WHS course vs. WorkCover Health and Safety Representative Initial Training Course

There are many differences between the WorkCover course and the Certificate IV WHS, however if your organisation is looking to train health and safety representatives, know that you do have a variety of training options to meet your WHS requirements.

Under the new Work Health and Safety legislation, employers have a more defined set of responsibilities when it comes to providing a safe work place. The role of a health and safety representative is to facilitate the flow of information about health and safety between theperson conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU – the new term that includes employers) and the workers in the HSR’s work group.

Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety Training

The Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety  is suitable for people working in a work health and safety (WHS) role who may or may not work under supervision. They may provide leadership and guidance to others and have some limited responsibility for the output of others. The qualification reflects the role of workers who apply a broad knowledge base and well-developed skills in a wide variety of contexts and may include coordinators, advisors and facilitators.

This certificate would be suitable for the following job roles:


Above table from myskills.gov.au

WorkCover Health and Safety Representative Initial Training Course 

  • The WorkCover Health and Safety Representative Initial training course was developed specifically to meet the requirements of the WHS Act 2011 which provides for an elected HSR to request training in work health and safety that is approved by the Regulator and that is a 5 day course (with provision for a one day refresher course annually after completion of the initial 5 day course)
  • The course therefore is specifically designed to meet the needs of a HSR in that voluntary role.  As the role is voluntary there is no requirement for a formal assessment (a key difference with ASQA accredited qualifications) however completion of the course could potentially assist in an RPL assessment if the HSR chose to do further formal training
  • An elected HSR who completes the WorkCover HSR initial training course will be considered qualified under the WHS Act 2011 for the purpose of issuing a provisional improvement notice and directing unsafe work to cease.  Completion of other WHS training does not meet the requirements for a HSR to access these additional powers under the legislation.

Know your obligations. Know your rights. Know your options.

The new national work health and safety framework is designed to help make Australia a safer place to work. Training is available to assist you in meeting the latest requirements for compliance and, more importantly, best practice in safe work to reduce loss of income, injury, illness, and death on job sites across Australia.

In summary:

  • Health and Safety Representatives (under NSW WorkCover course) can issue a Provisional Improvement Notice (PIN)
  • Health and Safety Representatives (under NSW WorkCover course) can issue a Unsafe Cease Work Notice
  • Health Safety and Representatives (without the NSW WorkCover course) can contact WorkCover to report unsafe practices
  • Our 4 day Cert IV WHS course is nationally accredited
  • 5 day NSW WorkCover is not nationally Accredited and must be updated anually
  • You can customise the Cert IV WHS course – you cannot change the NSW WorkCover course

Key changes in the new WHS Act compared with OHS legislation will include:

  • Changes in terminology e.g. from ‘occupational health and safety’ to ‘work health and safety’;
  • A broadening in the definition of who is a worker;
  • A broadening of persons with health and safety duties;
  • Requirement for all duty holders to consult with others;

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