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White Card, 2013

Outline of the review

ASQA initiated this review in November 2012 in response to persistent stakeholder concerns about the quality of training in the unit of competency 'CPCCOHS1001A Work safely in the construction industry', also known as the 'White Card'. This is a mandatory entry-level unit for people seeking to work on construction sites in Australia.

Concerns raised by industry indicated that people issued White Cards may not actually have achieved the introductory knowledge and skills to work safely on construction sites. 

Industry concerns included:

  • inadequate assessment
  • programs that are too short for trainees to obtain the required competencies, and
  • the potential for identity fraud in online training.

In this review, ASQA sought the views of stakeholders including employers, unions, work health and safety regulators; and registered training organisations (RTOs). 

ASQA analysed the scale and nature of White Card delivery through a survey of RTOs, and the quality of delivery and assessment through audits of RTOs delivering the unit.

The review was completed and the report published in late 2013. The findings, recommendations, and outcomes from this review are discussed below. 

Key findings

Key findings of the review include:

  • Industry has lost confidence in White Card’s value to assure workplace safety assurance for new entrants to the construction industry.
  • Some delivery of the White Card takes as little as 30 minutes, and the great majority of White Cards (95.0%) are delivered online.
  • None of the online-delivery RTOs audited for this review were adequately assuring the identity of students. 
  • The majority of training providers audited were not compliant with the standard relating to assessment practices.
  • There is great variety in state requirements for work health and safety regulation. A more consistent national approach to work health and safety regulation in terms of General Construction Induction training is required.

The report discusses these and other findings in detail and includes ASQA's recommendations in relation to these findings.

Outcomes

The review made six recommendations, related to ASQA's regulatory functions. Others recommendations involved vocational education and training (VET) sector stakeholders. ASQA is progressively implementing those recommendations that relate directly to its regulatory functions, and is working with VET stakeholders to implement the other recommendations

Frequently asked questions

Can I deliver 'CPCCCOHS1001A Work safely in the construction industry' (the White Card) solely online?

Delivery of any training must meet the requirement of the training package. This unit requires the assessment of communication skills, and in addition, the Standards for NVR RTOs 2012 require that RTOs verify the identity of students.

What is the minimum duration the‘White Card’ can be delivered in?

While there is no specified duration at the present time, the Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council’s Delivery and Assessment Guide states that six hours delivery of the training is recommended.

What is sufficient evidence to verify student identity?

Where assessment is provided online to students who are remote or otherwise unknown to the training provider and the training is leading to a national occupational licence, the Flexible Learning Advisory Group recommends confirmation of a student’s identity and supervised assessment by an accredited third party.

Online identity and assessment verification is possible through current technology (e.g. web-cameras can be used to monitor assessment with students’ simultaneously displaying government-issued photographic identification for comparison by an accredited third-party).

How long is my statement of attainment valid for?

Some work health and safety regulators stipulate when a White Card ceases to be current.

How do I know if my statement of attainment is valid?

There is no recommendation that statements of attainment be cancelled. Some employers are known not to accept an online delivered White Card.

Can I use my Statement of Attainment in any Australian state or territory?

Statement of Attainment is nationally recognised. However, each work health and safety regulator may have different requirements for issuing a White Card.