Policy University Management WHS-PRO-004 WHS Training and Competency Procedure

WHS-PRO-004 WHS Training and Competency Procedure

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This Procedure has been established to define the work health and safety training and competency requirements and expectations for all individuals who work and study at James Cook University (JCU; the University).


This Procedure applies to staff, students, contractors and affiliates involved in JCU business operations and activities.

This Procedure does not apply to JCU Controlled Entities, JCU Brisbane and JCU Singapore.





Is a person (other than a Staff member or Student, including Higher Degree by Research Candidates) who is affiliated with JCU by letter of appointment or invitation to work, research or study at the University for a particular activity and typically for a prescribed timeframe and who is bound to comply with the University’s policies during that period (e.g. visiting scholars, adjuncts and volunteers).


The process of collecting evidence on whether competency has been achieved to confirm that an individual can perform to the standard required in the workplace, as specified in a training package or an approved University policy or procedure.


Person who assesses an individual to determine their level of competence.

Awareness Training

Broad based training provided to increase awareness of particular WHS issues. Content of awareness training may include items covered in induction training, specific training, toolbox talks or any other WHS issues.


The specifications of knowledge and skill and the application of that knowledge and skill to the standards of performance required in the workplace, as specified in a training package or approved University policy and procedure or legislation.


For the purposes of this Procedure, a contractor is a PCBU, and its Workers (including Subcontractors and its Workers), that are engaged by JCU for the purpose of performing work or providing a service under a contractual agreement.

Hazardous work

Work conditions or processes where someone or something is exposed to any source of potential damage, harm or adverse health.

Health and Safety Management System

The comprehensive and integrated system of WHS Policy and Procedures that allows the University to effectively manage and control workplace hazards and risk.

Health and safety representative (HSR)

A Worker who has been elected by a work group to represent them on health and safety issues.

High risk work

Any work set out in schedule 3 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (Qld) requiring a high risk work licence including:

  • Scaffolding work;
  • Dogging and rigging work;
  • Crane and hoist operation;
  • Reach stacker operation;
  • Forklift operation;
  • Pressure equipment operation.


A person attending a facility on a permanent or temporary basis, such as an employee, contractor, student or resident.


A person who makes decisions, or participates in making decisions that affect the whole or a substantial part of a business or undertaking or has the capacity to significantly affect the financial standing of the business or undertaking.

If a person is responsible only for implementing those decisions, they are not considered an Officer under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld).


Visitors to a JCU controlled site/campus and students not performing work experience or paid or unpaid work.

Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU)

A term which is primarily used to refer to employers, but which is equally applicable to sole traders, contractors, the self-employed, or anyone else who is responsible for workers.

Under the WHS Act 2011, PCBUs are, as far as is possible, responsible for ensuring the health and safety of:

  • Workers they directly engage or whose activities   they influence;
  • Anyone else who could be put at risk by the   activities the PCBU is undertaking, for example visitors, customers, or   members of the public.

Reasonably Practicable

Means that which is, or was at a particular time, reasonably able to be

done to ensure health and safety, taking into account and weighing up

all relevant matters including:

  • The likelihood of the hazard or the risk   concerned occurring;
  • The degree of harm that might result from the   hazard or the risk;
  • What the person concerned knows, or ought   reasonably to know, about the hazard or risk, and ways of eliminating or   minimising the risk;
  • The availability and suitability of ways to   eliminate or minimise the risk;
  • After assessing the extent of the risk and the   available ways of eliminating or minimising the risk, the cost associated   with available ways of eliminating or minimising the risk, including whether   the cost is grossly disproportionate to the risk.

Staff/Staff Members

Means the employees covered by the James Cook University Enterprise Agreement


Any person who is responsible for Workers, the allocation of tasks to Workers and / or the oversight of all JCU students during teaching and / or learning activities including field trips.

Training Needs Analysis (TNA)

The process of identifying the training requirements of an individual or organisation.

Training Plan

A detailed document that guides the planning and delivery of training.


