Recommended Training Refresher Dates: What do they mean?

7 June 2016

Recommended Training Refresher Dates: What do they mean?

At Vertical Horizonz NZ (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 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. 

The Refresher training provided by VHNZ often require less time than a new course as it is expected individuals are coming into the course with prior knowledge. For example; the VHNZ Fall Arrest Systems course takes 16 hours whereas the VHNZ Fall Arrest Refresher course takes 8 hours. 

There is currently some confusion around expiry dates on unit standards issued by training providers. Because the refreshment or resitting of unit standards cannot be enforced unless it has been regulated under the Act. Expiry dates on certificates or qualification cards therefore deemed invalid. With this being said, the new 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.