Verification of Competency [VOC]

What is a VOC?

New national Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) laws and regulations, effective January 2012, require PCBU’s (Persons conducting a business or undertaking) perform to ensure their workers have current competency for licences or qualifications they hold, and still possess the required skills and knowledge to operate or install plant safely and competently.

Verification of Competency (VOC) is a method of assessment that enables businesses to confirm that their workers or contractors are competent, and, meet their duty of care obligations.

It is commonly used in many industries for pre-employment checks, pre-site mobilisation or as a condition of commencing work on site. 

How are VOC’s performed?

Assessments can take place by appointment at our Wetherill Park facility for the following: Elevating Work Platforms, Forklifts, Mobile Slewing Cranes, Dogging, Scissor Lifts.

Our assessments include a theory quiz, verbal questioning and visual observation of your practical operating skills.

You will need to bring any licences or certificates you hold, prior to VOC’s being conducted, and a resume/work history/references

What happens after the VOC is completed?

You will receive an assessment summary that can be used as evidence for currency. After payment is received, you will receive a plastic photo card stating the VOC conducted, valid for 2 years.

What if I am assessed as not competent?

You will be advised if any additional (gap) training is required before another VOC can be conducted.

How long does it take?

Each assessment takes approximately 2hrs and will depend on the type of plant and the requirements of the site.

Who can do a VOC?

VOCs are not a regulated activity (by ASQA or any WHS Regulator), so the qualifications required to do a VOC could be determined by the PCBU/principal contractor to a level that meets their legal obligation. In the event that a worker contributed to an incident causing serious injury or death, after a VOC had been performed, the PCBU or principal contractor would need to be able to demonstrate a robust and transparent VOC process.

As the VOC is an assessment, it would be good practice to ensure the person conducting the VOC is competent to conduct an assessment, so an assessing qualification would satisfy that.
 

Also, the person conducting the VOC should have some knowledge of the task/skill they are assessing, so it is logical that they should be able to demonstrate competence in the skill being assessed. This would be best demonstrated by the assessor holding the relevant unit of competency and /or HRW licence.
 

Remember, this person and the PCBU/Principal Contractor may have to stand in a coroner's court to justify their professional opinion as to why a particular person was allowed to operate a piece of plant. It is essential that their evidence is credible when the Crown barrister asks questions like, "what qualified you to make a professional opinion?".

VOCs conducted by independent third parties such as a Registered Training Organisation with appropriately skilled staff and insurance are transparently separate from any type of ‘in-house’ process conducted by someone who may or may not be considered to have the right skills, knowledge and qualifications to conduct a VOC.

Cobra Training Services offers a wide range of VOC services either at your site or ours, depending on the number of VOCs required and the available equipment to conduct the practical part of the VOC, please contact us for more information and a quotation.

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