Prior to introduction of the Work Health Safety Act 2011, certification and a licence were required to operate various types of small plant and equipment, however this has now changed. Industry and government have determined that certain classes of small plant and equipment operation, that are not high risk, no longer require a licence.
Holding a licence does not necessarily prove competency, so even if a licence is not required, this does not mean that workers can use small plant without demonstrating competency. Your old ‘ticket’ is not enough to demonstrate competency to the current industry standard, which is what is now required.
The current industry regulations require employers (PCBU) as part of their Duty of Care requirements to ensure their workers can perform all tasks related to their job role and that the operator receives adequate information, training, instruction and supervision to competently operate plant and equipment and minimise risk to the health and safety of employees and the general public.
A Verification of Competency (VOC) is the method used to demonstrate knowledge of current industry regulations, policies, procedures and changes and provides adequate evidence that workers can safely perform the tasks required.
Under these new conditions, the VOC is used during pre-employment checks and is often required by employers before individuals are allowed on site.