Vertical Horizonz Group  |  Australia  |  New Zealand  |  Middle East

Vertical Horizonz now delivering Site Safe Foundation Passport


With Our Powers Combined.....

Vertical Horizonz is honoured to now be delivering the Site Safe Foundation Passport - Building Construction.

Vertical Horizonz and Site Safe have put their heads and hearts together to make the Site Safe Foundation Passport - Building Construction accessible to a wider pool of individuals across the country. This is an exciting step in our partnership aimed at improving access to resources, training and qualifications for those within Industry.

The Foundation Passport introduces key topics including how to keep safe, understanding and controlling risk, as well as basic hazards and legal requirements.

Many construction sites across New Zealand request or require contractors entering their site to hold a Site Safety card (Passport). This shows all workers are trained to a consistent level and have a basic understanding of how to keep themselves safe and know their obligations on site. 

With this initiative and the combined powers of Vertical Horizonz, Site Safe and Industry, health and safety awareness will be improved for more New Zealanders working on site.

You can book your spot on the course here: VHNZ/Site Safe and if you have any questions please feel free to contact us on 0800 72 33 848.

Verification of Competency – A new way of thinking

At Vertical Horizonz New Zealand (VHNZ), certain certificates/unit standards are issued with a "recommended refresher date". Whereas some training events are required to be 'refreshed' by law, including Certificates of Competence in Forklift and First Aid. Some training refreshers cannot be enforced but are strongly recommended by Industry Training Organisations (ITO), WorkSafe New Zealand, NZQA and most large worksite PCBU's.

Refresher training is training that re-trains and refreshes the knowledge of the trainee periodically after the initial training has taken place. These refresher periods are used to confirm and enhance an individual's knowledge and update them on any changes within that field. We know that the 
Health and Safety at Work Act requires risk to be managed as far as what is reasonably practicable; refresher training is a clear measure that reduces risk, so whether industry best practice or not, employers should be following recommended refresher dates to ensure they are managing and reducing risk to their employees.

We understand however that many individuals are constantly applying their skills at work so there is a greater likelihood of them retaining the majority of required skills and knowledge against the units. In this case, we do not need to re-train the worker and can simply challenge test them and perform a Verification of Competency (VOC) against your workplace procedures whilst performing the tasks that they are carrying out in your workplace.

Assessing for Verification of Competency enables businesses to confirm that their employees are competent in their skills and using the equipment. It can also be used for pre-employment checks, contractual arrangements or site requirements. This assists employers to meet their H&S requirements.

Of course, in the case where workers are not constantly applying their skills in a work context, we still recommend re-sitting (refreshing) the course in question. This allows us to re train, as a large amount of the core skills can be forgotten if not used enough in day to day work activities.

VOC's won't work for everybody and VHNZ can and still will run normal refresher training under the format that we have always done. Our public course offerings will remain the same as it is important that VOC's are run in the workplace against your organisation's workplace procedures.

The VOC offering is a formal process that allows for flexibility to meet client needs whilst maintaining a high standard of assessment. All of our VOC assessors are industry experts who hold all relevant qualifications combined with years of experience.


To undertake a VOC participants must provide that they hold the relevant NZQA standards prior to VOCs being conducted.

If students cannot provide their relevant NZQA certification they cannot undertake a VOC, however, we can offer full training and assessment.

Please note VOC's are not NZQA accredited & students receive a VOC certificate only. NZQA unit standards cannot be awarded at the successful completion of a VOC.


Example of a typical working at heights VOC.

Learning outcomes

· Update on Best Practice

· Update on any relevant standards

Verify competency of the following:

· Working at heights planning including job safety analysis

· Equipment Inspection and Fitting

· Establishing working at heights systems

· Disestablishing working at heights systems

· Rescue roles and responsibilities


The trainees will be practically and verbally challenged throughout the tasks at the work site.


