Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union




Health & Safety laws give Health & Safety Representatives and deputy Health & Safety Representatives [HSRs] the right to choose the HSR course they wish to attend.

This includes the right to choose an approved course run by a union. As a result of a decision in NSW [see Sydney Trains dispute below] HSRs are advised to go through the following process when requesting to attend a course. This does not apply to HSRs in Victoria and Western Australia:

HSRs should:
a) Inform their employer that they wish to attend training
b) Inform the employer of their preferred course [one conducted by union/union's approved provider] and invite them to suggest alternatives
c) Consider the alternatives and (if relevant) give reasons for the refusal.

Use this proforma when requesting to attend a course, in all states except Victoria and Western Australia.

Use this proforma if your employer/PCBU refuses to allow you to attend training course of your choice. 

Want to elect an HSR? Follow the instructions in this link.


Each State has different training providers -- all these courses are approved by the relevant government agency: 

ACT -- For ACT private sector employers contact Unions ACT on (02) 6225 8116.  Contact HOSTA for ComCare training. 

News South Wales: to enrol Phone/Fax: 1300 046 782.  For more info see HOSTA website

Queensland ---  contact the Queensland branch office --- (07) 3236 2550

Northern Territory -- training is conducted by Future Skills  -- (07) 3848 2298 or 1300 817 545

South Australia -- training is through SA Unions. Further information-- (08) 8366 5800  

Tasmania training is through Unions Tas. Please call 03 6216 7600 or email [email protected]

Victoria -- call (03) 9230 5700 or email [email protected]

Western Australia enrol in courses at Unity Training. Contact on (08) 9227 7809. Unity Training also conducts one day H&S courses for Unions delegates 


Electing an HSR? - some useful forms

Creating work group(s) from which to elect health and safety representatives [HSRs] and Deputy HSRs has to be done according to the relevant laws. Make sure HSRs are elected and not appointed by management. 

You can use these forms when forming work groups and electing health and safety representatives: - 

Right of HSR to choose Training Provider

The NSW Industrial Relations Commission decided that HSRs have a right to choose their HSR training provided that consultation occurs first. Sydney Trains was taken to the Commission by NSW Worksafe for refusing to allow HSRs to attend training conducted by HOSTA. 

This is the first matter of its kind which has been decided by a court and sets the framework for all jurisdictions which have adopted the 'model WHS laws'.

The decision holds:
a) That Sydney Trains cannot veto HOSTA training on the basis of a panel, but can suggest specific providers as alternatives (the Inspector to pick between them in case of a dispute);
b) That wanting to attend union-run training is a legitimate reason to prefer HOSTA; and
c) That where the PCBU does not suggest a specific course, the HSR’s choice will have to prevail.

The approach required by HSRs requests into the future to attend training and meet their consultation obligations. HSRs should:
a) Inform their employer that they wish to attend training
b) NOT claim that they have a right to attend a course of their choice
c) Inform the employer of their preferred course, and invite them to suggest alternatives
d) Consider the alternatives and (if relevant) give reasons for the refusal.

View Sydney Trains decision here:

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