Verification of Competency or known as VOC is an essential method of assessment especially used in Australia. The evaluation indicates that the person working as an earthmoving equipment operator can use and understand the equipment, related work, and tasks and know about the safety precautions and accidental hazards. VOC is not a document; it is just an acknowledgment that you have such skills.
The construction site and mining industries have always been about working with crucial earthmoving equipment. The earthmoving equipment is used at the construction site and for mining, agriculture, transportation, and many more services. Indeed, it is the responsibility of the employers and to ensure the reliable use of the equipment and safety of their surroundings and their fellow employers.
Whether you are working as an earthmoving operator for years or just started as a trainee, it is essential to have a certification that verifies your skills and credibility. Verification of Competency comes in as an acknowledgment that you can perform the tasks related to the heavy equipment job.
If you are confused about what Verification of Competency is and what it has to do with your job as an earthmoving equipment operator, do not worry. We will discuss everything about it, from where you can yourself registered in the VOC assessment to how to pass the evaluation.
How to Pass the VOC Assessment?
As we know that VOC must fulfill the specific requirements for the fieldwork, then we also must understand that VOC is just for the experienced and license holders only.
If you have experience working as an earthmoving operator on the worksite, you can get a VOC without any long training process. You can find a registered RTO in your area that offers assessments for experienced operators. But here is a catch: mostly RTO provides an opportunity to conduct the assessment at your workplace or at their training center. It is all up to you where the assessment should be taken.
Once the place of assessment is decided, you need to pass the assessment. Usually, the assessment is based on the theory and practice regarding the equipment. To pass it, you must demonstrate the ability and experience of the equipment. It also has a short written or oral assessment to test the critical knowledge of the equipment and check the candidate's observation. Then you can get the VOC. If you could not pass the assessment, the RTO offers their fresher training programs and retakes the VOC assessment.
Just to know that there is no such thing as VOC for new candidates. The new candidates must go through the training and assessment under the RTO. Then they can either have their license or Statement of attainment.
Here are some tips to help you pass:
- To boost your chance of passing the assessment, you take a short training course on the specific equipment you want to assess for.
- Prepare for the test by studying the course materials and reviewing sample questions. Use training books, videos and online resources as much as possible.
- Take a mock VOC assessment prior to the test date so that you know what it will be like on the day, your employer may provide some resources for this.
- Practice makes perfect - be sure you have enough practical experience on the heavy equipment you want to have an assessment for.
- Read and study the VOC training manual before arranging the test schedule. You can survey the internet and Youtube for resources, you can even ask your colleagues to get some tips to pass.
- Arrive at your testing center early to get settled in.
- Write down any information that will be helpful during or after your test.
- Bring a photo ID, pencils, erasers, and calculators with you.
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes so you can focus on the test without distractions
Why It Is Important?
Australian Federal Government has many clauses about Work Health and Safety (WHS). The VOC is also designed to meet the requirement of WHS and the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) laws too. Many projects managers and companies will hire the candidate with the VOC or a proper license because they understand that the candidate has gone through training and assessment. They trust the candidate with not just the machinery but with the safety of their staff also.
Where to Take the Assessment?
Getting a VOC is easy since many Registered Training Organizations (RTO) provide training to the interested candidate. These are registered under the Australian Federal Government EPC or Australian Skills and Quality Authority (ASQA). The RTO has detailed courses that teach the candidate from theory to practice. Then, they offer assessments accordingly and award the competent candidates with the VOC.
If You Failed the VOC Assessment, What Will Happen Next?
If you are an individual who failed the assessment, then your employer may have to make a decision. You will not be able to work on construction sites and must instead complete a different VOC training course as well before being allowed to retake the assessment.
Some Words for Employers
All Verification of Competencies of workers must be documented and tracked for the duration of employment. This ensures that employers have something to show as solid proof when authorities conduct a safety audit in the workplace.
These records can be stored in a hard copy or as an electronically filed document with details.
Recordkeeping is important. Again, having this evidence may absolve from getting cited with heavy fines and penalties when workplace accident happens.
We hope you have found this article helpful in understanding how to pass the VOC assessment.
As a heavy equipment operator, it is important that you understand all of your options and choose wisely when deciding on what course of action to take.
If you are still unsure about which option is best for you, we recommend taking VOC training courses now so that you can be ready before taking the assessment. It will certainly help you.
You can easily find an RTO that conducts such training in your state or territory.