5 CRITICAL issues employers need to know about

High Risk Work Licences?

Do you have employees with High Risk Work Licences?  

Is your company at risk of non-compliance? 

The team at Industry OneCARD™  have put together a list of 5 critical issues that can be caused by High Risk Work Licences that we have seen many times when auditing an Employees Skills Matrix.

While they might seem insignificant, if a client or a state regulating body audits your company, then these 5 critical issues can impact on your companies compliance.

If you have any question or require further information, please contact us.

Talking is free; non - compliance is not!


1.Saving evidence of employees High Risk Licence

A Registered Training Organisation (RTO) certificate for High Risk Work activities is NOT considered evidence of a High Risk Work Licence (HRWL).

​A Statement of Attainment (certificate) from an RTO is not considered evidence of a High Risk Work Licence.

The RTO certificate is only part of the requirements of a High-Risk Work Licence and an RTO certificate does not expire, but a High Risk Work Licence has a five (5) year expiry.

An RTO Certificate is important though as it will alert you to how long a person has held that class of HRWL. 

An RTO certificate should NEVER EVER be used as evidence for your Employee Skills Matrix.

You may find yourself in a situation of unconscious non-compliance thinking all is good when your company is at risk.

​If you are unfortunate to have an incident involving a high-risk task and you do not have the operators current High Risk Work Licence saved and accessible the fines from Worksafe or your clients can be significant.

​Penalties for breaches of Western Australia’s workplace health and safety laws increased from October 2018.



​2.   An employee with a HRWL is not necessarily competent.

​In May 2016, the Training Accreditation Council conducted the Strategic Industry Audit into Units of Competency that lead an audit into High Risk Work Licences in Western Australia (the audit). Critical issues in the audit that affects employers;

•advice that the training and assessment for a High Risk Work Licence (HRWL) are not “intended to provide employers with an indication of the depth and breadth of experience the candidate has in the application of the skill in the workplace”; and

•the competency outcomes to be expected from HRWL training including the basic threshold for HRWLs; and

•employer responsibility for site and job specific development of employee skills. 


​One of the issues facing companies is the renewal of a HRWL sadly does not involve a re-testing of skills or validation of employees experience.

Payment of a fee and a recent photo is all that is required. Therefore it is impossible to gauge a person’s level of competency and the saying, ''If you don’t use it, you can lose it’’ is very applicable.

​It is widespread for a person to add classes to their HRWL, but never have the opportunity to use the class in the workplace or the ability keep their skills current but every five years the licence says they are good to go…  scary hey.

Employers need to ensure an employee is competent to perform the required task. This is referred to as Verification of Competency (VOC) process and provides evidence that an employee can perform high-risk tasks on behalf of your company. 

​3.  Expiry of HRWL 

​High Risk Work Licences (HRWL) are recognised across all states and territories in Australia and have a five(5) year expiry date. Often employers will collect an employee’s ticket during recruitment but not have a robust process to ensure a copy is received when the card is renewed, or just as importantly ensure the employee has renewed.

​4. Late renewals

If an employee waits until the last minute to renew an HRWL, it can take Worksafe up to 10 working days to process an application. If the HRWL expires during the application process, the employee will be classed as Inactive and can NOT perform any high-risk work until the licence has been reissued, as legally the employee is not licenced.

​5.  Fake Licences 

Employers need to be vigilant when verifying an employee’s HRWL and ensure that each class on the card is valid. In WA, you can jump onto the Worksafe website site and see a transcript of the licence. In other states or territories, a quick phone call to the regulator will verify the licence and classes are correct.

Need a hand with your Employee Skills Matrix or developing a VOC process for HRWL and other task and equipment?

​Contact Industry OneCARD™ as for less than $2.00 a week our team of training professionals can look after your training compliance requirements and Employee Skills Matrix

​Not sure your company is compliant? 

Try the FREE Industry OneCARD Employee Skills Matrix Self Audit. 

​Follow the simple instructions and submit your audit and the team at Industry OneCARD will review and provide you with a report on recommendations to fix any potential issues or non-compliances.