Plenty Training – Celebrating 13 years as an RTO

By Maria Morton, CEO and co-founder of Plenty Training

It’s not every day that a company turns 13, and many small businesses don’t even make it past 2-3 years in business, let alone the privilege of becoming a teenager. As a leader in the TAE Training and Assessment field, it’s a great time to reflect on how it all began.

I’ll let you in on a little secret – Plenty Training actually started with the intention to only offer short online courses like the RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) and the RSG (Provide Responsible Gambling Services), but at the very last second added the TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment to our initial scope for registration. The main reason was that I had previously been the General Manager of a TESOL RTO and I knew how important the TAE qualifications were to trainers and assessors in Australia. It’s a decision we have never looked back on, and as they say the rest is history! And those little RSA and RSG courses never really saw the light of day once we knew how powerful the TAE course was in terms of changing people’s lives and offering them a new career.

Plenty Training received its initial approval as an RTO back in March 2011. Our tiny three-person team consisted of myself, Carl Mocnik (the other Director and co-founder of Plenty), and one admin team member. Carl was the mastermind behind our course development and application, and was able to navigate the bureaucracy of entering the RTO world. We moved into a little office in Robina on the Gold Coast, and from there Plenty began. Back then there were more than 800 RTOs offering the TAE Certificate IV course, and we set off on a mission to find our place within a very busy market and to become known within the sector.

Our small team grew quickly as we brought in our very first trainer, then some more admin staff, a couple more trainers, until finally we had filled our little Robina office. Our whole marketing strategy was to become known for our high-quality but well-priced TAE training, and we heavily utilised Google AdWords as our main advertising medium. Over the years we moved to our Varsity Lakes office, we added more courses to scope such as Business, Leadership and Management, Project Management, HR and WHS with a view that more courses would help us to become a bigger RTO. Plenty Training has never been a part of any Government funded program (a deliberate management decision) but we weathered the crazy times of the VET-FEE-HELP era where lots of RTOs took advantage of a flawed program and many eventually closed their doors due to unscrupulous behaviour. But Plenty Training soldiered on.

Over time we realised that TAE is what we do best, and so in around 2018 we removed everything from scope except for our TAE Cert IV and Diploma courses. This move was applauded by our national regulator ASQA who wanted RTOs to specialise rather than being a one-stop shop for all courses. This meant of course that we had to be top of our game. It’s not to say we have always been perfect, and that we haven’t had to learn some big lessons along the way. But each one has made us better, which ultimately benefits our students who entrust us with their training and outcomes.

So, as I reflect on the excitement of turning 13, and having more than 30,000 students over those years, I am humbled by some of the tougher times, grateful to each of my wonderful staff that choose to work for Plenty, and thankful to every single student who has completed a course with us and used their qualification to enhance and further their careers. These days, Plenty is a well-oiled machine with mature processes and procedures in place to ensure we are compliant, able to deliver student-focused training, and second-to-none support at every step of the way. Our first 13 years have been a privilege, and we look forward to 13 more! Thank you for being a part of our journey.

–  Maria