The Certificate IV, or Cert IV, in Work Health and Safety (WHS) is designed to solidify skills needed to ensure safe and healthy work environments. There are accredited courses found throughout Australia. Some are conducted online, some are self-guided through downloadable study material, and many are face-to-face courses with live instructors. The goal for all students is to learn the laws related to workplace health and safety in Australia and pick up basic skills required to manage various aspects of health and safety in work environments.
While many people who want to work in some aspect of health and safety will take on this training independently in order to add these skills to their resume, this is not required to get all jobs in the field. There are some entry-level positions that will provide on-the-job training so that employees know what the basic elements of health and safety as it applies to their work environment.
If your goal is to take on more substantial or high level jobs in WHS, then you will need the more extensive training that comes with the Cert IV course in WHS. Even if you are in an industry that is not directly related to work health and safety, you may benefit from adding the skills provided in this course to your resume.
Some jobs in WHS that may require you to obtain this training or which may look upon you favourably if you have this training include:
- Union representatives or other union positions
- Safety trainers or assessors
- Safety officers
- Safety auditors
- Supervisor or management positions in certain industries
- Health and safety consultants
In general, obtaining the Cert IV in WHS will qualify you to take on more leadership opportunities. You will have more knowledge regarding workplace health and safety than many others on the job, and that may entitle you to step into supervisory or management positions faster than other employees. You may also qualify for some positions within certain industries that depend on in-depth knowledge of Australian health and safety law.
If you are interested in furthering your career or want to make a career move into the work health and safety industry, the Cert IV is a solid starting point. It will introduce you to Australian work health and safety law and teach you how to assess and manage safety and health issues within the work environment.
This training could give you an advantage over other job candidates in some industries. Since you will already have more training than many other applicants, companies will see you as a good investment. They won’t have to offer as much on-the-job training, and you will have a better understanding of the safety elements of your job from day one.
If you have already gained some experience through jobs in WHS but your current employer does not offer the training you need to obtain a higher paying job, you may take on the Cert IV training in WHS independently in order to move your career along faster.