Licensing for riggers continues to be a ‘problem’ area in NSW.
When licensing was aligned to units of competency in September 2009 significant increases in tasks and equipment required for training were introduced.
Unfortunately, the licence assessment were left unchanged leading to a lot of confusion for RTOs, companies and learners. This situation remains unresolved today.
What needs to happen now is that learners need to be trained and assessed according to the increased requirements of the relevant unit of competency prior to undertaking the national high risk work licence assessment.
In basic rigging this means additional tasks such as erection of a materials hoist, placement of precast concrete, installation of a cantileverd crane loading platform must be addressed in the training and initial assessment for the unit of competency although the licence assessment is still based primarily on the erection of structural steel.
Similarly with intermediate rigging, additional tasks now included are tilt slabs and scenery panels, tasks related to demolition and dual crane lifts or combination crane and winch lifts.
These additional tasks not only require the necessary additional equipment but a much larger area to train and assess with safety. Our dual crane lift, for example, requires 900 square metres to fit both cranes, their extended booms and the load.
The level of investment required to deliver these programs has been significant for most training organisations. Uncertainty regarding the form of the new licence assessments which are still ‘under development’ has created reluctance to make these investments. Having ample land on which to conduct these programs has made it relatively easier for HPOTS Training than for other training organisations. Its still a big call to invest substantial monies in the hope that the new licence assessment instruments will include all of these tasks and equipment.