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Verification of competency

Employers must ensure workers are competent to perform the work they carry out, not just licensed.

New workers may have minimal or no experience of the business’s work, or its practices and procedures. Their competency needs to be assessed during recruitment or as part of their induction. They then need to be trained in the business’s work practices and procedures, and should be mentored by more experienced workers where required.

However, even experienced workers' competency may decrease over time. When assessing competency, employers should consider:

  • workers performing tasks that are undertaken infrequently
  • workers returning from secondments to other roles within the business or from extended periods of leave.

Employers also need to consider competency where:

  • new technology or equipment is introduced that may require additional training
  • new work practices or procedures are introduced
  • new legislative or standards requirements are introduced.

If factors such as these are identified, employers need to assess the competency of workers to ensure they continue to have the knowledge and skills required to work safely.

Competency can be maintained through a variety of ways such as:

  • regular refresher training for key safety tasks (e.g. service polarity testing, lock out procedures)
  • internal auditing programs to ensure skills and competencies are being maintained
  • accredited training to develop skills for new work (e.g. training in renewable energy storage or hazardous areas competencies)
  • training provided by plant and equipment manufacturers.

Tool box talks or daily pre-starts also provide opportunities to brief workers on changes to the business’s work practices, legislation and industry safety alerts.

Workers must also be trained and competent in relevant rescue and resuscitation practices such as CPR, pole top rescue and low voltage switchboard rescue as well as non-electrical competencies such as confined space and working from heights.

For more information download the Managing electrical risks in the workplace Code of Practice 2013 (PDF, 385.51 KB) .

Looking for training

Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) provides funding for training of electrical workers in the construction industry. They offer a number of training options including:

  • short courses to help you update your skills and knowledge within a specific skill set
  • a Skills Assessment and Gap Training program to help identify the skills you already have, and provide the gap training you need to attain a qualification
  • a Higher Level Skills program to help you increase your knowledge — with a Cert IV to Advanced Diploma — to move into a higher-level role in the construction industry.

There are lots of electrical courses to choose from, of particular interest are:

  • Apply currency of safe working practices and compliance verification of electrical installations (UEENEEG197A)
  • Design battery storage systems for grid-connected photovoltaic systems (UEERE5001)
  • Install, maintain and fault find battery storage systems for grid-connected photovoltaic systems (UEERE4001)

Visit the CSQ website for more information and check out their course guide for all the electrical and related courses.

Work for us

We are looking for a new Senior Electrical Safety Inspector based in Gold Coast, Ipswich or Logan region. The role will involve responding to electrical safety incidents and performing assessments in the region. Applications close on 14 August 2018. Find out more and apply at SmartJobs website.

We are also looking for a Senior Advisor in the Electrical Licensing Unit based in Brisbane North. The role works with contractors, workers and their representatives to build a competent, safe and compliant industry. Applications close on 14 August 2018. Find out more and apply at SmartJobs website.

Last updated
10 August 2018

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