MinEx applauds WorkSafe review of CPD
(As published by Inside Resources - 28 March 2019)
The New Zealand Mining Board of Examiners has announced a review of continuing professional development is expected this year, a decision strongly supported by MinEx.
In its February newsletter, published yesterday, the Board said it “now believes some changes may be appropriate, and a formal consultation process will be completed this year to ensure CPD requirements are fit for purpose and reasonable”.
This news comes three months after WorkSafe published industry feedback on the CPD process, in December.
In this, 61 per cent of respondents said they found it too difficult to record and evidence CPD, and 49 per cent said they found CPD hard to complete.
The Board’s most recent announcement notes that another consultation process will be launched in due course, as it seeks feedback on proposed options for changes to the CPD requirements.
Continuing professional development was introduced in December 2015.
At the time, the Board said it would review the CPD “once the system was embedded”.
In this, the first review of CPD, the Board is proposing “there could be more flexibility around how and when CPD hours are achieved over the five year renewal period.
“The intention will be to provide more options for certificate of competency holders to achieve the requirements, but also maintain the value of CPD.”
At present, CoC holders must cover four categories of competency, in their formal or informal training hours.
These are: operating and safety systems; legislation; emergency management; and leadership.
Under the current CoC and CPD rules, training hours for each of the categories may not be cross-credited – an issue raised in last year’s WorkSafe survey.
The second proposed change regards “transition arrangements.”
In this, “The BoE wishes to consult on the possibility of providing a one-off transition process to allow CoC holders who have not met their annual requirements to ‘catch up’ CPD hours”.
The present system dictates that if a CoC applicant is unable to meet their CPD hours in one year, they cannot make up the difference in subsequent years.
It means that workers who fall short, even by half an hour, are unable to ‘catch up’ and therefore, are unable to obtain the hours required to achieve a CoC.
MinEx chief executive, Wayne Scott, told Inside Resources that the Board’s announcement is a “step in the right direction”.
He explained the sector is “frustrated by the constraints of CPD, and in particular, in inflexibility of the current system”.
Scott thinks that last year’s WorkSafe survey, and the results of the 2018 audits, revealed that many identified CPD was too hard.
“My hope is that the Board will review the four categories of competency. When applicants are told they need to achieve X-number of hours in emergency management, for example, it becomes nothing more than a numbers game.
“It is an opportunity lost – we have people turning up to the same training workshop multiple times, just to get their hours up.”
Scott is particularly hopeful that the Board will reassess the caveat that says applicants cannot ‘catch up’ on their training hours.
He explained that some tended to simply give up after their first year, because the current rules prevent them from backdating excess hours.
Scott acknowledges that CPD is valuable, but “the devil will be in the details”.
“It shows the Board has an understanding of where the industry is at. And that can only be positive. MinEx will be making a submission on behalf of the sector when the consultation process opens.”