Congratulations to the 9,025 Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) who completed transition training. Congratulations also to the many HSRs who have successfully undertaken a recognition of prior learning course and the new HSR unit standard through other NZQA-accredited training providers and are now considered trained under the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA).

The Government-funded HSR transition training came to a close on Thursday 30 June 2016. The training programme was provided free-of-charge to HSRs who were trained under the former Health and Safety in Employment Act (1992) to prepare them for changes to their role introduced by HSWA.


The value of transition training

The HSRs from across New Zealand who have completed transition training are an important resource in ensuring effective worker participation to improve health and safety outcomes in our workplaces.

Trained HSRs are knowledgeable about health and safety matters, how HSWA works, and are aware of the rights and responsibilities of everyone in the workplace. Transition training for HSRs was delivered to support one important way that we work together to manage risks and improve New Zealand’s health and safety record. The programme trained HSRs in the new law and allowed existing HSRs to continue:

  • providing a clear, well known way for workers to raise issues and suggest improvements to health and safety at work.
  • providing a voice for workers who might not otherwise speak up about health and safety matters.
  • providing a link between workers and management.
  • helping in situations where it’s not practical for the business to engage one-to-one with its entire workforce.
  • providing a different perspective on the business’ day to day processes.

Trained HSRs also have functions and powers that enable them to take action on behalf of their work group. More information on HSR training.


How training was delivered

WorkSafe, MBIE and training provider Safety-N Action developed and delivered a mix of online and nation-wide face-to-face training which started in February 2016. Safety-N Action reports that overall, training was well-received One online trainee said:

“Was a really great course, the layout, the videos. Being on-line allowed me to train at my pace. Also allowed me to re-look at videos and read the PDF documents at my speed to help me understand quicker. I've give this on-line course 10/10.”


Further work to support HSRs

Our work doesn’t stop there, however. WorkSafe will be exploring other ways to support HSRs and improve worker participation and engagement practice.

Find out more about HSRs, training requirements and the valuable work they do:

While Government-funded transition training has concluded, HSRs who did not take-up transition training, or have been recently appointed will be able to undertake the HSR unit standard 29315. This can be provided by an NZQA accredited training provider (under the domain of workplace health and safety).