Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union



Electing and training HSRs

Electing a HSR? Here are some useful resources

We've created a handy guide on how to elect a HSR here. 

You can use these forms when forming work groups and electing HSRs: 

Creating work group to elect HSRs has to be done according to the relevant laws. 

Make sure HSRs are elected by workers and not appointed by management.

Work health and safety laws give health and safety representatives (HSRs) the right to choose the training course they want to attend – including an approved course run by a union.

To request training, HSRs should:

  • Inform their employer they want to attend training
  • Inform their employer of their preferred course (one conducted by a union/union's approved provider) and invite them to suggest alternatives
  • Consider the alternatives and (if relevant) give reasons for the refusal.

This process comes from a decision of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (see end of page). It does not apply to HSRs in Victoria and WA.

You can use this form to request attending a course, in all states except Victoria and Western Australia.

And use this form your employer/PCBU refuses to allow you to attend the training course of your choice. 


These courses are approved by the relevant government agency:

ACT: ACT private sector employees should contact Unions ACT. For ComCare training, contact HOSTA.

NSW: Contact HOSTA on 1300 046 782.

QLD: Contact our our branch on (07) 3236 2550.

NT: Contact Future Skills on 1300 817 545 or [email protected].

SA: Contact SA Unions on (08) 8366 5800 or [email protected].

TAS: Contact Unions Tasmania on (03) 6216 7600 or [email protected].

VIC: Contact the AMWU on (03) 9230 5700 or [email protected].

WA: Enrol through Unity Training or contact (08) 9227 7809. One-day WHS courses for delegates available.

Legal precedent: the right to choose a training provider

In 2017, 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 Work Safe 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:

  • 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)
  • That wanting to attend union-run training is a legitimate reason to prefer HOSTA
  • That where the PCBU does not suggest a specific course, the HSR’s choice will have to prevail.

To meet their consultation obligations when requesting to attend training, HSRs should:

  • Inform their employer that they wish to attend training
  • Not claim that they have a right to attend a course of their choice
  • Inform the employer of their preferred course, and invite them to suggest alternatives
  • Consider the alternatives and (if relevant) give reasons for the refusal.
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