White Card – What is it?
What is a White Card?
Okay, so you want to work in the construction industry in Australia and know you need to get a white card. Let’s take a look at what a white card is, where you can complete one and who needs to complete it!
A White card is the most common term used to refer to an Occupational Health and Safety Certificate. People who aim to take on a career or any trade position either as a worker, apprentice, project manager or supervisor on a construction job site in Australia are all required by the National Health and Safety Law to obtain a white card before they start working. National white cards are issued when one is able to complete training in the unit of competency, CPCCOHS1001A “Work Safely in the Construction Industry”.
Introducing the White card is the latest program initiated to harmonise OH&S systems and to meet the mutual recognition of the construction induction cards among states and territories of Australia. White card or the OH&S certificate is specifically intended to replace and update old construction induction cards such as Queensland’s blue card, Victoria’s red card and New South Wales’ green card.
Where can you complete a white card?
All throughout Australia, there are numerous training providers that offer a white card training course for different costs. When you are searching for a training provider, ensure that you enrol with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) that is
accredited and offers the course that is accepted in your state. These training providers may be similar when it comes to the service they offer, because of the mutual recognition between the states and territories of Australia, but they differ in location and cost of the course.
They are accredited by the necessary authorities, allow you to complete the course online and offer a great price which doesn’t have to be paid until after you complete the course.
Who has to complete the safety training?
The most common construction activities that would call for the need of a white card include (but not limited to) civil construction, repairs, refurbishment and renovations, removal of asbestos, carpentry, bricklaying and many more. The great risk of harm involved in the construction job calls for the need of the workers to be knowledgeable about safe work practices, risk management principles, safety signs and symbols and personal protection and fire safety equipment. Awareness of these is obtained through a white card training course. Employers will be charged if they are caught hiring workers and staff on site without possession of white card. Nowadays, employers avoid hiring anyone without this mandatory requirement.
Generally, all individuals carrying out construction work in Australia must successfully complete a white card training course before they get to work on any construction activity. Individuals who must acquire a white card are the following:
- Apprentices and trainees
- Projects supervisors and managers
- Employees who are recommended for re-training
Who does the Code of Practice apply to?
The National Standard for Construction Work was amended to protect all persons who are at great risk of harm from the hazards related with construction work. This Code of Practice requires them to receive the appropriate type of induction training that will educate them about the hazards involved in working on construction sites and how to manage these hazards competently. The Code of Practice applies to everyone involved in a construction job, including:
- All individuals who have control over a construction project (project managers, contractors, supervisors, builders, employers and self-employed persons)
- Those who are in control of the construction work such as the employers, self-employed persons, contractors
- Persons who work on the project, especially labour-hire workers
Visitors to a construction job site and those who temporarily visit the site to deliver supplies, materials and services are exempted from obtaining an induction training and white card.
Is the qualification nationally recognised?
Most training providers recommend that you take the white card training or induction course in your state of residence or where you are presently working, so as to receive a new National Standard White Card that is issued under one jurisdiction. However The National White Card is nationally recognised, thus, allowing you to work in all Australian States and Territories. These states – Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales – have adopted the National Standard White Card Induction, CPCCOHS1001A – “Work Safely in the Construction Industry”.
How long does it take to complete the course?
The length of the white card training course depends on where and how you plan to complete it. Face to face training takes 6 hours to complete as stated by the legislation. However, not all individuals have the opportunity and enough time to travel and attend classroom based training. The most convenient way to complete a white card training course is through an online course that usually takes only 2 – 4 hours to complete, depending on the participant’s pace. If you want to complete the course online – then we recommend a particular training provider. Click here to checkout the training provider we recommend.
How much does the white card training course cost?
With a range of training providers available throughout Australia, the cost of the white card training course can vary, but it is usually $40 to $80. There are some who may offer at a higher cost, but they tend to give discount on bulk enrolees.
How old must I be to complete the training?
Anyone over 14 years old can enrol in a white card training course. The point system used during a white card training course is not applicable to secondary school students. Providers are able to identify the age of their applicants through three essential documents, Drivers’ License, Citizenship Certificate and Birth Certificate.
How long is a card valid for?
The government bodies of Australia issued a formal announcement that the National Standard White Card no longer expires. However, anyone who has not worked in the construction industry for more than 2 years are required by employers to undergo retraining.
Can I do the course online?
The National Standard White Card was meant to be completed through face-to-face and online class. Completing the White card online through a training provider is a convenient option for those who don’t have time to attend classroom based training. They even have the opportunity to finish the course either in one day or night depending on their personal preferences.
Click here to checkout the online training provider we recommend.
Australian states and territories, NSW, WA, VIC, TAS, ACT, QLD and NT accept white cards online. SA safety inspectors also accept the white card online, however some site managers have been known not to accept white card training completed online and have therefore requested that retraining occur through face to face training providers. If you want more information about completing the white card online then click here to head over to our page about online training. If you want to know more information about the different requirements of different states then checkout this page.
What do I do if I lose my white card?
There are instances where the white card can be lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed. If this occurs, it is best for you to contact the RTO where you completed the white card training course. Some of them can replace the card while others may ask you to contact WorkCover and complete an “application to replace a WorkCover NSW OHS construction induction card form” first before they issue a replacement card for free. Other RTO’s may charge you a fee for the replacement.