What is Refresher Training?
New national WHS Act 2012, requires employers conduct due diligence and gives them an obligation to ensure each individual has ‘current competency’ in whatever they are doing.
The term ‘employers’ are now referred under the Act as ‘Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking’ (PCBU) and ‘employees’ as ‘workers’.
Regulations require PCBU’s to ensure competency of the operator when plant is used, so far as is reasonably practicable. Employers should take their responsibilities very seriously, and should require workers to demonstrate competency in the tasks they are to perform on the PCBU’s site. This also holds for contractors and their employees operating plant and conducting high risk work. Verification of Competency is also often extended to other high risk tasks like ‘Working at Heights’ & ‘Confined Space Entry’.
Today all workers who are required to work at height or enter a confined space must have completed an appropriate VET training course, and be issued with national units of competency via a Statement of Attainment. It is a PCBU’s responsibility to ensure that the person doing the work is current in their skills. So the mere fact a worker holds an appropriate Statement of Attainment does not always meet this requirement. Generally, on most sites across Australia, a worker is not deemed current if their units of competency were issued more than 2 to 3 years ago. It could also be that the employer wishes to ensure their “Duty of Care” with a new employee by obtaining refresher training.
Refresher Training and Assessing for Verification of Competency enables businesses to confirm that their employees are competent in their skills and using equipment. It is commonly used in many industries for pre-employment checks, contractual arrangements or site requirements. No longer is just holding a ticket or qualification enough for a PCBU to believe an individual is competent.
Requests for refresher training are becoming more common. VS & R Training Assessors are industry experts holding all relevant qualifications combined with years of experience. Be aware that we do conduct each monthly Refresher Courses in Confined Space & Work Safely at Heights courses for personnel who may have those units of competency, but they are greater than two years old.