Registered WorkSafe Assessors - National Police Clearance
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Criteria for assessing applicants to become Registered WorkSafe Assessors authorised to issue notices of satisfactory assessment for high risk work on the basis of their National Police Clearance.
To provide a consistent approach for determining the eligibility of applicants to be registered with WorkSafe as Registered WorkSafe Assessors authorised to issue notices of satisfactory assessment to persons so those persons may apply for licences to perform high risk work under the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 and National Standard for Licensing Persons to Perform High Risk Work.
This will apply to all people wishing to register as an agent of WorkSafe in the capacity of a Registered WorkSafe Assessor.
WorkSafe’s goal is to ensure Western Australian workplaces are free from death, injury and disease.
WorkSafe’s policies and regulations are the result of this intention.
Once registered, WorkSafe Assessors carry the responsibility of assessing competency for licences for high risk work. As agents of WorkSafe, Registered WorkSafe Assessors must adhere to the highest standards of personal integrity when determining the competency of potential applicants for licences for high risk work.
Should Assessors not take seriously their responsibility and obligations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984, the decisions they make to assess competency and issue notices of satisfactory assessment could place Western Australians at risk of death, injury and disease in their work places from incompetent operators of industrial equipment or people carrying out tasks classified as high risk work, or otherwise undermine the integrity of the licensing system.
WorkSafe is committed to ensuring that Registered WorkSafe Assessors, as its agents, have acquired, through specified training and work experience, the skills necessary to assess a person’s competency to do high risk work and the personal integrity required to represent the Department in the public arena.
To this end, applicants are required to satisfy a broad range of specific criteria in order for WorkSafe to be satisfied the person is a fit and proper person to become a Registered WorkSafe Assessor, as the actions of the Assessor will have repercussions for WorkSafe.
Details of all criteria can be found in the document titled 'Application Guide for High Risk Work Assessors'.
This policy deals specifically with the requirement for applicants to produce a National Police Clearance, and the scope of convictions that may result in an application to become a Registered WorkSafe Assessor being declined.
National Police Clearance
All applicants are required to produce a National Police Clearance along with his or her application to be registered as a WorkSafe Assessor.
It is unlawful for the Commissioner to refuse an application on the ground of a conviction that has been 'spent'. Pursuant to the Spent Convictions Act 1988, convictions can spent at the time of sentencing or can become spent after a prescribed period (usually 10 years), upon application by the offender.
Generally, only convictions for offences against the law of Western Australia or a foreign country can be spent. However, Schedule 2 of the Spent Convictions Act specifies certain convictions for offences against the law of Queensland, New South Wales, Norfolk Island or the Commonwealth that must be regarded as spent convictions by the Commissioner. If in doubt, it may be necessary to seek the advice of Legal Services.
Even if a conviction has not been spent, each application must be considered on its individual merits. An applicant’s criminal record may be relevant to that consideration. In making a decision in respect of an applicant with a criminal record, the Commissioner will take the following circumstances into account.
Number, frequency and timing of convictions:
The greater the number, the higher the frequency or the more recent the nature of convictions against the applicant, the more it will impact on the eligibility of the applicant.
Seriousness of offending:
he seriousness of offending leading to a conviction will affect the applicant’s eligibility for registration. Examining the penalty on the conviction can give a general indication of seriousness. A suspended sentence of 12 months or less or a fine of not more than $1,000 may be considered relatively minor, but greater penalties or imprisonment need to be taken into account when making a decision on an application.
Nature of offence:
Certain types of offence are more relevant to the Commissioner’s discretion than others. Criminal convictions going to the honesty of an applicant (such as for theft, fraud, bribery or extortion) are likely to prevent a person from being eligible to become a Registered WorkSafe Assessor.
Convictions for other serious criminal offences (such as sexual offences, homicide, assault, and firearms and drug offences) that have resulted in a prison sentence of longer than 6 months will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Theft offences include armed or unarmed robbery, stealing from a person, shop stealing, stealing things sent by post or in transit, stealing from a house, stealing from any other specified building, stealing by conversion or by a trick, stealing stock and stealing as a servant.
Handling stolen goods offences include receiving stolen goods, possession of property suspected stolen; possession, receiving or disposal of tainted property (including money laundering); and bringing stolen goods into Western Australia.
Extortion offences include demanding property or any benefit or service with threats with intent to extort, and other extortion (not elsewhere classified).
Fraud offences include fraud, forgery and imposition offences. These may be computer fraud, fraud involving cheques, bank cards, credit cards, forge/utter, fraud involving stolen goods, fraudulent falsification of records, fraud on insurance companies, stealing as a servant, embezzlement by officers of companies, stealing by an agent or collector, and counterfeit currency offences.
Such examples could include fraudulent behaviour relating to:
- Identity theft
- Bribery of a public officer
- Falsification of records
- Giving false evidence, fabrication of evidence, false attestations or giving false declarations
- Attempting to pervert the course of justice
- Forgery and uttering
- Failure to comply with a disclosure requirement
Serious drug offences extending over a period of time are likely to prevent a person from being eligible to become a Registered WorkSafe Assessor.
Such examples could include:
- Possession and/or use of drugs
- Importation/exportation of drugs
- Supply or trafficking of drugs
- Permitting premises to be used as a venue to consume, manufacture or supply drugs
- Possession of things for use, or used in the administration and consumption of, a dangerous drug
- Receiving/possessing property obtained from trafficking or supplying dangerous drugs
Serious convictions involving drugs or alcohol extending over a period of time will require a statement from a clinical psychologist that the applicant has been rehabilitated from any dependency, and must state the length of time the applicant has been rehabilitated.
Minor convictions involving drugs or alcohol may be dismissed if appropriate.
In cases where the applicant’s suitability is not clear: If the applicant’s suitability is not clear, it may be necessary to seek the advice of Police and/or Legal Services.
Opportunity to respond
The principles of natural justice require that where the Commissioner has formed the view that an applicant’s criminal record provides grounds for the refusal of the application, the applicant should be specifically notified of that view and given the opportunity to respond.
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