Frequently Asked Questions
The questions you’re most likely to ask us
Is National College Australia nationally recognised?
Yes, NCA is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) governed by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). A qualification from NCA will be recognised by employers and other RTOs across Australia.
It is exactly the same qualification you would receive from TAFE and other Registered Training Organisations.
When can I start?
Almost as soon as you’re ready. With an online course, you don’t need to wait for the start of a term or semester. The enrolment set-up can take up to a few days after which you’ll be ready to start.
How long will it take to finish a course?
A maximum of 12 months for Certificate III and IV levels and 18 months for Diploma levels courses.
Can I finish sooner?
Yes, you can as long as meet the assessment requirements. Some people will get to completion faster because they may have more industry experience; others get more done in the timeframe given and can study at a faster pace.
How much work is involved?
A nationally recognised qualification is serious business. Our courses are designed to meet the stringent requirements that are dictated to us as a Registered Training Organisation. You will be required to dedicate time and effort to your studies. Expect to spend anywhere between 6 – 15 hours each week on your course – how much time you spend will depend on the qualification and whether or not you’re already in the job role or you’re new to the industry.
How many educators will I have?
At NCA we assign you with one dedicated educator from start to finish so you have the consistency of dealing with the same person. The only exception would be if we had to arrange another educator to take part of a course because the primary assessor did not hold the required experience for a particular unit or Skills Group.
What support will I get?
Your dedicated Assessor will give you academic support and guidance around the assessment tasks; your Client Services Coordinator will answer questions for all non-academic matters, such as course dates, payment plans, additional resources, and a Work Placement Coordinator will handle all matters to do with work placement (if you need to do placement).
Can I use workbooks?
Yes, you can. If you’d prefer to have the reading material in print, we can arrange to have them posted to you. An additional charge will apply but you will still need to submit the assessments using the online portal.
Are there any tests or exams?
No, there aren’t. Vocational education is based on competency-based learning which, put simply, means you have to prove you have the ability to perform the tasks required for the job. Assessment is collected as evidence through a number of ways including written questions, projects, third party reports, and performance -based evidence.
How can I pay for my course?
You’ve got 2 options:
- Pay upfront and receive a 20% discount, or
- Pay the full fee over a payment plan made up of weekly or fortnightly payments
Can I get Government funding?
You might be eligible for government support if you’re in NSW. Click here for more information.
NCA does not currently offer VET Student Loans for our Diploma courses but we do offer payment plans.
What is RPL?
RPL refers to Recognition of Prior Learning. It is an assessment process that closely evaluates the relevance of your knowledge and skills to specific job tasks. It is not a substitute for learning – to be eligible for RPL you must have direct experience in the job role performing the tasks that make up the qualification.
If I think I am eligible for RPL, what do I do?
What is Credit Transfer?
A Credit Transfer is a little different to what is referred to as ‘RPL’. A credit transfer applies when you hold the exact same unit of competency from another qualification and can apply for an exemption because we can transfer the unit to the new qualification. Speak to a Course Advisor.
I live overseas, can I enrol in a course with National College Australia?
Unfortunately, not. NCA only accepts enrolments from people who live in Australia.
I have a student visa, can I enrol in a course with National College Australia?
There are restrictions around international students. NCA is not CRISCOS registered, which means that if you are on a student visa and already enrolled with a CRICOS College, you will not be able to enrol in another course with another provider. For more information about your visa status and eligibility, please click here.
ABOUT WORK PLACEMENT
What is work placement and why is it required?
When you enrol in a nationally recognised qualification, you are obliged to provide evidence that you can perform the skills required to do the job. This evidence has to come from a workplace where you have spent time practicing the skills and can fulfill the assessment requirements.
Do I need to do work placement?
Only if you are not working in the job role designed for the qualification. This includes people who might be working in the industry but are not working in the right role. For example, you are interested in doing Certificate III in Individual Support – Ageing (CHC33015) and you work in a residential aged care facility but you work in the kitchen, you would be required to complete work placement.
How many hours of placement is required?
This will depend on the qualification but, at NCA, most of our courses require a minimum of 120 hours of work placement. Check under Details of the individual course page.
Can I do placement in one block?
Almost all NCA courses require at least 2 blocks of work placement spread evenly throughout the course so you can practice what you learn over a reasonable period of time. If this isn’t possible though, we’ll need to work with the employer to schedule times that work around the workplace’s operational requirements.
How can I find a host employer?
It’s best to start looking for a host employer in your local area shortly after you start the course so you have enough time to secure a placement and be ready to start when the time comes. We’ll give you enough time and opportunity leading up to placement. We will also give you advice and guidance on when and how to approach employers and what to do during placement.
What if I cannot find a host employer?
We’ll look into it and a Work Placement Coordinator will step in to help you out.
Can I do placement at my current workplace?
Absolutely. If you are working in the industry but you are required to complete the minimum number of placement hours it is because you are not working in the right job role. You can certainly do work placement with your current employer as long as you have access to the assessment equipment and resources required.
What do I need to provide from work placement?
The standard work placement evidence requirements include a timesheet, supervisor reports, observation reports, and any other forms of evidence that demonstrate your skills level.
Am I covered by NCA while I am at placement?
You certainly are. During work placement, all of our students are covered by NCA’s public liability insurance so you are protected.
Do I need a clearance check for placement?
Most community services providers will request a police clearance check before you’re able to start work placement with them. You’ll be able to apply for the check using NCA’s student placement portal. There is a charge of around $30 – $40.
Ask a Question
Our team are here to help you choose the right course, offer career advice, help you enrol and answer any other questions you may have.