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Boosting induction safety training for construction sites

16 December 2013

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) today released a major review of safety training for workers on Australian construction sites as part of its ongoing efforts to ensure vocational and educational training in Australia remains world class.

The review into the effectiveness of the Construction White Card, a mandatory nationally recognised accreditation card for work safety induction training, makes six recommendations to help improve the safety of workers at construction sites.

ASQA Chief Commissioner Chris Robinson said the review showed there was a strong industry-wide commitment to prepare workers to work safely on construction sites and commended the majority of registered training organisations (RTOs) for delivering high quality induction safety training.

“Three-quarters of the registered training organisations audited during the review were found to be compliant with the standard relating to Construction White Card assessment practices,” Mr Robinson said.

“But it is a concern that almost one quarter of the RTOs audited did not meet the standards and could be compromising the safety of Australian workers.

Mr Robinson said some of these registered training organisations were delivering White Card training in under an hour.

“This is not acceptable—every Australian who works on a construction site should have the skills and knowledge they need to minimise the chance of injury,” Mr Robinson said.

One of the other notable concerns to come out of the review is the potential for identity fraud.

“The review indicated that identity verification in the large and growing number of online White Card programs is not sufficient to guarantee that the person completing the assessment is the person who receives the accreditation card,” Mr Robinson said.

The Authority will be working closely with all relevant bodies to implement the review’s recommendations.

A management committee of key Construction White Card training stakeholders oversaw the review, which is one of three reports released by ASQA today. The other reviews target training in the aged and community care sector and the marketing practices of registered training organisations.

Copies of the reviews are available at the ASQA website

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