A Volunteer is a person who is acting on a voluntary basis for the University (irrespective if the person receives out of pocket expenses).


A person who carries out work in any capacity for JCU, and includes

working as:

  • An employee;
  • A volunteer;
  • An apprentice or trainee;
  • A student gaining work experience (paid or   unpaid);
  • A contractor or subcontractor and their   employees;
  • Labour hire company employees assigned to work   for JCU.


A workplace is the place where work is carried out for JCU and includes any place where a Worker goes, or is likely to be, while at work.

1 Duty, Obligations and Responsibilities

A detailed list of work health and safety (WHS) duties, obligations and responsibilities is provided in the WHS-PRO-001 Responsibilities Procedure.

1.1  James Cook University

As a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) (the Act), JCU must ensure, as is reasonably practicable, the provision of any information, training, instruction or supervision that is necessary to protect all persons from risks to their health and safety arising from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking.

The University is to ensure:

  • Information, training and instruction to a Worker is suitable and adequate with regard to:
    • the nature of the work carried out by the Worker;
    • the nature of the risks associated with the work at the time the information, training or instruction is provided;
  • Information, training and instruction is provided in a way that is readily understandable by any person to whom it is provided;
  • Workers are consulted about the provision of health and safety training;
  • Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) attend health and safety representative initial and refresher training approved by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland to enable them perform their functions and exercise their power under the WHS Act.

1.2  Officers

Officers are responsible for ensuring:

  • Mandatory WHS training needs are identified and monitored for the work area, and gaps addressed in accordance with relevant JCU procedures and legislative requirements;
  • All workers in areas under their management or control receive sufficient WHS training relevant to their given tasks and work responsibilities;
  • HSRs within their area are provided access to training, in accordance with current WHS legislation;
  • All staff within their function area(s) are adequately trained and competent in the activities they undertake; and
  • Training records for staff are current and maintained.

This responsibility includes ensuring that adequate resources are made available for the provision of WHS training.

As part of their due diligence requirements, Officers are required to take reasonable steps to acquire and update their knowledge on WHS matters which includes attending Officer WHS briefing/training. Staff who hold a position as deputy to an Officer, or who are appointed in an acting capacity are also required to undertake Officer training/briefing.

1.3  Workers and Others

All Workers and Others are required to complete mandatory work health and safety training offered by JCU and to follow all reasonable instructions with regards to work health and safety.

All Workers and Others are responsible for:

  • Attending and participating in WHS training sessions and refresher sessions where required;
  • Obtaining and ensuring relevant licences, certificates and competencies required for their role remain current, valid and available;
  • Notifying their Supervisor of any WHS training needs and requirements specific to their role;
  • Adhering to and complying with JCU policies, standards, procedures, safe systems of work, WHS training and instructions given for WHS ;
  • Following safe work practices and ensuring the safety of themselves and others whilst at work; and
  • Notifying their Supervisor if there is any change, if they become “not competent’, or if they have lost their licence to perform an activity related to their role.

If JCU provides a Worker or Other with personal protective equipment (PPE), the Worker or Other must use or wear the PPE in accordance with any information, training or reasonable instruction.

1.4  Work Health and Safety (WHS)

The WHS unit is responsible for the provision of centralised WHS training as per JCU needs as well as maintenance of JCU WHS Mandatory Training needs.  A WHS Training Plan developed annually which outlines the WHS training which will be delivered or coordinated by the WHS unit.

The WHS Unit will deliver internal WHS training courses within the WHS Training Plan.  Where specialised training is required the training will be delivered by an external training provider with the required qualifications and experience.

The WHS Unit deliver WHS training courses for staff online through the JCU Staff Learning Hub. The WHS Unit monitors and reports training compliance results to management on a regular basis.

Training offered by WHS will be determined by the needs of JCU as follows:

  • Changes to legislation;
  • Changes to the Health and Safety Management System;
  • Feedback from the JCU community;
  • Consultation with the WHS Committee or WHS Advisory Committee;
  • Results from audits, hazards and incidents investigations.

