New White Card is here

Ah, the good ol' White Card. What would we do without it? It gets us onto construction sites, it acts as a pre-requisite for courses such as asbestos removal. What a versitile little card it is.

We do, however, want to remind you of how this little buddy has evolved over time, and where it is now headed.

Remember the Blue Card? Most of those in construction would (if you're of a certain era). Well that's what Queensland used to have for construction induction training. It was a Queensland accredited course. NSW had a different one, so did Victoria, and all the other states and territories. All got a bit confusing when people were trying to work across borders, with one state not accepting another state's induction card.

That all changed mid 2009 when they released the White Card on a national scale, and attached it to the unit of competency CPCCOHS1001A Work safely in the construction industry.

This enabled people to gain one induction card, and use it everywhere. It was also really helpful for doing further courses, because some of these courses required the CPC unit of competency as a pre-requisite. Those with a White Card issued after 2009 had the unit already (happy days)! However, those who thrust forward their old Blue Card were not able to use this as a pre-requisite (they could technically RPL, however there was still gap training required, because the CPC unit has more in it than the old Qld accredited course did).

This caused the odd tantrum. We had people demanding to know why their Blue Card couldn't be used as a pre-requisite, stating it was still accepted on construction sites. Yes, correct. It was, and in some places still is, accepted on construction sites (as long as the person hasn't had a break from construction work of more than 2 years). However when we are talking about units of competency, it becomes quite specific about what unit we want, and the Blue Card does not give us that unit.

Why the historical account? Well our little buddy has changed again. The existing White Card unit CPCCOHS1001A expired on 8 December 2017. This means all White Cards issued after this date must be issued with the new code CPCCWHS1001 Prepare to work safely in the construction industry.  For those who have the CPCCOHS unit, don't worry, you don't have to update it again. For those new to the construction industry, you will be required to do the new unit of competency.

For those who wish to train and assess the new White Card, you will need to hold the next level up unit, which is CPCCOHS2001A Apply OHS requirements, policies and procedures in the construction industry, or its successor.

Those familiar with the White Card training will see a few differences. The new unit requires face-to-face demonstrations and verbal questioning in real time. This means a completely theory based assessment is not acceptable. Videoing yourself doing the practical demonstrations, and sending that to an assessor is also not acceptable. A White Card assessor has to interact with you in real time.

Therefore, as well as completing a bunch of theory questions online (or on paper if you must), you will also be required to identify and discuss construction hazards and controls, explain basic procedures for responding to incidents and emergencies, including types and purpose of fire safety equipment, demonstrate putting on personal protective equipment (PPE), identify and orally explain the meaning of required safety signs and symbols, orally explain the purpose of Job Safety Analysis (JSA's), Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) and Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and orally explain the roles of designated health and safety personnel.

Phew. Sounds a bit scary doesn't it? Don't worry, think of it as a bit of a chat about things, while we watch you don PPE. We have friendly assessors who don't bite, promise, however they may have a chuckle if you pop your hard hat on backwards.

So, in a nutshell:

  • The new White Card unit CPCCWHS1001 Prepare to work safely in the construction industry is now in play.
  • You will be required to answer some theory questions in writing, and also be able to answer some questions verbally.
  • We will ask you to put on various items of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Those who are still clutching hold of their beloved Blue Card... do yourself a favour and think about upgrading it. It will make life easier down the track.
  • And finally, to train and assess the new White Card, you must hold the next unit level up.

Here's a link to our White Card course if you want to read more.


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