Frequently Asked Questions: Training of Health and Safety Representatives

Does a Health and Safety Representative require training to perform their role?

It is not compulsory for Health and Safety Representative to be trained however they should be encouraged to take up their training entitlement to provide them with the skills and knowledge to perform their role effectively. HSRs can issue Provisional Improvement Notices (PINs) and direct work to cease only if they have been trained. Untrained HSRs can perform all other functions.

What training are Health and Safety Representatives entitled to?

A Health and Safety Representative (HSR) is entitled to attend an initial course of training of five days and have a one day’s refresher training each year, with the first refresher training commencing 1 year after the initial training.

The training course in work health and safety must be:

  • approved by the jurisdiction’s work health and safety regulator
  • chosen by the HSR in consultation with the person conducting a business or undertaking.

The Health and Safety Representative has made a request for training do I have to approve it?

Yes. Clause 72 of the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act and Regulation 21 of the model Work Health and Safety Regulations provide that if a Health and Safety Representative (HSR) or deputy HSR has made a request, the person conducting the business or undertaking must allow them to attend a training course in work health and safety.

Is there a national Health and Safety Representative training course?

Safe Work Australia has facilitated the development of a national Health and Safety Representative (HSR) training provider package with representatives from states, territories and the Commonwealth. The HSR training provider package incorporates the training requirements for HSRs under the model work health and safety laws.

The training package has been approved by representatives and is being implemented in jurisdictions.

Will existing Health and Safety Representatives need to attend further training now that the model work health and safety laws have commenced?

Each state and territory is assessing current training requirements for HSRs to determine if they are similar or substantially different from the national HSR training provider package. Where training requirements are substantially different, HSRs under the model WHS laws will need to complete gap training to be able to direct that unsafe work ceases or issue PINs.

Where can I get more information?

For more information on the training of Health and Safety Representatives please contact the work health and safety regulator in your jurisdiction.

More information on Health and Safety Representatives can be found in the Worker Representation and Participation Guide.

Download the training of health and safety representatives frequently asked questions

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Questions should be emailed to info@swa.gov.au.

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