1.5  Supervisors

Supervisors are responsible for:

  • Ensuring all required WHS training has been identified and completed by all Workers and Others under their supervision, and ensuring that the training is successfully completed;
  • Ensuring Workers and Others complete the required health and safety training relevant to their role such as the JCU WHS Site Specific Induction, task specific training and general awareness training in accordance with their task demands;
  • Ensuring Workers and Others are competent in the activities they undertake for JCU;
  • Including relevant safety awareness information and items in team meetings;
  • Delivering site specific induction training to Workers and Others where relevant and required (refer clause 2.2 below);
  • Providing support to staff who do not complete the mandatory training within the required timeframe.
  • Monitoring compliance and providing progress updates where required.

Supervisors are to revise training needs when:

  • inducting new staff and students;
  • evaluating staff and student performance;
  • equipment and or work practices change;
  • following an incident investigation.

Supervisors must ensure they are aware of WHS policies, procedures and relevant safety communications required for their operations at JCU.

All Supervisors of Workers and Others must undertake the WHS training package for Managers and Supervisors and any additional training determined by their College/Directorate using the TNA process. The level of health and safety training required will vary according to the level of risk the Workers and Others face and the level of supervision, instruction and training the Workers and Others require.

2  Work Health and Safety Mandatory Training

2.1  Safety Inductions

JCU will ensure that Workers carrying out work on behalf of JCU have relevant training. This includes the JCU WHS Induction Training and any site and task specific/local health and safety induction training. Health and safety induction training (for example, JCU wide and site-specific) must be completed by all Workers and Others at all levels.

JCU contractor health and safety induction are to be completed as per WHS-PRO-025 Contractor Safety Management Procedure.

JCU volunteers health and safety induction are to be completed as per the WHS-PRO-CHK-004c Volunteer Induction Checklist.

2.2  Local Area and Site-Specific Inductions

In addition to the JCU WHS induction training, Supervisors must ensure that all Workers and Others under their supervision are provided with a local area WHS induction using the WHS-PRO-CHK-004b WHS Induction Checklist. This must be completed within the first four weeks of engagement. As part of the local induction process, it is mandatory that all workers complete the work health and safety training as outlined in Appendix 1.

Local Area and Site-Specific inductions can include, but are not limited to

  • JCU laboratories;
  • JCU workshops;
  • JCU research stations;
  • JCU accommodation;
  • JCU boating and diving.

All JCU policies and procedures must be adhered to as part of local area and site-specific inductions.

Supervisors must also identify hazardous and high-risk work areas and activities and provide a site-specific induction before anyone under their supervision commences work on that activity or in that area.

2.2.1 Student Local Induction

All students must receive information about local hazards/risks and emergency procedures. This must be delivered by staff at the first classes of each semester or via an alternative process. Students may also require additional WHS training relevant to their study.

2.2.2 Visitor Local Induction

JCU Workers who are hosting visitors must inform the visitors about local hazards/risks and emergency procedures.

JCU event organisers must make information about safety available to anyone attending JCU approved events. The information should include emergency procedures and any other hazard-related information specific to that event. The WHS-PRO-CHK-025c Event Contractor Induction Checklist can be used to record event inductions.

Where a person is under competent supervision while visiting an area of low risk, an induction may not be required (for example a meeting on campus). However, in areas where there is inherent risk (e.g. laboratories, workshops, plant rooms) an appropriate induction may be required if observing or working in the area may expose them to a hazard.

2.3  JCU Work Health and Safety Mandatory Training Requirements

As part of the local induction process, it is mandatory that all workers complete the work health and safety training as outlined in Appendix 1.

3  Training Needs Analysis

3.1  Training Needs Analysis

WHS competencies can be identified by completing a Training Needs Analysis (TNA). A TNA is the process of identifying and assessing the training requirements of an individual within an organisation.

A TNA is used to determine:

  • What is required to complete the work activity;
  • The existing skill levels of persons completing the work;
  • The training gap (if any).

