RTO Land: Enough Noise

Kim Huynh Education, Events, Vocational Education 0 Comments

Over the last 18 months, though I have still been working in RTO-Land, I have been a little more removed from the day to day operational aspects of RTOs and more focussed on strategy and projects. And now coming back into the operational aspect of an RTO, I must admit I am looking at things a bit differently to how I used to. Perhaps it has something to do with fresh eyes. For those 18 months, I was lifted out of the everyday hamster wheels of the RTO world, and that gave me a chance to look at what we do in this sector, using the eyes of an “outsider”, so to speak.

And boy, maybe we all need a bit of a fresh perspective.

I must admit, at first I didn’t know which topic I should pick to talk to you about. There’s so much going on in our sector at the moment, and so much coverage, publicity and chatter about it, that it’s been hard to choose where to start. I mean, I could talk about compliance or budget topics until the cows come home, and would still only cover a rough 5-10% of the issues available.

Then it hit me.

All this chatter is just noise. And it’s distracting us from what truly matters.

The more I thought about all the ‘stuff’ we see in RTO-Land at the moment (the media attention, blog posts, LinkedIn group discussions, online forums, and the rest), the more I realised that it’s nothing new. And, to me, it’s a better use of our time to talk about something new and different.

No matter what I thought about, topic wise, it all just seemed a bit…. noisy. And, I don’t know about you, but I find that a lot of this noise is pretty negative.

Now, I have no problem when the negativity is actually constructive, or has a positive, forward-looking intent, but in my experience, little of it actually does in the first instance. I put it to you that this “noisy negativity” is what’s holding us all back from achieving what we want to in our businesses, for our students, and for our sector as a whole. It’s crippling us and preventing us from making the call on strategic issues.

It’s time we ignore the noise, and move on to dissect the real issues in a constructive way. It’s time to focus our energy and time on looking for solutions and innovations, to have more positive and intelligent conversations. It’s time to actually do something.

It’s time to lift our game.

Perhaps the inspiration can come from looking around to see what our peers are doing and how they are achieving results. Perhaps it comes from looking above and beyond the boundaries of RTO-land, to higher-ed, to secondary, or even to enterprise. How are they revolutionising their practice? How are they making learning more engaging and accessible for students? How do they provide support to their staff? How do they scale and grow?

This year, I am going to try my very best to cut through the noise, either by giving you something new to think about, or by dissecting the noise in a new, useful way – turning it into something that we can all use to propel us forward to a place of unequalled Latitude.

For example, if we focus in on something that is everywhere on online VET forums at the moment – the continual discussion of various RTO’s advertising – and look at just how useful this chatter is (hint: I don’t think it’s very useful!).

Let’s quiet this noise; once and for all – or at least dial down the volume a bit – so we can focus on the things we need to focus on.


nickmcewanhall– Opinion piece by Nick McEwan-Hall. Nick is presenting the keynote at our August industry drinks “Sharing RTO Best Practices”. This event looks at sharing knowledge and finding solutions for the common challenges faced by most training organisations, through constructive and targeted discussions. Nick has a ten-year history of working in the Australian Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector, with experience spanning every function of an RTO and extending to consulting and professional development. A sought after public speaker, Nick now focusses his energy on helping businesses, and the people within them, to be their best, through his coaching practice Latitude Coaching.



Are you going to our industry drinks “Sharing RTO Best Practices”?

Don’t miss out on Nick’s keynote on lifting our game as a sector. Now is your chance to look at:

  • What are the key issues affecting an RTO’s growth?
  • What are the solutions for these issues?
  • What resources are available?
  • How do we make smarter decisions and grow our business?



All event attendants are entitled to a half-hour one-on-one coaching session with Nick McEwan-Hall. To claim this offer, send us an email at kim@circulus.com.au. This coaching session is obligation free, comes at no cost to you, and is exclusive to attendants of the “Sharing RTO Best Practices” event.



This event is hosted by Circulus Education and aXcelerate.

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