Verification of Competency – What is it?

Confined Space Entry Course by WAM Training

Verification of Competency (referred to on site as ‘VOC’) is a training process that has existed in the mining and government funded infrastructure projects for over a decade.  However in the construction industry it is a relatively new process that has been adopted by major projects and tier 1 constructors in an effort to comply with their obligations under Section 21 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

WAM Training provides referenced position papers via blogs about Training, Worksite Culture and Safety for the Construction, Manufacturing and Mining sectors.

Verification of Competency (VOC) is a method of assessment that assists employers in verifying / confirming the competency levels of employees and contractors who will be required to operate plant and equipment in their workplace. VOC’s also serve the purpose of ensuring the practical skills and knowledge of staff and contractors are not only current, but also ensure that the original decision of competence was valid and reliable.

Verification of Competency training requirements are site and or company driven.  Essentially if a work-site requests you to hold a current VOC for plant operation, you need to comply, in order to work on that site or for that company.

Furthermore a VOC can only be completed on a piece of plant that an operator has previously been deemed competent to operate.  Evidence of competence in the form of a certificate, statement of attainment or proof of training card will be required for a VOC to be conducted.

WHY reassess someone who has already been deemed competent?

Under Australian OH&S and WHS laws employers are legally required to ensure that they provide employees with sufficient information, training and instruction to perform their work safely.

Whilst an employee or contractor have the authority to operate plant and equipment by possessing the required licence or proof of training, ongoing competence of plant and equipment operators is the responsibility of the employer.  VOC’s are an efficient and effective training tool that verifies continued competence.

WHAT is covered during Verification of Competency?

For many in our industry VOC’s are new and subject to interpretation, WAM Training has worked with industry leading clients to develop a formal assessment process which is flexible, minimises downtime and can be performed on-site.

With the help of our large industrial and construction clients WAM Training has developed a suite of VOC’s or WAM Training can tailor VOC’s to your site specific needs and your company specific policies and procedures.  The choice is yours.

The advice provided in this blog is general in nature and should be considered in conjunction with legislation, Australian Standards, Codes of Practice, Compliance Codes and guidance from our health and safety Regulator

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