The WHS Unit TNA can be used to identify and assess WHS training requirements. This process includes consultation with identified personnel to ascertain specific task training requirements, WHS legislative training requirements and any new WHS training courses which may be required as part of their role.

Following induction, the staff member’s Supervisor will conduct a WHS training needs analysis (TNA) in consultation with the staff member in order to determine the gap between current knowledge, skills and any required competencies for their position. In order to determine the training needs of a staff member, the WHS-PRO CHK-004b WHS Induction Checklist shall be used to determine such training needs for staff.

When completing a TNA it will be necessary for supervisors to determine the specific training courses that are applicable to their staff. Position descriptions and hazard management processes can be used to identify specific health and safety skill requirements for inclusion in the TNA.

Competency and/or licence requirements for staff are to be reviewed regularly in accordance with work task requirements including any information, instruction and/or training relevant to standard operating procedures.

Training needs should be translated into a staff training plan as part of the ongoing performance development & management processes established by the University. Supervisors should refer to the Work Health and Safety website and the course catalogue in the Staff Learning Hub to access detailed information about the available training programs. Supervisors should also make themselves aware of available training provided at the Divisional level.

3.2  Individual Training Plans

An individual training plan, based on the outcomes of the TNA, can be developed and implemented by the relevant Supervisor. The Supervisor, in consultation with the Individual, should capture any individual training gaps and opportunities for improvements. Individual training plans can be developed and integrated into the performance and development plan.

4  Training Records

JCU must ensure that records of all work health and safety training provided to a Worker are kept in accordance with the University Records Management Framework and Policy.

4.1  JCU WHS Mandatory Training Records

The WHS Unit is responsible for maintaining all Safety and WHS Mandatory Training records.

4.2  Divisional/Business Unit Area Training Records

Supervisors are responsible for maintaining training records for site specific and task specific training for all workers and others under their supervision.

5  Health and Safety Representatives (HSR)

A HSR does not require any experience or special qualifications to accept the role. A HSR is required to attend a Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) approved training course.

The HSR is required to complete:

  • An initial 5-day training course within 3 months after the day the representative is elected as a HSR for a work group; and
  • 1-day refresher training course at least every 3 years after the initial training.

The University must:

  • Pay the full cost of the training course plus any reasonable costs associated with the HSR’s attendance at the training; and
  • Provide HSRs paid time off to attend an approved HSR legislative training course.

6  Competency Assessment

In order to determine whether the skill or knowledge gap has been successfully attained, assessment of competency is required to be undertaken after completion of training. If the training session has been designed for awareness then a competency assessment is not required.

Managers and Supervisors are responsible for ensuring Workers are competent through ongoing monitoring and review.  Where skill deficiencies are identified or when competencies expire, appropriate training, retraining and/or supervision will be provided before work commences or continues.

Related Policy Instruments

Work Health and Safety Policy

JCU Records Management Policy

WHS-PRO-001 WHS Responsibilities Procedure

WHS-PRO-CHK-004a WHS Induction Checklist

WHS-PRO-CHK-004b WHS Volunteer Checklist

WHS-PRO-025 Contractor Safety Management Procedure

Work Health and Safety Act 2011

Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011


Appendix 1  JCU Work Health and Safety Mandatory Training Requirements


NOTE:  Printed copies of this procedure are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy DomainUniversity Management
Policy Sub-domainWHS Management

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Approval Authority

Work Health and Safety Committee

Date for next Major Review


Revision History


Approval date

Implementation date



23-114/11/202313/12/2023Major review - minor amendments throughout.Training and Communications Advisor




Minor amendments due to nomenclature changes from Health Safety and Environment to Work Health and Safety. Renamed from HSE-PR0-015 Training and Competency Procedure to WHS-PRO-004 Training and Competency Procedure

WHS Communication and Training Advisor




Amendments to HSR training requirements due to legislative changes (WHS Regulations 2011)

HSE Principal Technical Advisor





Procedure established

HSE Training and Communications Advisor


Training, Competency

Contact PersonTraining and Communications Advisor, Work Health and Safety Unit