Verification of Competency

Competency for new and existing workers

Employers need to verify that workers are competent to operate in the current workplace. Just having a “ticket” or a “licence” for a class of equipment or work task does not mean a worker is competent. For example, you may employ a new worker that holds a current High Risk Work License for a forklift, but even though the licence is current, the person may not have operated a forklift since their licence assessment.

VOC – A structured approach to verifying competence

A Verification of Competency (VOC) is a structured, documented process through which a worker can be shown to be competent at the time of their assessment. Everything is recorded as evidence regarding the worker’s level of Competence from basic WHS knowledge, hazard identification and risk controls, through to the pre-start checks and safe operation of a machine, or safe execution of a work task. Generally the assessments will be derived from relevant units of competency, codes of practice, and industry best practice.

Site Safety Services can assess an individual worker or schedule the whole of your workforce over different shifts. It is best to allow up to 3 hours for a Verification of Competency.

Pre-requisites for VOC assessment

As a “VOC” is a formal skills test rather than training, it is expected on the day of  assessment that the worker:-

  • Is able to speak and read English without the help of another person
  • Can provide suitable photographic proof of Identity – which will be copied for our records
  • Can provide evidence of current or past courses of study, qualifications, licences, or operator tickets for the type of machine or work task being assessed
  • Holds a current High Risk Work Licence for the class of equipment or work task (if it is required by law)
  • Can verify that they have sufficient experience operating the type of machine or performing the work task by way of work diaries, log book, letter of reference from supervisor/employer
  • Is fit for duty. They must not be under the influence of Drugs, Alcohol or other substance, nor be suffering from any condition or circumstance that may make the operation of machinery, or performing a work task unsafe for themselves or others

At all times our assessors reserve the right to stop assessment or exclude individuals that they believe beyond reasonable doubt, do not meet the pre-requisites listed above.  Unfortunately, no refund of fees is available in this case.

The VOC assessment process

The VOC assessment can be tailored to suit small groups at a time, but will generally follow this format:-

  • Workers to sign the “Attendance Register” and sit a quick site “Safety briefing”
  • Each worker is required to successfully complete a “Knowledge Test” with short answers that relates to the machinery or work task
  • Each worker is required to successfully complete a “Take 5” and a “Job Safety Analysis”
  • Each worker is required to operate the machine and be assessed by way of a formal “Observation Checklist”. This may include things such as pre-start checks, operational checks, safe operation of functions, awareness, communication, park and shut-down procedures, shut-down checks and/or emergency procedures
  • Each worker may be required to answer further verbal questions to clarify information for the assessor

Candidates will receive verbal feedback at the conclusion of their assessment.

Student outcomes

If a candidate is deemed competent on the day, they will be issued an “Interim Certificate of Competence” until they receive a durable photo ID wallet card with details of assessed items.  Should a candidate be found to be “Not Yet Competent” then the supervisor/employer will be advised and a time can be arranged for the candidate to undertake additional training before reassessment. (Additional costs will apply).

Employer outcomes

Employers are notified about the outcome of any Verification of Competency assessment.  If any worker is deemed to be “Not Yet Competent” at the time assessment, the assessor will aim to verbally inform the supervisor/employer prior to leaving site.

An email will be sent to the nominated contact explaining the issues that led to the “Not Yet Competent” judgement, and offer the employer an opportunity for the worker to undertake further training and instruction prior to being re-assessed at a later date. (Additional costs will apply).