What is VOC?

A VOC is a Verification of Competency

Did you know that it is up to the employer to ensure staff skills are up to date and maintained – just having a licence when you employed them is not enough?

Your staff have their licences, but what have you done to ensure they still know what they are doing?

How many of your workers got their licences ‘years ago’ and have never had their skills tested or competency assessed?

No longer is just holding a ticket or qualification enough for an employer to believe an individual is competent. If an accident occurs, what evidence do you have that you have checked whether your staff are up to the job?

Verification of Competency (VOC) is a method of assessment that assists employers to meet Work Health and Safety (WHS) requirements and ensure staff are competent to operate equipment or perform a task. New national WHS harmonisation laws, effective January 2012, bring greater importance to employers due diligence and obligation to ensure an individual has “current industry competency”. Assessing for Verification of Competency enables businesses to confirm that their employees are competent in their skills and using equipment.

VOC assessments are used to ensure staff can operate equipment in complete safety. If they can do so according to requirements of the work site it also means substantial savings for their employer. It is better that operators are assessed be competent beforehand rather than injuring themselves, a co-worker or damaging machinery due to poor skills.

VOC’s provide an opportunity to highlight any bad habits that may have presented themselves over time. The assessment is completed in your worksite, at a time convenient to you, and is designed to have a minimal impact on your operation. There is NO NEED to sacrifice large groups of workers for lengthy sessions that interrupt your work schedule. Our assessments take place on the job, and are based on visual observational and verbal questioning, one person at a time, as they carry out their normal work day.

It is commonly used in many industries for pre-employment checks, contractual arrangements or site requirements.

Verification of Competency enforcement is new for industry and is subject to interpretation. HPA Training have been working with major industry and business since 2001 including Thiess, Leightons, John Holland to name but a few, and have developed a formal process that allows for thorough assessment of VOC candidates whilst offering flexibility to meet client needs with minimal impact to productivity.

Our assessors are industry experts holding all relevant qualifications combined with many years of experience.

What is the VOC Process?

Verification of Competency Assessments are completed at the worksite or can be conducted at your base premises or at an arranged venue, at a time convenient to you, and are designed to have minimal impact on your operation. There is NO NEED to sacrifice large groups of workers for lengthy sessions that interrupt your work schedule.

Our assessments are based on visual observational and verbal questioning as well as written assessment, one person at a time, as they carry out their normal work day duties. On completion of the VOC, the employer is provided with an assessment summary to be kept with employee training records, identifying the employee as being competent, or if unsuccessful, any areas which require attention and suggested methods of meeting the gaps discovered during the VOC. This assessment record can form the basis for your internal training plan and records as well as evidence of employer actions and responsibility in meeting WHS requirements.


Each successful candidate will be issued with a HPA Training photo ID card displaying their successful competency in disciplines assessed once the assessment invoice has been satisfied. These photo cards and their  associated records are nationally recognised and are valid for a period of two (2) years from assessment. Many of the major building contractors performing Principal Contractor roles are now insisting on the displaying of these assessment cards prior to allowing sub contractors on site.

In circumstances requiring expedience and immediate entry to a Principal Contractor’s site, a list of newly assessed and competent candidates will be provided to the Principal Contractor when the assessments are completed. This is an interim measure only until the assessment has been paid for and the card issued. Payment will be expected to be made to HPA Training by close of business (EDST) on the assessment day.


VOC assessment takes between 1–3 hours and will depend on type of plant and/or requirement of employer/site.

Which industry disciplines can HPA Training assess?

HPA Training conduct VOC’s for both High Risk Work and Plant as well as most other construction disciplines. If you already hold a licence or competency in either of these areas, we can conduct a VOC for the specific licence or model of equipment.

By implementing this VOC process it will assist Employers and Principal Contractors in complying with the WH&S Act 2011. The WH&S Act states, an Employer and/or Principal Contractor is responsible for an employee to be trained and competent on every item of Equipment, Plant and for High Risk Work they carry out.

Once you are competent in a practical and theory assessment, and have paid in full for your VOC, HPA Training will issue a VOC Photo ID Card which will be stamped with each specific competency. They are accepted by all major industries and are valid from the time of testing for a period of two (2) years.

HPA Training High Risk VOC’s

CVVehicle loading craneRIRigging intermediate
CNNon-Slewing CraneRARigging advanced
C2Slewing mobile crane ^20 tonneSBScaffolding basic
C6Slewing mobile crane ^60 tonneSIScaffolding intermediate
C1Slewing mobile crane ^100 tonneSAScaffolding advanced
COOpen craneWP>11MElevated work platform
CTTower craneLFForklift
CDDerrick craneHPPersonnel and materials hoist
DGDoggingCSSelf-erecting crane
RBRigging basic  

HPA Training Not High Risk VOC’s

AGAgitatorLUUse of ladders
AHTArticulated haul truckMCMobile chipper
ARRock AnchoringMHManual handling
AWArc WeldingOCOxy/accet. cutting
BAAdvanced boiler operatorOSOperation supervisor
BBBasic boiler operatorOWOxy/accet. welding
BHTBelly Dump Haul TruckPBConcrete boom pump
BIIntermediate boiler operatorPCConcrete pumping
BPBored piersPDPile driving
BPTBar Post TensioningPESmall plant & equipment
BSBituminous SurfacingPJPallet jack
CBBridge Gantry CranePRPiling rig
CCCut & Core concretePROProfiler
CDRCore Drilling RigPTHand & power tools
CFFinish ConcretePVPaver
CGGantry Crane (remote control)RHTRigid haul truck
CLContainer Side LifterRLCCompactor
CPPortal CraneRSRoad (pavement) sweeper
CRCrusherRSCRestricted height scaffold
CSPConfined spacesSCScraper
DDDirectional drillingSGStump grinder
DHTDumpy Haul TruckSHShredder
DLDraglineSHBShuttle buggy
DRDrilling rigSHCShot-Crete
DSDemolition sawSDSite dumper
DTDrottSLMotorised slasher
DZDozerSMSurface mining
ESReciprocating steam operatorSPWorking safely near electrical apparatus (Spotter)
EPTExplosive power toolsSPMSpecialized machinery
FSFlora shredder/chipperSTSucker truck
FWFormworkTCTraffic controller
GMGlazing machineTMTrenching machine
GRGraderTOTurbine operator
HMMaterials hoistTRTractor
HTHaul/dump truckTSHTelescopic handler
KCMKerb & channel machineVPVacuum pump truck
LBBackhoeWCWater cart
LEExcavatorWCHWood chipper
LECRExcavator in crane modeWHWork safely at heights
LOSLifting operational supervisorWINWinch
LFSForklift specialisedWP<11MWork platform under 11M
TMTrenching machineSLScissor lift
LLFront end loaderBLBoom lift
LOOrder picking forklift truckVLVertical lift
LPIdentify, locate & protect (Spotter)TLTrailer lift
LSSkid steerTMTruck mounted