It is time for petroleum contractors to stand up and be recognised for their skills. With the release of nationally accredited skills and courses contractors who do not have their RTO Certificates will be the subject of questions from clients and regulators about if they really are qualified to do their work.

Where there is no nationally accredited skills or training in a particular area it falls to contractors and clients to ‘guess’ if their standards are good enough to be considered Duly Qualified, but where there are a set of accredited and recognised skills the guess work is gone, but the pressure is then on for the contractors to go through the formal process of being recognised.

“The fact is that petroleum contractors are some of the most experienced and attentive in the country.  It is a function of the high consequence nature of their work” explains ACAPMAs Elisha Radwanowski.

“Despite this high consequence there has been a lack of formal recognition of the skills as up until February 2022 there were no nationally accredited skills or courses in the petroleum contractor area” continues Elisha.

“As a result of the lack of formal accredited skills contractors and fuel operators were left to ‘guess’ if they were meeting the legal requirement for contractors to be ‘Duly Qualified’ in the safety and environmental legislation.  The release of the nationally accredited skills and courses means that there is a new standard for what is a ‘Duly Qualified’ petroleum contractor, and that is one that holds these nationally accredited certificates in petroleum system design, installation maintenance and decommissioning” explains Elisha.

ACAPMA is already hearing from regulators and councils that they are seeking confirmation from contractors that their staff are either recognised to the nationally accredited certificates or are working towards achieving recognition.  The association is also hearing that the fuel retail and wholesale businesses that are engaging these contractors are being asked if they are requiring contractors to be recognised or on the path to recognition.

Pathways exist to expedite the recognition of the existing skills and experience of active contractors, called Recognition of Prior Learning.

“As I said fuel contractors generally have long and detailed experience and in these situations they would be able to access the Recognition of Prior Learning, or RPL, pathway.  The RPL process allows for the submission of skill and experience evidence that is assessed to the course content leading to many contractors being issued with their certificates with little or no further coursework required” added Elisha.

“In some rarer cases where a contractor is missing some of the needed evidence the RPL process allows for the direct assessment of just the missing elements via quizzes or work samples” continued Elisha.

“The RPL process exists to make it as simple as possible for experienced contractors to be recognised as the standard of ‘Duly Qualified’ moves to align with the formal accredited training framework” concludes Elisha.

The ACAPMA RTO (RTO No. 45783) delivers the Fuel Storage and Dispensing skills and courses through traditional new to industry and RPL pathways including;

  • Fuel Storage and Dispensing Site contractor Induction Skill Set
  • Supervise Compliance With Fuel Storage and Dispensing Site Requirements Skill Set
  • Fuel Storage and Dispensing System Installation and Modification Course
  • Fuel Storage and Dispensing System Decommissioning Course
  • Fuel Storage and Dispensing System Maintenance Course

For more information on the ACAPMA RTO courses, or to get recognised now, see;

Elisha Radwanowski BCom(HRM&IR)
Executive Manager for Employment and Training