There is a requirement under the law for businesses to provide training and instruction to staff on the hazards and risks associated with their role.  This is an active duty under Work Health and Safety as well as Dangerous Goods legislation.  As an active duty businesses will be asked by inspectors to demonstrate that the training has happened and that it was comprehensive, even if there has not been an incident.

It is in the interest of the business to ensure that workers are effective at carrying out their duties, but effectiveness and competency are different standards, and the difference is an important one. Effective staff are ones that have the skills to do the tasks given them to the satisfaction of the employer. Competent staff have, and can demonstrate, a set of skills, experience and understanding that is to a consistent or best practice level that would allow the transfer of those skills to another physical location or to a changed management structure.

Basically, do your staff understand the responsibilities, rationale and repercussions associated with their role? And could they demonstrate that understanding in an environment that was similar but unfamiliar?

There are situations, such as in the wake of a safety incident, after a robbery or indeed as part of regular performance management, that the business may be called on to prove that the worker had been appropriately trained to a competency standard. In these cases ad hoc training will often not satisfy investigators.

Structured, documented and rigorous training is required and there is a due diligence requirement to not only train staff but to verify that the knowledge has been embedded, that the worker understands the information and can demonstrate the skills. Achieving this cycle internally is difficult for many small and medium businesses. Best practice external providers not only assist businesses in delivering and verifying competency levels but also deliver peace of mind that the standard and content delivered is removed from the business, allowing bad habits to be corrected and circumventing the possibility of perpetuating miscommunication that hastily constructed internal training can contain.

Internal or external competency based training and regular refreshers need to be documented on the training register, and course outcomes and certificates retained for reference and production to the authorities as required.

In the petrol convenience area, ACAPMA has delivered the industry standard in compliance training, the Petroleum Convenience Compliance (PCC) course to an average of 20,000 learners every year for the last 9 years.

The result of a collaborative process with ACAPMA, regulators and retailers the PCC assists businesses in ensuring that they are meeting the legal requirement to train all staff in the risks and hazards associated with the work they do.

When staff complete the PCC they gain a comprehensive understanding of how to keep themselves, customers and the business safe and compliant, while the business gains confidence that id can demonstrate to regulators that they have met their legal requirements.

The PCC Per Site Access Pathway help site operators ‘get it right at the site’ every day and allow for the natural growth and staff turnover that is an inherent characteristic of the retail fuel industry.

This level of access has been designed in recognition of the fact that the nature of petroleum retail is that there is a high level of staff turnover and training options that charge per person often tend to become prohibitively expensive for the site over time.  As such this pathway allows for all of the staff at the Site to access the training on an uncapped (but subject to fair play) basis.  So if the site has 7 staff usually and through the year they loose a couple but hire a few more, all of the staff are able to do the training and the cost of the Sites access does not change.  This provision for the natural turnover of staff makes the PCC a sensible and affordable option for all fuel retailers to ensure that they are meeting their requirements to train staff in the risks and hazards of their work.

With this access pathway Site Managers are able to; set up new users to access the training, archive or delete ex staff and report on completion of the individual or the site as a whole all through their own login, meaning there is no delay in setting up new staff.

The PCC is delivered entirely online in a rich multimedia adult learning format that can be completed on any device.  Learners can complete the course modules in a stop start fashion from behind the console in between serving customers, or at home on their own device, or a mix of the two.  The delivery through an entirely online (not app based) platform allows the Learner to stop at any point in the middle of a module or in between modules and pick up from where they left off later, across multiple devices.

ACAPMAs dedicated Training Team is on hand to assist Learners with any technical issues and to ensure that if a Learner ‘gets stuck’ on a question they fully understand the correct answer before moving on.

Annual course review, specific to the Australian context, allows the site operators to be confident that the PCC is delivering the most up to date compliance and safety learnings to staff.

The PCC has been designed to encompass all of the items that are vital for the retail staff to understand to ensure that they are safe, and the business is operating compliantly.  This includes specific modules on;

  • Retail Competition and Consumer Compliance
  • Tobacco and Vaping Products Compliance
  • Personal Workplace Safety (incl. Bullying,  Harassment and Discrimination)
  • Instore Safety and Manual Handling
  • Forecourt Safety and Safe Fuel Dispensing
  • Environmental Safety and Wetstock Management
  • LPG Safety
  • Fire First Response
  • Armed Robbery and Security
  • Food Safety for Food Handlers

The PCC is an industry solution to delivering competent console operators and compliant businesses.

The full PCC is complemented by a learning and development plan that sees staff complete all 11 modules in their first year, ideally before working onsite, and then in the following year completing a shorter single module PCC Refresher.

The PCC is a low cost, high impact, comprehensive fuel retail safety and compliance solution that is relied on by industry.  ACAPMA understands that staff turnover is a characteristic of the industry and access to the PCC has been priced on a per site basis.  ACAPMA Members can access the PCC for all staff onsite for $1,100 inc GST per site per year.  See for more information.

“ACAPMA has engaged with regulators and industry in the initial development of the PCC years ago and has continued to review and refine the course to ensure it reflects the current best practice and compliance requirements” explains ACAPMAs Elisha Radwanowski.

Training for compliance is a necessary requirement of keeping the doors open onsite, while not often exciting, it is necessary.

“What is exciting is training for competitive advantage, those special customer service, process and business policy elements that make one site different to another site.  The companion to the PCC course is the My Way course which is a bank of customisable training courses on customer service, standard operating procedures, business policies and admin that ACAPMA works with businesses to completely customise and deliver to their staff.  Together the PCC and the My Way courses deliver training for compliance and training for competitive advantage to industry” adds Elisha.

Here to Help

This article is general in nature and covers things to consider, implement and watch out for in your business. It is provided as general advice and you should seek further advice on your situation.  ACAPMA Employment Professionals are available to assist ACAPMA members via ACAPMA membership is affordable at only $810 per year for a single site and valuable with sites gaining HR advice support and representation as well as a raft of other benefits and discounts.  Visit:   to learn more or to apply for ACAPMA membership.

Elisha Radwanowski BCom(HRM&IR)