The Ministry of Higher Education has already formulated policies and strategies and has been implementing the same to bring the education system of the country equivalent to the standards of the rest of the world. Sri Lanka Institute of Advanced Technical Education (SLIATE) is one of the leading government institutions in Higher Education sector in Sri Lanka which was established by the parliament act no 29 of 1995, and it comes under the purview of the Ministry of Higher Education. In 2001 the name of the institution was amended to read as Sri Lanka Institute of Advanced Technological Education. It functions as an autonomous Institute for the management of Higher National and National Diploma courses. The main purposes of establishing SLIATE were to reform and restructure the entire technical and vocational education system in relation to the changing needs of economic development, to meet manpower requirements of national development strategies, and the promotion of privatization, with special concern for meeting the scarcity of trained technological manpower resources at the technician level.
SLIATE is focusing on fostering Advanced Technical Education at a post-secondary level. It is mandated to establish Advanced Technological Institute (ATI) in every province for technological courses. At present it manages and supervises eleven ATIs and Five Sections. SLIATE is headed by a Director General (DG) while each of its institutes is headed by a Director. All academic sections of SLIATE are headed by Academic Coordinators. There are 16 ATIs operated by SLIATE island wide conducting a broad range of multi-disciplinary programs targeting A/L qualified students in Sri Lanka. ATI-Trincomalee is one of the ATI’s which comes under SLIATE.
Trincomalee ATI Section was functioning under the Technical College from 1996, coordinated by Course Coordinator and Resource Coordinator (Principal of the Technical College). From 15thmay 1999, Trincomalee ATI section was promoted to ATI Centre and the institutional head was the Course Director. From 15th November 1999, Trincomalee ATI Centre was promoted as the ATI through the gazette notification made by the Ministry of Higher Education.
When the institution was ATI Section, it was functioning in the Technical College boundary at Inner Harbor road, Trincomalee. It was functioning at the same rented building, after Technical College shifted its location in 1999, until it was destroyed by Tsunami on 26th December 2004. From 2005 the institution was functioning in the boundary of vocational Training Centre building (North- East Province). Under the Tsunami project a new building was constructed and the institution started to function in the new building at Varodhayanagar from 15th October 2008.