Risk management and skills recognition

An RTO servicing the rail industry, is mindful that the rail industry is safety-critical. It minimises risk by focussing RPL at the Certificate I and II levels:

With the Level 1 and 2 units, we tend to do quite a lot of RPL … but when we get to Level 3 stuff, we don’t generally do it … if you make an error in the Cert 3 levels; there is the potential for somebody to be killed. (rail industry RTO)

For higher operational levels, rigorous evidence is required of applicants:

The manager of competencies for the operations side of [an overseas metropolitan passenger rail company] provided me with some fascinating information about how they record ongoing competency of train drivers.

It involved doing an assessment of all the areas of the job role. It was broken into seven areas and that was then broken into smaller elements which came out at about two to three hundred activities.

Each one was then risk assessed against the usual risk assessments of what the consequences are if this does occur - and also the frequency, the chances of it being done incorrectly and so on. The more critical and the more frequent the risks, the greater the risk factor for the business. 

These risks were broken down into how often you should reassess or even observe how well people are doing these particular activities ... So driving and stopping the trains would be observed more frequently, but something like using the PA system would be only every couple of years. (Industry training specialist)

 Risk-based training needs analysis and Skills Recognition

A rail passenger operator uses a Risk-Based Training Needs Analysis model to identify those roles that need regular retraining or refresher training in order to maximise safety. This process also has the potential to minimise ‘training for training’s sake’ and instead ensure focussed training which is delivered where it is most needed.