Approved health and safety representative training

Health and safety representatives (HSRs) are entitled to do WorkSafe-approved occupational health and safety (OHS) training. While HSR training isn’t compulsory, we strongly encourage you to take up your training entitlement. That way you can fully understand the role of an HSR, be able to effectively exercise your powers and understand your rights.

HSR training is designed to give you the skills, knowledge and confidence to represent your designated work group (DWG) and contribute to making your workplace safer. The training must be approved by WorkSafe.

OHS initial training and refresher training

Training must be with a WorkSafe-approved provider.

HSR Initial OHS training course

When an HSR or deputy HSR is first elected, we recommend they do an initial training course as soon as possible. It runs over 5 days. The learning objectives are:

  • interpreting the OHS legislative framework and its relationship to the HSR
  • identifying key parties and their legislative obligations and duties
  • establishing representation in the workplace
  • participating in consultation and issue resolution
  • representing DWG members in any OHS risk management process undertaken by the appropriate duty holder/s
  • issuing a provisional improvement notice (PIN) and directing the cessation of work

HSR Refresher OHS training course

HSRs and deputy HSRs can do a 1-day refresher training course at least once in each year after they complete their initial training. It revises some of the initial training. Some refresher courses cover particular industries or hazards.

What you’re entitled to

HSR initial and refresher training is covered in section 67 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act). It states that, if an HSR requests, their employer must allow them to attend initial training. They must allow them to attend refresher training at least once a year after that.

The HSR must give the employer at least 14 days notice before the course.

The employer must let the HSR do the training in paid time, and pay for the course and any associated costs. The HSR may choose the approved course in consultation with their employer. These entitlements also apply to deputy HSRs.

Other training

Section 69 of the OHS Act covers other training. It states that an employer must allow an HSR time off with pay to attend other WorkSafe-approved training. You must give your employer at least 14 days notice.

Your employer is not required to pay for these training costs but they may choose to do so.

Deputy HSRs don’t have this entitlement to additional training, unless they are acting in the HSR role at the time of the training. But an employer may choose to make this training available to them and to pay the costs.