Skip navigation

Procedure: Work health and safety training


This procedure describes how the Australian National University (ANU) identifies and defines the work, health and safety training and competency needs of its workers to comply with the work health and safety (WHS), rehabilitation and claims management systems requirements, (WHS Act and the . This document is linked to the University’s Work Health and Safety policy and is one of the WHS Management System Procedures.


Competent person is a person who has acquired through training, qualification, observation, experience, or a combination of these, the knowledge and skills to carry out a particular task, including WHS knowledge and skills, qualifying that person to perform the task required by the Standard [AS/NZS 4801:2001].

Competency is an individual's demonstrated knowledge, skills, or abilities performed to a specific standard. Competency is only achieved through an assessment conducted by an already competent person in the same field.

High Risk Areas mean areas that are inherently high or extreme risk. This normally includes Laboratory – chemical, biological, radiation, laser, science, medical, engineering, nanotechnology, OGTR certified GMO, PC1-4, teaching laboratories; chemical and radiation stores; workshops – machinery, robotics, plant; clinics; plant room; quarantine, mortuary and dissection facilities; heavy ion accelerator; or any other areas determined to be high or extreme inherent risk by risk assessments of activities conducted in the areas.

Incident is any unplanned event resulting in, or having a potential for injury, ill health damage or other loss [AS/NZS 4801:2001 Occupational health and safety management systems].

Local areas mean Research Schools, Colleges and Divisions of ANU.

Proficiency means workers can frequently perform activities requiring Tier 3 Training safely and independently after reaching competency and this is confirmed by Supervisors of these activities after one day, one week and one month. If the activity is less than one month but longer than one week, then the one week check confirms proficiency.

WHS training is any training that relates to the work, health and safety of workers. It is determined by safety requirements for individual roles and responsibilities and/or the WHS hazard assessment process.

Worker is anyone who carries out work for the University and include staff, Visiting and Honorary Appointments (VaHA), volunteers, titleholders, affiliates, labour hiring workers, student gaining work experience and contractors of ANU. Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students may be ANU workers depending on their role but they are covered under the scope of this Procedure.

The Work Health and Safety Management System (WHSMS) Handbook provides practical guidance for the University and its local areas on how to implement the University WHS Management System and defines the responsibilities and actions required by management and workers within the management system.



  1. This document describes:
  • the University’s WHS Training requirements matrix for determining WHS training requirements for workers;
  • responsibilities of managers and supervisors to ensure their workers are appropriately trained for the tasks required for their roles and their responsibilities;
  • the frequency of training, attainment of required competencies or qualifications and experience required by workers, including refresher training requirements; and
  • the requirement to retain WHS training records for legislative and compliance purposes.

WHS Induction and Training Tiers

  1. The University has three tiers of inductions and WHS Training including:
  • Induction - Tier 1: University WHS Induction; Tier 2: School/Division WHS Induction; and Tier 3: High Risk Area WHS Induction.
  • WHS Training - Tier 1: WHS Management System Training; Tier 2: Compliance Training; and Tier 3: Work Safely Proficiency Training.

This section is further explained and supplemented in WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.2 WHS Information, Instruction, Training and Supervision.

Work Health and Safety Induction

  1. Any workers and HDR students at a University location are provided with WHS inductions and information relevant to their workplace.
  2. Workers, except contractors, and HDR students new to the University from the publication of the WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.2 are provided access to the Tier 1 University WHS Induction and ensure they are completed in a timely manner.
  3. Directors, Deans and General Managers ensure workers, except contractors, and HDR students new to the University receive the Tier 2 School/Division WHS Induction within the first months of engagement (the WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.2).
  4. Supervisors and Managers of workers, except contractors, and HDR students or their delegates are responsible for providing Tier 3 High Risk Area WHS Induction to workers and HDR students, who need to work in a high risk area under their control, prior to work in these high risk areas.
  5. Contractors complete their induction program in accordance with the Contractor Work Health and Safety procedure.

Create and maintain the WHS training requirements matrix

  1. The University WHS committee in conjunction with the Associate Director Work Environment Group (WEG), ensures that a WHS Training Matrix is created and maintained for all worker types at the University in accordance with their job, legal and other requirements.
  2. School Directors, Service Division Directors and College General Managers/Deans are required to cascade the training matrix down and add their area’s own training requirements to form WHS Local Training Plan of the area they have control, in consultation with workers.
  3. School Directors, Service Division Directors and College General Managers/Deans monitor and review the WHS Local Training Plan quarterly and ensure all workers and HDR students under their control complete their training as per the WHS Local Training Plan.
  4. Supervisors and/or managers ensure that all workers and HDR students under their control are consulted and aware of the required WHS induction and training requirements in accordance with their WHS Local Training Plan prior to:
  • commencing with the University;
  • moving into a new position; or
  • changes occurring to the role requirements, the position description, the equipment used or a WHS process which impacts the worker’s role;

and ensure they complete them in a timely manner before commencing activities.

