High Risk Work Licence
Some jobs require you to obtain an ACT High Risk Work Licence from the ACT Office of Regulatory Services. This involves undertaking supervised training and then applying to a Registered Training Organisation authorised to carry out Certificate of Competency Assessments.
As of 1 January 2012, the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 is the legislation under which the health, safety and wellbeing of workers in the Territory are protected.
In April 2006 the National Standard for Licensing Persons Performing High Risk Work was declared. This led to the development of a range of competency units that focus on the licence requirements for high risk work.
These competency units have been incorporated into three training packages:
- the Construction, Plumbing and Services Integrated Framework training package;
- the Transport and Logistics Training package; and,
- the Electricity Supply Industry – Generation Sector Training Package.
- High Risk Work Licensing Classes
Information about the type of work authorised under each class of work in the High Risk Work Licensing System.
1) A person who carries out high risk work in either of the following circumstances is not required to be licensed:
(a) work carried out—
(i) in the course of training towards a certification in order to be licensed to carry out the high risk work; and
(ii) under the supervision of a person who is licensed to carry out the high risk work;
(b) work carried out by a person who, having applied for a licence to carry out the high risk work on the basis of a certification, is awaiting a decision on that application.
2) A person who carries out high risk work involving plant is not required to be licensed if—
(a) the work is carried out at a workplace solely for the purpose of the manufacture, testing, trialing, installation, commissioning, maintenance, servicing, repair, alteration, demolition or disposal of the plant at that workplace or moving the plant within the workplace; and
(b) the plant is operated or used without a load except when standard weight loads with predetermined fixing points are used for calibration of the plant.
3) For the purposes of subsection (2) (a), moving does not include loading plant onto, or unloading plant from, the vehicle or equipment used to move the plant.
4) A person who carries out high risk work with a crane or hoist is not required to be licensed as a crane operator if—
(a) the work is limited to setting up or dismantling the crane or hoist; and
(b) the person carrying out the work holds a license in relation to rigging, which qualifies the person to carry out the work.
5) A person who carries out high risk work with a heritage boiler is not required to be licensed as a boiler operator.
- Certificates of Competency
Persons holding a current and valid National Certificate of Competency may carry out the same type of high risk work in the ACT that they would be authorised to carry out if that certificate were a High Risk Work Licence. However, the certificate should be converted to a High Risk Work Licence prior to the date of expiry.
If you hold an ACT National Certificate of Competency, refer to the Expiry Dates below, to see when your certificate will expire.
If you hold an interstate National Certificate of Competency, check with the workplace health and safety regulator in that State or Territory to see when your certificate will expire.
Transitional arrangements are in place for National Certificates of Competency that were issued under the repealed Occupational Health and Safety (Certification of Plant Users and Operators) Regulation 2000. Chapter 20 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 clarifies expiry dates of the Certificates of Competency and the continuing effect of repealed legislation.
Different requirements apply where the certificate holder is supervising a trainee in high risk work rather than carrying out the work themselves. Refer to the Requirements for Training in High Risk Work for further information.
A Certificate of Competency will not be recognised as valid for the purpose of carrying out high risk work in the ACT if:
- the certificate holder has already been issued with a more recent Certificate of Competency or with a High Risk Work Licence which authorises the holder to carry out the same type of high risk work; or
- the certificate has expired, been cancelled, suspended or revoked, or the issuing authority has otherwise declared the certificate to be invalid; or
- the certificate was issued under a State or Territory certification scheme and not under the National Certification System.
Carrying out high risk work without holding a current and valid High Risk Work Licence or Certificate of Competency for the appropriate class of high risk work is an offence under Section 43 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.
A person conducting a business or undertaking must also ensure that any person carrying out high risk work holds a current and valid High Risk Work Licence or Certificate of Competency for the appropriate class of high risk work. Penalties of $20,000 for an indivudal or $100,000 for a body corporate apply.
- Recognition of Interstate Licences
A High Risk Work Licence is a national licence. If you hold a current and valid High Risk Work Licence which was issued in another State or Territory, you do not need to transfer that licence to an ACT High Risk Work Licence in order to carry out the same type of high risk work in the ACT.
Similarly, if you hold an ACT High Risk Work Licence and are working elsewhere in Australia, you do not need to transfer your ACT High Risk Work Licence to an interstate licence in order to carry out the same type of high risk work in that State or Territory.
