What is an RTO and why is it Important – 4X4 Training

We get a lot of questions about 4X4 training, and we’re big advocates for it.  Whether you are part of a 4X4 Club, or you like to go your own way, understanding the capabilities of your 4X4 helps you drive it better, and make better decisions when it comes to risk.  That’s why we offer a discount of up to 20% for drivers that have completed accredited off-road driver training. And its also why all of our staff are put through a 4X4 training course.

Some of our staff on a Driver Training day

While up to 20% is a sizeable discount, there is a criteria around that. The training needs to be delivered by a Registered Training Organisation, or RTO for short.  We often get questions around this, so today I’m going to explain the rationale for this decision to help make the requirements and reasons for them clear.

Who doesn’t love a nice drive through the bush?

RTO’s and National Units of competency

In simple terms, an RTO is a government accredited training organisation.  They deliver training to a National standard of competency, and will usually specialise in a certain type of training.  4WD training is one of these things.  Not all 4WD training providers are RTO’s, although that doesn’t mean that their training is not delivered to an equal or better standard than an RTO.  What it does mean is that there is a standard that the training is delivered to and there is a regulatory framework to ensure compliance and minimum standards are met.

Why is this important

This is important because we need a clear criteria in order to provide a discount – that is we need confidence that a certain standard of training is delivered in order to provide said discount.  An organisation that is an RTO and delivering to a National Unit of Competency has the structure and governance in place that is required to provide that certainty.

John from Getabout 4X4 training explaining off-road tyres, traction, and the effect of lowering pressures to our staff

There are no doubt some brilliant businesses out there that provide 4X4 training which are not RTO’s and will deliver training to the same, if not a higher standard.  But there are also providers out there which wouldn’t meet the standard too.  The challenge this creates is how to manage who cuts the mustard and who doesn’t.

This is why we currently only accept 4X4 training from RTO’s.  We haven’t yet navigated the challenge of finding another acceptable way to accredit those providers that are not RTO’s.  We’re open to ideas on how this could be managed, so if you are a 4X4 trainer and have ideas, we’d love to hear them!

The take out from this

Currently, the criteria to get our 4X4 training discount is that the 4X4 training you complete must:

  • be delivered by a Registered Training Organisation; and
  • The course must deliver outcomes to a National Unit of Competency

If in doubt about any of these things, please ask the business you are engaging with to confirm that their course meets both the requirements above.  If it doesn’t, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great course, but unfortunately at this point it means you won’t be eligible for the Driver Training discount from Club 4X4.

4X4 courses cover more than just driving the vehicle. Here, you see a walkthrough of what’s under the bonnet, basic maintenance and what to look for if there are issues.

I hope this provides some context and background to the discount.  If you’ve done accredited training, all you need to do is send us the certificate, and if it meets the requirements above, then we’ll apply the discount.  If you are interested in doing some training, make sure it complies with he above if the purpose is to access the discount. 



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Comments 19

  1. Are there any RTO’s that you would recommended and which courses in the Perth WA area? As I want to put both my wife and I through one.

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  2. I’ve tried on a number of occasions to complete the requisite training. But unfortunately there is no training partner within Coo-eee if the Gold Coast (Australia’s 6th most populous city).
    The nearest training is so far away I’d have to spend at least 2 days including travel.
    And yes being an RTO is important, but also, I’ve been an involved participant in adult education and RTO based training for close to 2 decades. That other acronym RPL springs to mind. And if, as a professional recovery driver, the sort of person Club 4X4 would (and has) would pay to go off-road and recover one of their stranded members. If I couldn’t be RPL’ed on 90% of that course, I’d eat my hat and yours as well.
    Regards, Matt.

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      Hi Matthew,

      We know of a trainer that can help in the Brisbane area, which isn’t too far away. Would you like the details? Good question on RPL – that’s not something we can certify you for, but something I’m guessing that an RTO might be able to do with a practical assessment?



  3. Hi there, What is the criteria that guarantees I am eligible for 20% off. And how many years does the discount apply?
    Cheers Travis

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      Hi Travis, Good questions. The criteria is having completed off-road 4X4 training, delivered by a Registered Training Organisation, and which meets a National Unit of Competency.

      The discount applies ongoing at this point – it isn’t a 1 year only deal. We promote it as up to 20% because the way the discount is applied in some circumstances it isn’t always a perfect 20%, but for most people and in most cases it is.

      Hope this helps?


  4. If my wife is listed on the policy as one of the drivers (even though she rarely does), is there any requirement for her to complete the course as well. We would plan for her to be present (and have cleared this with Getabout), so she will gain a lot of knwoledge anyway.
    Also, I have Club 4×4 insurance on my camper trailer, does the discount apply to the second policy as well?


    1. Hi Chris,

      If you’re the main driver then the discount is based on yourself.

      Regarding your trailer – offroad driver training will not affect that coverage, but we do offer a discount of up to 10% to those who have conducted a similar course for towing!.


  5. What specifically are the 4×4 Training competencies that Club 4×4 need to be met to earn the discount?

    I’ve been driving 4×4’s since 1992, have been trained by the Landcruiser Club (NSW), the ADF, the RAC (WA), and my current club, All Tracks 4WD Club, and act as a trainer for my club.

    I doubt I will learn anything from an RTO, but it’s all about “the piece of paper” now.

    So I would like Club 4×4 to be specific about which pieces of paper are needed to get a discount.

  6. Hi have you got a list of RTO’s in each state & area’s they carry out these courses so the people can approach or enquire about them.
    Would be great & also what 4WD clubs are accredited with you if any.

  7. Hi have you got a list of RTO’s in each state & area’s they carry out these courses so the people can approach or enquire about them.
    Would be great & also what 4WD clubs are accredited with you if any.
    I’m in Sydney’s south west

  8. I did one of these so called 4×4 courses in 2013, delivered by and RTO. Being as I already had years of 4wd experience under my belt and I have a mechanical engineering trade, most of the course was useless to me. I did learn one new thing.

    I would expect that a person with zero to little experience with basic mechanics and 4wd experience would benefit from a course. The material being standardised on a national platform would be excellent.

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  9. Can you please confirm that an RTO delivering the National Unit of Compentcy – RIIVEH305F Operate and maintain a four wheel drive vehicle, will meet the criteria to receive the discount? If not that course, are you able to confirm which National Unit of Competency is required as there appear to be a few relating to 4x4s. Thanks

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