  1. The worker/HDR ’s supervisor and/or manager is responsible for determining the WHS Tier 3 proficiency training needs as appropriate, in consultation with the workers or HDR students prior to their commencement on a specific activity.:
  2. Supervisors and/or managers of workers/HDR students are responsible for delivering Tier 3 Work Safely Proficiency Training in accordance with WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.2 requirements.
  3. Methods of consultation include but are not limited to:
  • consultation with a group of workers on a range of common WHS training requirements;
  • consultation with an individual worker on the training requirements specific to their work activities using the performance development review process or recruitment process; and
  • other suitable methods to consult and assess WHS training needs, such as email communication, joint review of position description and identification of non-listed tasks or duties.
  1. It is a worker’s responsibility to complete any training required of them in the designated timeframe as requested by their supervisor or manager or School/Division for their role requirements.

Supervisor/Manager’s responsibility to supervise workers and HDR students

  1. Supervisors and/or managers provide all workers and HDR students with sufficient supervision in performing their activities for the University in accordance with the residual risk of the activity until they are competent or proficient.

Delivery of WHS training

  1. The WHS training is delivered via:
  • online training or other learning management systems;
  • face to face training;
  • practical demonstration; and
  • other specialised methods to suit specific training requirements.

Assessment of competency

  1. The University ensures their trainers and the trainees are competent as per the requirements of the WHS Act.

Attaining competency and proficiency

  1. The method of determining competency or proficiency of a worker depends on legal requirements and their training Tier:
  • For work activities requiring Tier 3 Work Safely Proficiency Training, a documented competency and proficiency assessment must be conducted by the supervisor of the activity and/or their delegate trainers via practical demonstrations by the trainee that they can complete the activity safely and independently in accordance with the Safe Work Procedure of the activity.
  • For Tier 1 and 2 training, there are a variety of options for competency assessment such as questionnaire confirmation of understanding after training, practical assignment and/or formal assessment by RTO.
  1. Supervisors and/or managers shall not allow workers and HDR students to perform activities, independently without supervision, that are not in line with their proficiency or competency.

WHS training competency records

  1. All WHS training records are retained by the University for reporting, accountability, competency evidence and auditing purposes in accordance with record management requirement as per WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.2 to meet legislative and compliance requirements.
  2. All mandatory WHS training records are formally recorded on the worker’s personnel file in the Electronic Records Management System and in the Human Resources Management System. This information is retrievable when requested by WEG, a Workplace Inspector or an internal or external auditor.
  3. High Risk Licences are kept on the worker at time of operation, and presented to a Workplace Inspector or internal/external auditor if requested. Supervisors and managers are responsible to ensure a current copy of the qualifications held by their workers are sighted and uploaded onto the worker’s personnel file in ERMS or HRMS (e.g. Forklift licence), prior to the operation of the high risk equipment.

Refresher training

  1. General WHS refresher training which is not linked to licences or compliance requirements are undertaken in accordance with WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.3 requirements.
  2. Refresher training which is required to maintain the currency of licences and compliances, such as First Aid training, Forklift licence and other licences or certifications, are undertaken in accordance with the WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.3 requirements prior to the expiry date .

Monitor and review WHS training

  1. The Director, Human Resources will ensure the University health and safety training program, including the WHS Training Matrix is reviewed annually or after any of the following:
  • significant changes to the University’s business operations;
  • changes to legislation; and/or
  • an incident that indicates the need for review of the training program.
  1. Any updates or any changes made to the University’s WHS training matrix, this procedure or other WHS training requirements are communicated by the Associate Director WEG to the affected workers through the WHS Committees and WHS Officers as per the WHS communication and consultation procedure.
  2. This procedure is further explained in and supplemented by WHSMS Handbook Chapter 3.2 WHS Induction, Training and Supervision and Chapter 3.3 WHS Local Training Plan.


Refer to ANU WHS Legal and Other Requirements Matrix.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Work health and safety training
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_015821
Purpose This procedure describes how the Australian National University (ANU) identifies and defines the work, health and safety training and competency needs of its workers to comply with the work health and safety (WHS), rehabilitation and claims management systems requirements, the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth) (WHS Act) and the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (Cth) and the National Audit Tool (NAT) requirements for self-insurers.
Audience Staff
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Health, Safety & Environment - Occupational Health & Safety
Effective Date 20 Jul 2020
Next Review Date 19 Jul 2025
Responsible Officer: Chief People Officer
Approved By: Chief Operating Officer
Contact Area Safety and Wellbeing
Authority: Work Health & Safety Act 2011
Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011
Delegations 0

Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.