Format of High Risk Work Licences
A High Risk Work Licence is issued in the form of a small plastic card with the licence holder’s photograph, signature and date of birth, similar to a driver’s licence. This will be consistent across Australia. The photo identification aims to prevent the possible fraudulent use of licences by people who are not qualified to perform high risk work.
Unlike the previous Certificates of Competency, a High Risk Work Licence must be renewed every five years. The licence will show both the date of issue and the date of expiry.
Licence holders will need to satisfy the workplace health and safety regulator that they have maintained their skills and are still competent to perform high risk work when applying for renewal of their licence.
This will provide greater confidence for people who work with a licence holder (or who engage a licence holder to perform work) that the licence holder has maintained their skills and can still safely undertake the high risk work that their licence authorises them to perform.
- Training Requirements
All training in high risk work must be delivered in the form of an accredited course or unit of competency, provided by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) that has the relevant competency units added to its scope of registration.
Any RTO which intends to provide training in high risk work in the ACT must be registered with the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to deliver that training.
More information on the process of registering RTOs in the ACT is available from the WorkSafe ACT website.
A list of RTOs that are registered to provide training for high risk work classes can be found at www.training.gov.au.
Registration with ASQA aims at ensuring that Registered Training Organisations across Australia are providing training and assessment that is consistent with nationally agreed competency units and complies with the requirements for vocational education and training under the Australian Quality Training Framework.”
- Licence Application & Restrictions
All applications for an ACT High Risk Work Licence must be made in person by the applicant at the Office of Regulatory Services (ORS) Shopfront, 255 Canberra Avenue, Fyshwick, between 9.00 am and 4.30 pm Monday to Friday (closed public holidays).
You will need to provide a completed WSACT FM 0009 “Application for High Risk Work Licence” form.
You will also need to present at least two forms of identification (the application form lists the forms of identification that will be accepted) together with evidence of your competency to carry out high risk work, and pay the current application fee.
Evidence of your competency may take the form of:
- A Statement of Attainment for an accredited course or unit of competency in high risk work which was delivered in the ACT in accordance with the Work Safety Regulation 2009; or
- an existing Certificate of Competency; or
- a current and valid High Risk Work Licence; or
- a combination of these.
However, an existing Certificate of Competency cannot be recognised for this purpose if it is not valid on one or more of the grounds listed under the section “How do I convert my Certificate of Competency to a High Risk Work Licence”.
If you have provided all of the required information and you are assessed as eligible for a High Risk Work Licence, you will usually be able to obtain your licence immediately.
If you are applying to convert an interstate Certificate of Competency or High Risk Work Licence to an ACT High Risk Work Licence, it may take up to two weeks to obtain your licence, as ORS will need to verify the details of your existing certificate or licence with the issuing authority.
If ORS needs to verify the details of your existing certificate or licence with the issuing authority, you may retain your original certificate or licence until your application has been approved – you will be contacted when the ACT High Risk Work Licence is ready for collection. You will need to surrender your original certificate or licence when collecting your ACT High Risk Work Licence.
MINIMUM AGE TO APPLY FOR A HIGH RISK WORK LICENCE
Only persons who are 18 years or older will be able to apply for an ACT High Risk Work Licence. Applicants will be required to provide photographic identification which verifies that they are at least 18 years of age. The acceptable forms of identification are listed in the WSACT FM 0009 “Application for High Risk Work Licence” form.
RESTRICTION ON HOLDING MULTIPLE LICENCES
A person may not hold more than one High Risk Work Licence at any time.
When applying for an ACT High Risk Work Licence, you must identify any existing High Risk Work Licence which you already hold. You must also identify any Certificate of Competency which you already hold if that certificate is valid for the purpose of carrying out high risk work in the ACT.
You will be required to surrender any existing High Risk Work Licence and any Certificate of Competency which is valid for the purpose of carrying out high risk work in the ACT, before an ACT High Risk Work Licence will be issued to you. The ACT High Risk Work Licence will include the appropriate classes to allow you to carry out the high risk work which you were authorised to carry out under the surrendered licence or certificate.
If you are issued with an ACT High Risk Work Licence and you later apply for a new licence in another State or Territory, you will be required to advise the workplace health and safety regulator in that jurisdiction that you hold an existing ACT High Risk Work Licence.
An ACT High Risk Work Licence ceases to be valid upon the licence holder being issued with a new High Risk Work Licence from another State or Territory. The licence holder must surrender the ACT High Risk Work Licence within 14 days of the date on which the interstate licence is received.
