Most current VOC practices aim to verify the competency of operators to an entry level Licensing or superseded NOHSC standard, and primarily exist to ensure that employers are legally compliant.
While this process may provide some legal benefit to employers (untested), it represents a substantial loss of opportunity to adequately train workers and enhance safety onsite.
If an employee onsite is involved in an accident, the employer will be required by law to demonstrate that they have taken ‘reasonable steps’ to ensure health and safety onsite. This includes requiring employees to show competency to perform their job role and knowledge of current industry standards.
A licence or ‘ticket’ is no longer considered sufficient evidence of operator competency, as this qualification only shows that an employee was competent at the time they were being assessed, and only to that standard. Whether the qualification was achieved two or 20 years ago, industry regulations are constantly changing and it’s extremely important for operators to know their responsibilities onsite.
Verification of Competency can be used to demonstrate a worker’s ability to operate equipment or perform a task related to their job. Even the most competent operator may not have had the opportunity to update their own knowledge on the detail of the latest industry standards and WH&S regulations, which are both major components of a V.O.C. assessment. If unsuccessful in the theory component, the operator will likely not be deemed competent and will therefore not be allowed back onsite to work – wasting both his or her own time, and the company’s time, money and resources.
This is where gap training comes in.
What is gap training?
Gap training allows you to refresh your knowledge and ensure you are completely up to date with the latest legislation, industry standards, regulations and best practices related to your job role before completing a V.O.C.
Why would I need gap training?
Although you may already hold a licence or plant ticket, you will have been trained and qualified under the certification standards that were relevant at the time. To obtain a current V.O.C., you should be assessed against current standards, which may have changed.
Traditional V.O.C. assessments require a worker to sit a theory and a practical assessment to verify competency. If you are unsuccessful, you will then undertake the gap training required and be reassessed. Applicants have little opportunity to study or undertake gap training until after the assessment is completed, and this often involves considerable delays and stress if not successful at the first attempt.
Gap training will ensure you are prepared and give you confidence that you have the right skills and knowledge to successfully undertake your V.O.C. assessment first time around, and – as you’re legally covered by an RTO during this time – you should be able to work while studying, meaning you can get to work sooner.
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