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HSRs—Information for training providers
Health and safety representative (HSR) training is not a mandatory requirement under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act). However, if a HSR requests training, a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) must allow it. This entitlement is outlined in Section 72 of the WHS Act.
Training a HSR is entitled to attend
If requested by a HSR, the PCBU must allow them to attend training that:
- is approved by the regulator
- the HSR is entitled to attend under the regulations
- is chosen by the HSR in consultation with the PCBU.
Where an agreement cannot be reached about what training to attend either party may ask the regulator to appoint an inspector to decide.
A HSR is entitled to attend the following training:
- an initial five-day course of training
- one day of refresher training each year.
The entitlement to the first refresher training starts one year after the initial training.
Initial five-day course
The initial five-day course is not intended to make you a qualified or expert WHS specialist. Instead, it gives you an opportunity to develop your skills so you can represent your workgroup in WHS matters and exercise HSR powers and functions under the WHS Act.
To see what is expected of you, each learning outcome is outlined in Guidance 2—HSR training course requirements. This guidance provides direction on activities, case studies, discussions and skills practice sessions that are part of the course. The learner applications specify what you could be reasonably expected to do or know at the end of the initial five-day course.
Training can be delivered over five consecutive days, or spread over a longer period of time with training delivered in blocks of time. These blocks are to be no less than one day. The course should be conducted as seven-hour days, excluding breaks (in total, 35 hours over the five days). It is suggested that one hour of breaks should be spread throughout the day.
HSR training course guidance 2 contains information regarding the requirements of a HSR training course and includes:
- the underpinning principles for the development of a Comcare approved HSR training course (Part 1)
- learning outcomes for HSR training courses (Part 2)
- learning objectives (Part 3).
This document also includes the following information:
- the agreed approach to training
- delivery mode
- course duration.
The fee for the assessment and approval of the five-day course is $5500. Approval is granted for up to five years.
One-day refresher course
Following the completion of the initial five-day course you are entitled to attend a one-day refresher training course each year.
Comcare does not prescribe the specific learning outcomes or content of refresher training courses. However, the course should give you an overview of the learning outcomes from the five-day course, developments in WHS legislation (if relevant) and skills development related to your role, powers, functions and behaviours as a HSR.
When considering relevant content for refresher training courses, training providers should take into account developments in WHS matters that may affect a HSR in performing their role in the workplace.
Comcare encourages approved training providers to respond to requests from specific agencies, licensees, industry sectors and suggestions from HSRs when developing refresher training content. We encourage training providers to consider developing a suite of refresher courses, covering different themes relevant for those taking part.
Providers must make sure themes are underpinned by an overview of the learning outcomes of the initial five-day course and that they address developments in WHS legislation.
Training providers can only ask for approval to deliver refresher HSR training if they are also asking for or have got approval to deliver the initial five-day HSR training.
There is no fee for the assessment and approval of a refresher course.
Please note the one-day HSR bridging course is no longer available.
Who can apply for approval to deliver initial and refresher HSR training?
A training organisation, company or sole trader may apply for approval to deliver the initial five-day course and one-day refresher course.
Becoming a Comcare approved provider of HSR training
Guidance 1—How to become an approved provider of health and safety representative (HSR) training for the Commonwealth jurisdiction, outlines the process for applying for approval to carry out HSR training. It includes information about:
- the approval process (Part one)
- trainer qualifications (Part two)
- requirements for approval of a course of training (Part three)
- conditions of approval (Part four)
- renewal of approved provider status (Part five)
- compliance monitoring and enforcement (Part six)
- an application form and checklist.
The fee for the assessment and approval of a five-day course (that needs to be submitted with the application) is $5500. Approval is granted for up to five years.
For further information on becoming an approved provider see:
- How to become an approved provider of health and safety representative (HSR) training for the Commonwealth jurisdiction
Post-approval monitoring by Comcare
Guidance 3—HSR training courses—Post-Approval Monitoring, and an audit tool, audit workbook and audit report template, have been developed to make sure approved providers of HSR training meet the conditions of approval.
Guidance 3 outlines the following:
- post–approval monitoring (audits) (Part one)
- complaints and investigations (Part two)
- sharing information across jurisdictions (Part three)
- power to revoke or vary a provider’s approval (Part four)
- Comcare’s review process (Part five)
- Reinstatement of approved training provider status (Part six).
Every approved provider will be audited at least once during the period of approval.
For further information on the HSR training post-approval monitoring, see:
- For more information please contact HSR Course Approvals on 1300 366 979 or email HSR course approval.