RPL and Your Licence

Would you consider going out on a construction site without a hard hat, steel toe caps and a high vis vest? No. However, there are construction workers that go on site without the appropriate licence.

Holding an appropriate licence can add kudos in many cases, is a legal requirement and helps maintain the high standards we see in the Australian construction industry. If individuals or organisations do not have an appropriate licence, they can be fined heavily. Organisations and contractors can be audited and penalised per invoices that do not comply with the licence.

Licensing regulations can be a minefield. Some states are more stringent than others and licences need to be reviewed if working interstate. There have been recent changes for some (Building Services Authority) BSA licences for Queensland that nominee supervisors and constructions managers should be aware of.

For existing workers with a track record of experience who wish to upgrade or are required to for licensing purposes, it might not be as hard as you think to get there, rpl training even for those with relevant experience looking for a career change.

There are many opportunities in the construction industry if you are appropriately skilled. Recent reports from the MBA (Master Builders Association) and the HIA (Housing Industry Association) have both stated that there is still a skills shortage in the construction industry, particularly for site supervisors, construction managers and project managers, despite the economic downturn.

The HIA said that in the September 2010 quarter the HIA-Austral Bricks Trade Availability Index showed a shortage of skilled tradespeople in nine of thirteen trades. The Index was at its lowest level since the September 2008 quarter.

The MBA’s National Survey for Quarter end June 2010 listed Project Managers, Site Managers and Foremen / Supervisors as the main areas of difficulty when looking for subcontractors / employees.

For those with relevant experience, RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) and RCC (Recognition of Current Competency) options are available. Skills recognition is about acknowledging the broad range of expertise that people develop through working on different projects and identifying how those skills can progress to a qualification.

RPL and RCC save time in attending unnecessary training and the qualifications have the same status as a qualification gained through education alone. The added bonus is that you will be ahead of the pack because you can also demonstrate significant, worthwhile, practical experience in the job market.

To sum up, if you are in the construction industry and not licenced appropriately, take heed, take the time to find out what is required and how you can meet these requirements. If you require training, ask your training provider about RPL / RCC. If you have relevant experience, it may not be as hard as you think and you will gain peace of mind knowing that you are appropriately licenced.



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