Guidance for vocational education start-ups and scale-ups

For start-up RTOs

There are many consultants who can help Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) create VET sector systems and tools that are compliant with the Standards for RTOs 2015. However, to be successful, these must be designed by an experienced RTO professional who understands the necessary balance between compliance, risk, and marketing:

  • Your training solution must be structured with stand-out features that will allow you to enter and thrive in a crowded market with over 4,000 RTOs.
  • Your training solutions must be commercially optimised – that is, maximising profitability and minimising expenses.
  • You must address risk – with regard to both the regulator’s published guidance and its unpublished expectations (i.e., as determined by their history of RTO audit practices).

For scale-ups: Consulting, mentoring and insight

Many businesses fail to reach their potential because the founders lack the experience needed to identify and implement the right strategic moves to enable the next step-change in their business. RTOs benefit from assistance in becoming energised on their future prospects, creating a clear vision on a way forward towards growth, and identifying and making the right execution decisions.

The right growth mentor in your corner will help you to make better decisions, accelerate your goals, save money, and reduce stress by avoiding common mistakes along the way. A growth mentoring relationship is ideal if:

  • You have some informal advisors around you but question whether their level of independence or experience is fit for purpose to help you achieve your objectives.
  • You want someone in your corner with your best interests at heart. Someone who will help you make the best possible decisions about the next steps in growing your business and support you if you hit bumps in the road during implementation.
  • You want a confidential sounding board. It’s lonely at the top and you are aware that you don’t know everything. You’re facing some major strategic decisions with options that are a little overwhelming and you need someone to help gain clarity and forward movement.
  • You’re not quite ready for a more formal advisory board structure but want good advice. You want a 1:1 relationship now, with the flexibility to evolve that into something more formal in the future if it becomes relevant.
  • You haven’t done what you’re about to attempt within the next few years and you want to draw on the wisdom of someone who’s been there before to help reduce the time, cost and stress that can come from making avoidable mistakes on the way.

About Carl Mocnik

Carl MocnikAs an experienced CEO, Director, Academic Manager and Consultant to Australian Universities, TAFEs and RTOs, Carl offers an independent and experienced perspective to help develop and execute innovative processes and tools, and growth strategies.

Finding the right guide who has the necessary experience and who will be a good fit for your style, objectives and challenges is the first step in successfully navigating the next stage of growth in your business.

Carl is known for his selective, growth-oriented, approachable and perspective-enabling approach to help Founders grow and fulfil the potential of their brands.


  • Experienced VET sector compliance advisor to major Universities, TAFEs and RTOs.
  • 20+ year track record of growing education businesses.
  • Grew his personal RTO business to c. $5M revenue per annum within three years.
  • Author of several vocational education textbooks.
  • Has successfully fought and won battles with ASQA, the industry regulator.
  • Led companies through various growth stages – $0-3M, $3-6M.
  • Still “in the game” and not a retired CEO.
  • Director of Skills Assessment Australia and Plenty Training.
  • Post-Graduate qualifications in business and leadership, education, engineering and project management.
  • CEO and senior executive experience in companies from 30 to 200 FTE.
  • AICD Company Directors course graduate.

How does mentoring differ from other services?

DIFFERENCES TO COACHING: A Coach is generally self-directed and therefore the Coach’s main job is to ask great questions to force deep reflective thinking, allowing you to choose a way forward. A Coach may not have expertise in your field of interest or provide any advice.

DIFFERENCES TO COUNSELLING: A Counsellor helps you come to terms with the past to better cope with the present. A Counsellor does not provide advice in relation to business problems unless the effects are clearly related to causes that are psychological or emotional.

DIFFERENCES TO CONSULTING: A Consultant is generally a competent and technical expert to whom you can outsource thinking or doing work, or both. A Consultant often has functional expertise in a niche problem area but may or may not have industry or sector expertise.
Carl's specialty areas are:

  • Developing commercially successful and compliant RTO systems, processes and tools
  • Developing and evaluating growth strategy
  • Developing and articulating clear vision, purpose and direction
  • Developing value propositions
  • Optimising business models
  • Market expansion
  • Strategic partnerships
  • Sales and marketing strategy, people, process, technology and execution
  • Streamlining your strategy; culture, engagement, rhythms, metrics and planning.

Let's Connect

Book a discovery call to discuss your needs, evaluate Carl’s background, and to find out if his style fits in with your objectives.  Email carl@saa.edu.au.