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If work health and safety is your desired or current career path, you will at some point consider the option to complete the Cert IV training program in WHS. This is a program designed to instil knowledge and skills needed for the implementation, supervision, assessment and maintenance of workplace health and safety standards in Australia. The included units of competency ensure that you have the qualifications needed for higher ranking positions, including those at the supervisory or managerial level.

If you are a bit anxious about starting this program or are not certain it is the right step for your career at this time, the following 11 facts and tips will help you make the best decisions for your career.

1. There are no prerequisites that you must complete before taking the Cert IV in WHS. Yet, it may be easier to understand and master the information presented in some of the units of competency if you first complete a Cert III first. You may not need to do this if you have work experience in WHS that would cover that lower-level material.

2. Not all of the units of competency included in the program are technical in nature. There are also courses in report writing and presentation skills. The better you are with grammar and sentence structure, the easier these elements of the program may be for you.

3. The Cert IV in WHS is designed to train future managers and supervisors. The information presented should include skills that managerial employees complete while lower-level employees complete more of the manual, technical tasks. This is why writing, reading and public speaking are incorporated into the Cert IV program.

4. Many employers now require completion of this training program from an accredited source for all supervisors and managers. Even if you have extensive experience in your field, you may need this training in order to advance your career.

5. While on-the-job training is often offered through entry level positions, you might not learn all of the information presented through the Cert IV program. You will only learn what you need to know to successfully work in one position within the company. You may still need to complete the Cert IV in WHS at some point in your career.

6. If you let your employer know that you are taking on this training course, you may be given access to an on-the-job mentor. Many successful candidates benefit from talking to someone on the job about what they are learning in the courses. If this is not available at your facility, you should still inform your employer of your goal to complete the Cert IV so that they acknowledge your ambitions to succeed.

7. The entire program can seem overwhelming. Focus on one unit of competency at a time rather than thinking about how much time it will take.

8. The fastest route to achieving this certificate is through a standard classroom structure. There are also accelerated programs that will take you through all of the material in a week or less.

9. If you need more time to complete this training, consider an online program or a program that allows you to download the text materials and guide your own studies. You will typically have 12 months to complete the program, and you may not receive all course material at one time.

10. Some employers will offer this training onsite so that multiple employees can benefit from the class at one time. This is far more convenient for many people than seeking out their own programs.

11. Expect to be challenged at times. The coursework is not always easy, but there is a big payoff at the end if you persevere and make it to the end.

These tips for completing your Cert IV in WHS will help you select the right program, study in the most efficient manner and complete the program with the highest degree of success. Commit right now to taking this step forward in your career by informing your current employer about this ambition.

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