Apprentice training costs – unsatisfactory progress

Conditions and entitlements for apprentices vary from award to award.

Many awards say that apprentices don’t get their training costs reimbursed if they’re making unsatisfactory progress. Some require apprentices to present reports of satisfactory progress.

Check the award to see what applies in each industry.

When is an employee making unsatisfactory progress?

An apprentice will be making unsatisfactory progress if they’re not committed to their apprenticeship. Apprentices show they’re committed by attending training and actively participating in it.

An apprentice who fails some of their units won’t necessarily be making unsatisfactory progress.


Sally is an electrical apprentice. She’s attended all of her training, and has completed her assessments. However, she’s failing some of her units.

Sally has shown that she’s committed to her apprenticeship, by attending training and completing assessments. This means that even though she’s failing some units, she’s not making unsatisfactory progress.

Who decides if progress is unsatisfactory?

The parties to the training contract make this decision, in particular the employer and the registered training organisation (RTO).

Employers should stay in touch with the RTO during the apprenticeship, to make sure that the apprentice is making satisfactory progress.

What to do next

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