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The construction industry tends to offer stable employment with good pay. However, it also comes with certain training requirements. If you plan to become a construction worker, you need to learn how to apply for a white card in Australia.
So, what is a white card? Here is everything you should know about the white card.
What Is A White Card in Australia?
A white card is a work card issued to individuals that complete the required training for setting foot on a construction site. The card is a mandatory requirement for anyone working on a construction site, including vendors and inspectors.
The white card is a legal requirement for the construction industry and is often called the “construction induction training card”. It demonstrates that the cardholder understands common construction hazards.
The typical construction site includes many hazards that could result in serious injury or death. Over 12,000 workers’ compensation claims are filed each year from workers in the construction industry. Some of the main causes of injuries and fatalities on construction sites include:
- Body stress
- Falls, trips, and slips
- Falls from heights
- Vehicle incidents
- Hit by moving objects
- Contact with electricity
The number of serious claims has gradually trended downward over the past 15 years. The decrease in injuries is partly due to increased safety training. Australian governments continue to update and implement work health and safety (WHS) laws to help maintain safer work environments.
White card training helps minimise the risk of injury and death. Workers who complete the training course learn how to identify hazards and implement risk control measures, such as the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). The courses also teach the basics of emergency response procedures, the use of safety signs, and the roles of health and safety personnel.
What Is a Digital White Card?
Several states and territories have implemented or plan to implement digital white cards. A digital white card is a digital version that cardholders can bring up on their smartphone. New South Wales and the Northern Territory currently offer digital cards, which are issued along with the physical card.
New South Wales introduced a digital version of the white card after releasing digital driving licences. The NSW government partnered with SafeWork NSW and Service NSW to release the new digital card.
Obtaining the digital card requires you to download a particular “Service NSW App”. After logging in and verifying your information, the app automatically displays your digital white card.
In the Northern Territory, you can apply for a white card online using a smartphone. This gives you the option to download a digital version of the card to your phone using the Apple or Google wallet app.
How to Get a White Card?
Obtaining a white card requires the completion of the white card training course through a registered training organisation. You must complete the CPCWHS1001 – Prepare to Work Safely in the Construction Industry national unit of competency. The main topics covered by the course include:
- Identifying legislative requirements
- Identifying common site hazards and risk control measures
- Identifying health and safety communication and reporting processes
- Identifying incident and emergency response procedures
The training requirements for obtaining a white card require you to verify your identity. You need to provide 100 points of identification, which may require one or more of the following:
- Driver’s licence
- Birth certificate
- Utility bill
- ATM Card
- Medicare card
You must also be at least 18 years of age and possess basic English language reading and writing skills. You need to follow simple instructions and be able to complete a basic form.
No previous training or work experience is necessary. However, the white card is one of several qualifications that a construction worker may need. Construction work may also require the completion of training for confined spaces, working from heights, and asbestos awareness.
Participants need to pass an assessment to demonstrate that they understood the content of the course. The assessment includes performance evidence and knowledge evidence sections. After passing the assessment, you are given a statement of attainment.
The physical white card is mailed to your address after completing the course. You may need to wait a few days to several weeks for the card to arrive. In the meantime, you can present the statement of attainment as proof of your qualification.
How to Get a White Card Online?
You can obtain a white card online in select states and territories. For example, you can get a Queensland QLD white card online but not a Victoria VIC white card. According to WorkSafe Victoria, online training is only available through select registered training organisations (RTOs) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
You should first determine whether online courses are available in your area. If training is available, you will need internet access and an up-to-date internet browser. The training is delivered via a live webinar, which requires a stable internet connection.
How to Apply for a White Card?
The RTO typically submits the paperwork for your white card after you complete the training course. You do not need to apply for the white card yourself in most cases.
How Long Does It Take to Get a White Card?
The statement of attainment remains valid for 60 days, and most cards are issued in 30 days or less. If you do not receive a card within 30 days, you can contact the SafeWork or WorkSafe organisation in your region.
How Long Does a White Card Course Take?
The course may require half a day to a full day of training for face-to-face training. Online training allows participants to learn at their own pace. Some participants may complete the course in a few hours, while others spend a day or longer on the material.
The assessments typically take one to two hours to complete. The course may take longer when dealing with larger class sizes. Group discounts are occasionally available when enrolling multiple workers in the course.
How Long Does a White Card Last/Do White Cards Expire?
How long is a white card valid for? White cards do not technically expire. However, most companies and safety organisations recommend retaking the training course every two years. You may also want to retake the course if you have been absent from the construction industry for over two years.
How Do I Find My White Card Number Online?
White card holders may be able to look up their white card numbers online, depending on the state or territory where the card was issued. For example, in Western Australia, you can use the “Construction Induction Training Card Database” to search for your card details.
You can also contact the RTO that issued the card. The RTO maintains a record of all participants, allowing you to retrieve your card number or request a replacement card. Replacement white cards are issued through the RTO.
White card training is required before entering the construction industry. You need to complete a training course from a registered training provider, such as AlertForce. After completing the course, you are issued a white card.
You can now obtain a digital card in some states and territories. You may also be able to complete the training online, depending on where you live or plan to work. Contact the experts at AlertForce to learn more.
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