VET WHS Education
Practitioner education – find a VET qualification in WHS
So you have decided that a VET Diploma is for you. You should note that the Diploma has some units from the Certificate IV as pre-requisites. You will need to complete these units first. You may choose to complete the full Certificate IV in WHS or just the Diploma pre-requisites.
Qualification details are available at the following site but note that you need to insert the course code http://training.gov.au/Training/Details/insert course code/
- Certificate IV in WHS BSB41415
- Diploma in WHS BSB51315
- Advanced Diploma BSB60615
Information on providers of VET providers of WHS qualification is available at http://www.myskills.gov.au/
In the “search for course” box type in the qualification you are interested in. The best way is to enter the code.
Click on the qualification title that comes up. This will take you to employment information for the qualification. Ignore the information as it is aligned to the wrong ANZSCO code.
Click on “Training Providers” in the top menu. This will give you a list of providers. You may choose to refine the provider list by entering a postcode in the location box. You can also refine the search to identify the courses offered on line.
Selecting a VET provider
It is vital that OHS Practitioners develop knowledge and skills to give appropriate advice and to support OHS programs to prevent work-related fatality, injury and disease. Poorly trained practitioners or practitioners that have not developed a good understanding of work hazards and how to manage them.
Key factors in the quality of VET WHS training are:
- Duration of the training
- Knowledge, skills and experience of trainers and assessors
- Opportunities to develop skills
- Reliability of assessment
While the Australian Qualification Framework recommends 0.5 to 1 year for a Certificate IV, 1-2 years for a Diploma and 1.5 to 2 years for an Advanced Diploma in reality VET qualifications in Work Occupational Health and Safety at these levels in vary in length from 5 days to 12 months and more. This is of concern. Short course formats for qualifications are one of the reasons for the recent government VET review.
While recognising that duration is just one indicator of the depth of learning the Australian OHS Education Accreditation Board has issued a position statement advising potential students, employers and recruiters to clarify the duration of any WHS qualification provided by the VET sector and where the course might be considered a ‘short format’ take steps to ensure that the course delivers the appropriate breadth and depth of learning.
VET trainers and assessors are required to have a qualification in VET training, the competency in which they are training and industry experience. To be an effective VET training in WHS we consider that the trainer/assessor should a qualification (not just the competency) at least one level about that in which they are training/assessing. They should also have strong experience working in in OHS. This higher level of qualification of the trainers should be reflected in the quality of the training material and the support for the learners.
While online learning provides flexibility for the learner, WHS is very skills based and requires practical knowledge of a workplace and ability to talk with people and to work with them. Any online delivery must be designed so that there are opportunities to engage with trainers and other learners to develop practical skills. Similarly, assessment in VET should involve a workplace or a simulated workplace to ensure that the learner can demonstrate the skill in a practical situation.
Your skills and competency as an OHS Practitioner in WHS will impact on the health and lives of the people where you work. Don’t’ go for the cheapest, shortest training. Make sure you select a quality training provider. Some questions you might want to ask before making a decision;
- How long can I expect the course to take?
- How much time is face to face or how much time will have to put in one line?
- How much extra self-study time should I allow for?
- What sort of support is available of I have questions?
- What are the minimum qualifications of the people who do the training? Who do the assessing?
- Do I need to be working? How do you bring in the practical environment of a workplace?
- How will I be assessed?