According to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, any business with more than 30 employees must appoint a trained Work Health and Safety Officer (WHSO), and businesses with fewer employees can also elect to appoint one if they so choose. These officers make sure that the workplace abides by the health and safety regulations laid out in the WHS/OH&S acts, in turn ensuring that workplaces are as safe as they possibly can be. It's clear that WHS officers play a key role in labour relations, and WHSO training offers a fulfilling career path for anyone with an interest in keeping others safe. Here's how to be sure that you're choosing the right WHSO training that will set you up for future success in the field.
There's Only Three Relevant Courses
You won't have to sift through a long list of courses, as there's only one course that qualifies someone for a WHSO certificate (which is what you'll need to work as a WHSO): the Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety. Some institutions offer fast-track versions, but in the end, you receive the same qualification regardless. If you don't have prior WHS experience, you'll need to start out with the entry-level Certificate III in Work Health and Safety, and then follow that up with the Certificate IV once you're done. With both of these completed, you have the option of continuing your training in the Course in Functioning as a Work Health & Safety Advisor. This course grants no qualification; instead, they're designed for experienced WHSOs who want to expand their knowledge & skills.
Choose Your Institution
There's a plethora of different options to choose for WHSO training. It's offered not only by most TAFEs, but also by many universities and private colleges. Generally, Australian citizens will be eligible for reduced tuition costs and student loans through the VET Student Loans scheme at any of these institutions. Therefore, your choice will mostly come down to reputation or perhaps convenience, such as location. Make sure you thoroughly research before making a choice.
Make Sure the Course Is Certified!
Only authorised RTOs (Registered Training Organisations) can offer WHSO courses. They will mention if their course is certified on their webpage. If they don't, then move on, as their course, even though it might teach you useful skills, will not result in a qualification that can be used to obtain a WHSO certificate.
Workplace Health and Safety is a very important and fulfilling field, and anyone looking to start a new career path or further their career in the field should consider these WHSO courses.