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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 6 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2796..


(a) In 2003/04, two claims have been accepted. One other claim has been made in 2003-04 that has not been accepted by Comcare to date and is currently undetermined.

(b) In 2002/03, one claim was accepted.

(c) In 2001/02, no claims were accepted.

WorkCover

(Question No 1513)

Mr Smyth asked the Minister for Industrial Relations, upon notice, on 5 May 2004:

(1) What are the A.C.T. training requirements of WorkCover inspectors;

(2) How do these training requirements compare to training requirements in NSW;

(3) If the A.C.T. has lesser qualifications, why is this so and would the Government look at changing qualifications for inspectors to be better in line with NSW.

Ms Gallagher: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) Under the Workers Compensation Act 1951, there is a legislative requirement for inspectors to undertake "appropriate training"before being appointed, but "appropriate training"is not specified. ACT WorkCover, however, has designed a training program which incorporates practical on-the-job training for all staff seeking appointment as an inspector under the Act.

There are currently no training requirements specified for inspectors under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1989. OHS inspectors are recruited on the basis that they have relevant technical and industry experience, as well as qualifications in occupational health and safety or a related discipline. New inspectors attend an Investigations Skills course and also receive on-the-job training and mentoring. New staff are only given appointments as an inspector under the Act when they are competent in undertaking routine workplace inspections, investigating incidents and using enforcement tools.

(2) NSW WorkCover inspectors undergo competency-based training in the Diploma in Government, Workplace Inspection. It consists of 17 weeks of course work, followed by 36 weeks in the field. The course work covers risk management, OHS and workers compensation law, notices and fines, conduct of investigations and the development of technical knowledge and skills. The trainees are assessed in the core essential skills for inspectors.

(3) ACT WorkCover is keen to upgrade inspectors' skills to qualify for the Diploma in Government, Workplace Inspection. After thoroughly investigating competency-based training programs around the country, ACT WorkCover has devised an inspector training program which it will implement shortly.


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