What is the White Card and do I need it?
Do I need a White Card? Let’s start with the basics:
But what is included in the definition of “construction work”? It may be broader than you first think. SafeWork NSW further explain people who need a White Card to include:
- site managers, supervisors, surveyors, labourers and tradespeople
- people who access operational construction zones (unaccompanied or not directly supervised by an inducted person)
- workers whose employment causes them to routinely enter operational construction zones.
source: White cards | SafeWork NSW
White Card training is essential Work Health and Safety (WHS) for workers who are employed to carry out work on a construction site OR for those who need to enter an operational construction as part of their employment. While this obviously includes tradespeople and labourers, it also includes other people who need to work in a construction area. This will include Traffic Controllers and other people whos employment causes them to routinely enter construction zones.
Each construction zone you enter should have it’s own safety induction program which includes information specific to that site. This safety induction is in addition to your required White Card training.
Looking for the enrolment page for White Card?
Is it difficult to pass my White Card training?
Your White Card training is delivered over the period of a day in a class environment. You will need to complete assessment activities during the course as well as actively participate in discussions and demonstrations during the training.
The “Language, Literacy, Numeracy” (LLN) requirements for successfully completing the White Card training are quite modest. While there is a requirement to answer assessment questions to demonstrate your understanding of the learning content, these questions are generally discussed as a group first.
Here are some of the skills required by students
- Numeracy skills: to recognise numbers commonly used in safety signs
- Oral communication skills: to ask questions, listen to instruction, tell another person about a hazard or construction problem
- Reading skills: to follow pictorial safety instructions and follow simple safety instructions written in English
- Problem solving skills: to select risk control measures
The training is delivered at a “Certificate I” level. As a student you will need to receive, pass on and recall information in a narrow range of areas. Skills such as spelling and mathematics are not critical to the successful completion of the training.
What is needed to enrol to the White Card training?
It is a SafeWork NSW requirement that every student that attends the White Card training provides 100 points of identity on the day of training. Also, a person must be at least 14 years of age to participate. You will also need your Unique Student Identifier (USI) – a lifelong education number – for any training enrolment.
Following are the ID documents that can be used for 100 points of identity. These must be original documents (not photocopies) and shown on the day of training. No ID = No training.
Primary documents (Note: only one primary document can be provided)
What if I can’t produce 100 points of EOI?
SafeWork NSW does allow participants to apply for exceptional circumstances exemptions if you are unable to produce 100 points of EOI. SafeWork NSW defines an exceptional circumstance as “an occurrence outside an applicant’s control preventing them from being able to obtain the required EOI”.
To apply for an exemption, you must apply to your training organisation in writing more than 48 hours before the commencement of the course. The earlier the better.
Verbal requests cannot be accepted. Any last minute exemption requests will not be accepted (i.e. requests not received at least 48 hours before the course)
Your exemption application must include information relating to the specific set of circumstances and supporting evidence. An application does not mean your exemption is approved. SafeWork will make their consideration on a case-by-case basis.
Applying for EOI exemption
Please be aware, failure to provide the required EOI / 100 points of ID will exclude you from the training and will incur a re-booking fee of $55 (inc GST).
There is an exception to the EOI requirements for White Card Training
SafeWork has special arrangements for EOI exemption requests for White Card training for the following groups / conditions:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
- Secondary School Sector
- Recent Overseas Arrivals
If you can’t provide the EOI 100 points of ID -and- you fall into one of these group categories, the EOI / 100 point system does not apply.
Looking for the enrolment page for White Card?
Does my White Card expire?
Yes and No!
Your White Card will have a date of issue, but it does not include an expiry date. Even though there is not an expiry date, SafeWork NSW do specify that the White Card becomes void if you haven’t carried out construction work for two consecutive years or more (source).
It is your duty of care and your employers duty of care to ensure that your White Card is valid based on the 2 year criteria.
Are construction induction cards valid in or from another states?
If you are working in a construction zone in NSW and you have an induction card from a different state, you are covered (as long as the card has not been cancelled, suspended or expired).
A NSW issued White Card is recognised in other states with some exceptions:
- issued from September 1, 2009 – are recognised throughout Australia
- construction induction cards issued between 29 March 2004 and 31 August 2009 are not recognised in Western Australia
What is the Digital White Card / Digital Trade Licence?
In addition to being issued a physical wallet card after successful completion of your White Card training and assessment, there is also a NSW digital white card available through the Service NSW app.
As this is new technology, the recommendation from the NSW Government is that you still need to keep your physical card with you and produce it if required for inspection.
You can download the Service NSW app for free via your phones app store and you will be able to add your White Card credential within the app. You can include other licences too such as your Drivers Licence, Boat Licence, Working with Children, and RSA RCG.