New national licensing standard for persons performing high-risk work

Friday, 21 September, 2007

The Australian Safety and Compensation Council (ASCC) recently finalised the National Standard for Licensing Persons Performing High Risk Work, which will replace the existing National Occupational Health and Safety Certification Standard for Users and Operators of Industrial Equipment - NOHSC: 1006 (2001).

The final draft of the standard can be downloaded from www.ascc.gov.au. NSW and Victoria have already started issuing the new style photo licences; and the standard will take effect in WA on 1 October 2007, with all states and territories fully implementing it by 1 July 2009.

The objectives of the standard are to:

  • ensure that persons have the skills and knowledge to perform high-risk work in a safe and competent manner; and
  • facilitate the operation of a nationally uniform competency-based and efficient licensing system for persons engaged in high-risk work.

Licences issued in accordance with the standard will be recognised throughout Australia and will promote the portability of skills and free movement of labour across state and territory borders. The new licences include photo identification, provision for the signature of the licence-holder and tamper-proof security features.

The standard applies to all high-risk work currently covered by the existing NOHSC: 1006 (2001) including dogging, rigging, scaffolding, crane, hoist and pressure vessel operation.

A 'Certificate of Competency', currently issued under the National Certification Standard will be replaced by a licence under the National Licensing Standard. Further key features of the standard are:

  • Training and assessment for licences will need to be undertaken through registered training organisations (RTOs) under the Australian Quality Training Framework.
  • Licences will be renewed every five years upon application and evidence of current competency in the form of a statutory declaration.
  • Licences will be issued with a photograph of the licence holder.
  • Operators of industrial lift trucks (forklifts) and self-erecting tower cranes will need to be licensed.
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