Estimated time

1 hours theory (all trainees)

.5 hour job safety analysis

1.5 hours practical and oral assessment (conducted in max groups of 4)



NZQA Unit Standards 23229, 15757 and or 17600 and 25045 are pre-requisites for this VOC


· A learning space suitable for number of trainees

· VOC assessment

· A live or simulated working at heights area

· Working at heights equipment

Assessment method

Oral and practical observation

VOC Assessment areas:

VOC's can be assessed against many discipline areas including but not limited to:

·         Height and Access

·         Confined Space

·         Elevated Work Platforms

·         Transport

·         Crane

·         Fire & Emergency

Benefits of VOC:

A VOC is a bespoke assessment adapted to the everyday environment of the worker. This provides benefits for both employer and worker. The worker is often more at ease as they are on their own turf and outside of the formal assessment environment. The VOC also has a much greater focus on hand-on skill and experience of the worker than what a tradition day of training would offer and considering a VOC is assessed against a company's internal operation procedures, the trainer/assessor has the opportunity to provide feedback and advice back to the workers and employer.

If you think a VOC could work for your business or have any questions regarding VOCs then please give us a call on 0800 72 33 848 or flick us an email

Helping you meet Hazardous Substances requirements

The new Hazardous Substances Regulations do offer greater flexibility for the  PCBU. The PCBU who have access to the knowledge and skills to classify the hazardous substances in their workplace, identify the hazards and establish the required controls, will be able to apply for the certification of these controls, Certified Locations and Certified Handlers,  directly from WorkSafe NZ. They can apply for a modification to or exemption from specified controls based on their knowledge and understanding of the hazards in relation to a specific workplace, in the form of a Safe Work Instrument. A ministerial approval will be required to authorise WorkSafe to issue a Safe Work Instrument.

Vertical Horizonz New Zealand (VHNZ) believe, however, very few PCBU have access to this knowledge or skill, or representatives with the time to do this effectively without the risk of non-compliance.

Therefore VHNZ propose to offer their clients the following services in 2018:

  • Training for PCBU representatives to take control of the management, including the emergency management, of the Hazardous Substances, their locations and handling, in their workplace, compliant to the incoming EPA Notices and new WorkSafe NZ Hazardous Substances Regulations;
  • Training for PCBU representatives to establish workplace Hazardous Substances risk management and Emergency Management Plans, and/or provide an external review of these, required every 5 years under the new regulations;
  • Training and evidencing of drills against the workplace Hazardous Substances Emergency Management Response plan, required annually under the new regulations;
  • Training for PCBU representatives to establish Hazardous Substance Locations in preparation for Certification;
  • Training for workplace handlers of Hazardous Substances, and the capture and data basing of the evidence of their competency, as specified in the new regulations;
  • Training for Hazardous Substance Handlers in preparation for Certification; and
  • Introductions to the appropriate 'fit and proper' WorkSafe NZ approved independent certifiers who can certify the locations and handlers VHNZ have assisted you to make compliant to the requirements of the new regulations.


Hazardous Substances - Documentation and Record Keeping

Documentation and Record Keeping Requirements under the new Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017

The new
Hazardous Substances Regulations specify specific documentation and record keeping requirements. You must maintain a current inventory of Hazardous Substances. This inventory must include the product name and UN number, the maximum amount on site, its location/s, any storage and segregation requirements and the SDS. It must be accessible after an evacuation of the site.  You will need to have an Emergency Response Plan for triggering volumes of a wide range of hazardous substances listed in Schedule 5 of the regulations'. You must maintain a record of application or use of 6.1A, 6.1B, 6.1C, 6.6A, 6.7A, 8.2A, 8.2B and some other specified substances. You are still required to track a number of hazardous substances. 


Table 4: Legislated compliance tools

Legislated tools


Current under




Future under






What will this mean for you?

You will need to ensure your inventory of hazardous substances is up to date.  Some will require records of use or application, who used it and where. While there are fewer classes to formally track you will need to track most class 1 and class 3.1A, 3.2A, 4.1.2A, 4.1.2B, 4.1.3A, 4.2A, 4.3A, 5.1.1A, 5.2A, 5.2B, 6.1A and 6.1B substances. And some substances that triggered generic tracking requirements under HSNO, Hydrofluoric Acid in Pickling Paste for example, triggered by a 6.1C classification, are identified specifically as requiring tracking in the regulations. Your inventory may be used to identify the specific controls you will need to place on specific hazardous substances.

Your Emergency Response Plans will need to be drilled annually and records of the drills kept. It will no longer be acceptable to pass a fire drill or evacuation drill off as a drill responding to an emergency caused by the loss or accidental release of a hazardous substance.

All substances, including substances decanted and stored in another container, and waste material, needs to be appropriately labelled in English with the name, hazard statement and appropriate pictogram.

Transport & Crane

First Aid


Industrial Safety

Rural Operations

Health and Safety