Misleading White Card Certificates

We have been seeing quite a few instances of "white card" certificates being issued which do not meet legislative requirements for entering construction sites. The documents are being submitted both for entry onto a construction site (within the 60 day validity period) and also as evidence of completing the pre-requisite unit for Asbestos training we deliver.

What do they look like?

In the image below you can see what the most common instance of certificate we are seeing (identifying details obscured to protect privacy)

Non-Compliant-White-Card-Certificate (Click to enlarge)

Why are they not valid?

Under the Nationally Harmonised Legislation, individuals working in the building and construction industry must complete "General Construction Induction" training. I will use QLD's legislation for reference in this instance, however bear in mind the other states and territories are either identical or very similar.

QLD WHS Regulation 2011 s317 define the training which needs to be completed, in particular outlining the following requirements for a PCBU to ensure:

  • The worker holds a General Construction Induction Training Card (e.g. White Card); or
  • The worker has applied for the white card, and currently holds a general construction induction training certification which is under 60 days old.

The QLD WHS Regulator approves Registered Training Organisations (RTO's) to issue White Cards on its behalf, with the list of currently approved RTO's available on their website (list here). As part of this approval process, RTO's must ensure individuals complete the Unit of Competency CPCCWHS1001 Prepare to work safely in the construction industry.

Things to look out for

Key items which indicate it is not a valid white card certificate include:

  • It is called a "Statement of Attendance" - Registered Training Organisations will issue a "Statement of Attainment" upon successful completion of a Unit of Competency.
  • The required unit (currently CPCCWHS1001 - Prepare to work safely in the construction industry) is not clearly shown on the certificate issued.
  • The minimum information to be shown on a Statement of Attainment, as required by the Australian Qualifications Framework, is not all shown. This information includes:
    • The participants full name
    • The Unit/s of Competency (UOCs) issued
    • The date of issuance
    • The statement "A statement of attainment is issued when an individual has completed one or more accredited units"
    • Clearly identifies the issuing Registered Training Organisation - can be a logo, name or their RTO number

If choosing a course, check for the following:

  • Guarantees of success - the RTO system requires assessment to be completed and the student to meet this requirement, so a guarantee of success cannot be provided.
  • Not requiring identification or Statutory Declarations - one of the Regulators' conditions to be an approved RTO requires collection of identification documentation, so this is a mandatory requirement of the training.
  • No observation or verbal assessment - the Unit of Competency requires certain items to be asked verbally by an assessor, and also requires particular PPE to be demonstrated by the student and observed by the assessor, so if they are saying there is no observation or verbal assessment, it will not be the correct unit.

Quick notes about online delivery

The requirements for White Card delivery are not quite as simple as "No Online Delivery of White Card". There are a couple of ways online delivery is still acceptable:

  • If an individual lives more than 100km from the nearest RTO providing face to face delivery.
  • In the current COVID-19 situation, RTO's have been allowed to apply for approval to deliver in a "Connected Delivery" fashion, which involves online meeting platforms.

In both of the cases above, contact the RTO to confirm details for both of these mechanisms.

Regulator Notices

A bit of searching and referrals from others have found some regulators have already made announcements regarding these courses. Links to their articles below:

NT Worksafe - https://worksafe.nt.gov.au/forms-and-resources/news-and-events/news/2020/misleading-white-card-courses-offered-online

WA Dept. Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety - https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/announcements/jobseekers-misled-introductory-construction-industry-courses-0

References

Australian Qualifications Framework - Second Edition
Worksafe QLD - General Construction Induction

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