supply Chain Training Initiative

[Where there is a ‘NO’ against eligibility criterion, students in that initiative/program do not need to meet the criterion]

An individual is not eligible for government subsidised training under Skills First if:

  • They are enrolled at a school (excluding School Based Apprentive/Trainee) or registered for home schooling in Victoria you will not be able to receive a government-subsidised training place for a course through Skills First. The government supports schools in other ways to offer vocational training to their students, for further details discuss options with your school.
  • Within the meaning of the Corrections Act 1986, a prisoner held at a prison including but not limited to: I. Hopkins Correctional Centre (Ararat) II. Barwon Prison III. Beechworth Correctional Centre IV.Dame Phyllis Frost Centre V. Dhurringile Prison VI. Langi Kal Kal Prison VII. Loddon Prison VIII. Marngoneet Correctional Centre IX. Terrengower Prison X. Metropolitan Remand Centre XI. Melbourne Assessment Prison XII. Fulham Correctional Centre XIII. Port Phillip Prison, xiv.Karreenga Annex and xv.ravenhall Correctional Centre
  • They are detained under the Mental Health Act 1986; or the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 or the Sentencing Act 1991 at the Thomas Embling Hospital
  • They are detained (other than on weekend detention) under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 or the Sentencing Act 1991 or who is held on remand in one or more of the following youth justice facilities I. Malmsbury Juvenile Justice Centre II. Parkville Youth Residential Centre III. Melbourne Youth Justice Centre


Determining prior qualification eligibility

For the purpose of applying the eligibility criterion relating to the highest qualification held, the following prior qualifications are not taken into account:

  1. The Victorian Certificate of Education; Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (intermediate or Senior); Internation Baccalaureate Diploma; and senior secondary school certificates from other Australian jurisdictions
  2. Qualification listed in the Approved Foundations Skills List
  3. Any VET certificates completed as part of senior secondary qualification
  4. Qualifications with the title ‘course in…’ which are not aligned to a specified level within the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF); and
  5. Non-Australian qualifications, except where equivalency has been formally established with a qualification within the AQF.

In accordance with the AQF and for the avoidance of doubt, Vocational Graduate Certificate and Vocational Graduate Diploma level qualifications are higher than qualifications at the Bachelor Degree level.

Eligibility for accredited courses with the title ‘course in…’

A number of courses with the title ‘course in…’ are accredited. These are nationally recognized training products providing skills recognition leading to a Statement of Attainment, rather than the aware of a qualifiction recognized within the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). They are not aligned with the AQF. Enrolment in a ‘Course in ….’ Is subject to the same Skills First eligibility requirements as other enrolments.

To address ‘up skilling’ requirements, an individual who holds a qualification no higher than Certificate IV is to be considered eligible to enrol in a ‘Course in…’ (Subject to meeting other eligibility criteria).

Qualifications at Diploma level or higher are considered higher than courses with the title ‘Course in…’

Eligibility for courses and qualifications on the Foundation Skills List
An Individual in not eligible for government subsidised training under Skills First in courses and qualifications on the Foundation Skills List if you hold a qualification issued by an Australian higher education provider that is at a Diploma or higher and or enrolled in the Commonwealth Government’s ‘Skills for Education and Employment’ program.

Proof of Eligibility

For proof of eligibility you will need to have:

Prior to the commencement of training, for each individual eligible for Skills First, we must complete Evidence of Eligibility and Student Declaration form and sight in hard copy original or certified photocopies of the original evidence of eligibility.

This could include:

  • An Australian birth certificate;
  • or a current Australian passport;
  • or a current New Zealand passport;
  • or a Naturalisation certificate;
  • or a green Medicare card;
  • or a signed declaration by a relevant referee;
  • or formal documentation issued by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection


What is Certified Copy

A certified photocopy is a photocopy of an original document which has been certified as being a true copy of an authorised person.

Please Note – Certified photocopies that are scanned or faxed are not acceptable forms of evidence.

The authorised person must write on every page of the copy document “I have sighted the original document and certify this to be a true copy of the original” sign each statement and provide their designation for example “Pharmacist”.

Authorised Persons include:

  • A justice of the peace or bail justice
  • A member of the police force
  • A pharmacist


Fees & Charges

This training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding. Students with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Eligibility criteria apply.

Your tuition fee will be based on the information that you provide to successfully meet the Skills First eligibility criteria:

CHC33015 – Certificate III in Individual Support

CHC43015 – Certificate IV in Ageing Support

CHC43415 – Certificate IV in Leisure and Health