- Convert to a High Risk Licence
To convert an existing National Certificate of Competency to an ACT High Risk Work Licence, you must apply for the licence in the manner described under the section Licence Application & Restrictions, and present the original certificate as evidence of your competency.
Your application will not be accepted if your certificate is not recognised as valid on one or more of the following grounds:
- you have already been issued with a more recent Certificate of Competency or with a High Risk Work Licence which authorises you to carry out the same type of high risk work; or
- the certificate has expired and the date of expiry is more than 6 months prior to the date on which you are applying to convert the certificate to a High Risk Work Licence; or
- the certificate has been cancelled, suspended or revoked, or the issuing authority has otherwise declared the certificate to be invalid; or
- the certificate was issued under a State or Territory certification scheme and not under the National Certification System.
- Expiry Dates
The expiry date of an ACT Certificate of Competency is determined by reference to the date of issue on the most recent version of the certificate. Check the date of issue of your certificate, and then refer to the table below:
Date of Issue Shown on Certificate Expiry Date Between 1 Jan 2005 – 30 June 2009 30 June 2012 Between 1 July 2009 – 30 June 2011 30 June 2014t
- What will my Licence look like?
The front of your ACT High Risk Work Licence will include your photograph and a copy of your signature, as well as the licence number and expiry date. The back of the licence will show which classes of high risk work you may carry out under the licence.
Some classes of high risk work include (encompass) the activities of another class of work. For example, a licence for Intermediate Scaffolding (SI) also allows the licence holder to carry out work in the Basic Scaffolding (SB) class.
If your licence does not list all of the classes of work that you expect to see, check whether the “missing” classes are covered by another class of high risk work which is shown on your licence.
On 1 October 2009, the Occupational Health and Safety (Certification of Plant Users and Operators) Regulation 2000 (OH&S Regulation) was repealed by the Work Safety Regulation 2009, as part of the transition to high risk work licensing under the National Standard for Licensing Persons Performing High Risk Work.
The Work Safety Regulation 2009 provides for a transitional period until 30 June 2011 for the move to carrying out competency assessments for high risk work in line with the National Standard, and also provides for the phasing out of Certificates of Competency over the next five years ending 1 October 2014.
This guidance note explains how the transition to high risk work licensing will take effect for trainees, persons holding an existing Certificate of Competency, and authorised competency assessors.
- Training & Assessment
Trainees utilising the logbook system for certification may continue to do so, in accordance with the OH&S Regulation, provided the trainee applies to an Authorised Competency Assessor for assessment and to the Office of Regulatory Services (ORS) WorkSafe ACT for a Certificate of Competency prior to 30 June 2011.
The trainee and their supervisor are subject to the requirements of the OH&S Regulation in relation to the work performed by the trainee, and the supervisor must hold either a current Certificate of Competency or a current High Risk Work Licence for the relevant class/es of work.
A trainee who records scheduled work on the logbook system may then apply to an ACT Authorised Competency Assessor for assessment. If successful, they will be issued with a Notice of Satisfactory Assessment, and may apply to the ORS WorkSafe ACT for an ACT National Certificate of Competency, which will be valid until 30 June 2014.
Alternatively to completing a log book, a person may undertake training and assessment for a class of high risk work by completing an approved course delivered by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), and obtaining a Statement of Attainment, which allows the holder to apply to ORS WorkSafe ACT for a High Risk Work Licence.
In order for the Statement of Attainment to be recognised for the purpose of issuing an ACT High Risk Work Licence, the training and assessment must be delivered in the ACT as part of a course approved by ORS WorkSafe ACT, and the assessment must be carried out by a person authorised by ORS WorkSafe ACT to conduct high risk work competency assessments for that course on behalf of the RTO in the ACT.
ORS WorkSafe ACT cannot recognise the Statement of Attainment for the purpose of issuing an ACT High Risk Work Licence if any of these requirements have not been met.
Before undertaking any high risk work training course in the ACT, it is important to check with the RTO whether the necessary approvals have been obtained from ORS WorkSafe ACT for recognition of the training and assessment in the ACT.
No ACT National Certificates of Competency will be issued after 30 June 2011. Persons who have been trained on the logbook system but have not obtained an ACT National Certificate of Competency by that date will be required to attend an approved training course at an RTO and obtain a Statement of Attainment, in order to be eligible to apply for a High Risk Work Licence.
ORS – Office of Regulatory Services
ASQA – Australian Skills Quality Authority
CITC – Construction Industry Training Council
RTO – Registered Training Organisation
HRWL – High Risk Work Licensing
- Registered Training Organisations