In order to work in construction in Australia, you need to obtain a white card. This is achieved by completing a short course and taking a test. Passing the assessment will result in a white card in your name. But is it possible to fail a white card test?
It is possible to fail a white card test, but you can prevent this by properly preparing for the final assessment. Ask plenty of questions throughout the construction safety induction course and read all materials thoroughly. If you do fail, you can re-sit the white card test, or re-take the course.
Read on to find out more.
Is it possible to fail a white card test?
It is possible to fail a white card test if you haven’t completed the training and preparation properly. In order to pass the white card test, you need to answer all of the questions correctly. But there is no need to stress because most people pass the first time around. If not, most organisations will offer a chance to re-sit the test.
If you do need to re-sit the white card examination, you will usually be provided with feedback from the assessor beforehand. This will help you understand what you may have gotten wrong in your first test and (hopefully) pass with flying colours the second time.
Still worried? No need to stress, let’s look at what a white card test might entail.
What does a white card test entail?
The first step to passing the white card test is to complete the entire training course, referred to as the construction induction training. This course is offered both in-person and online. Completing it online has become a much more popular option because it can be done at your own pace. But make sure that the course and test are being delivered by a Registered Training Organisation, otherwise, your results will not be valid.
The course runs for a minimum time of 6 hours. You take the final test at the end of the training. The test itself shouldn’t take much longer than an hour. Questions in your white card test will refer to all of the safety information and practices you learned throughout the training.
Students are required to undertake a language, literacy, and numeracy (LLN) test. If you’re unsure whether you meet the minimum language, literacy, and numeracy requirements, you can take a pre-training LLN assessment before enrolling in the course. This assessment is mainly in place to ensure you have the ability to communicate effectively with others on-site, read safety signage and follow instructions.
You will also be asked a number of questions surrounding workplace health and safety and duty of care. This will give you a good idea of what your future employer will expect of you in terms of staying safe on a construction site.
The final assessment also includes a visual and verbal assessment on PPE (personal protective equipment), either completed in person or over a video call. If you check all of the boxes off, you will pass your white card training and assessment and can continue your career in construction. Your white card will then be sent to you in the mail!
Why do people fail their white card test?
People fail their white card test because they don’t get every question correct. That is the hard part about needing to achieve 100% on the test. There is no leeway for even one mistake, but that’s because missing one bit of knowledge could put lots of people in danger. While the test itself doesn’t put you in harm’s way, it is examining your ability to safely work on a construction site. If you mess up one problem, you could cause serious injury to someone on a worksite. This is why it’s important to make sure you understand every element of the training before proceeding with the final assessment.
Besides that, submitting the wrong ID or declarations required can also stop you from getting your white card. Proof of identity may need to be witnessed by a Justice of the Peace (JP), a Commissioner for Declarations (C.Dec.), or a Legal Practitioner. So, ensure you read the fine print before submitting your documents for evaluation. Every white card test will require some form of identification to be provided. Failure to do so will result in a declined application.
As mentioned, your final test will include a PPE assessment. If you are undertaking online testing, you’ll have to ensure you have a working webcam, microphone, and the required PPE equipment. The required equipment includes a hard hat, safety glasses, high visibility clothing and earplugs/muffs. If you’re struggling to get your hands on these, check with your course, as they may be able to provide them for you at an extra cost. Without being able to demonstrate your PPE portion of the assessment, you can fail your white card test.
Tips to ensure you don’t fail your test
There seems a lot to the white card test which can make it appear daunting. But if you prepare correctly, you won’t find the test to be a huge challenge. The bonus of completing the course and test in one day is that all the information is fresh in your mind. They have been running this course and assessment as a one-day experience for years with successful passing rates. If thousands of other labourers can do it, you can too!
Worst case scenario, you might have to re-take the course. This will only set you back a couple more hours if you really think about it.
If you are completing your test online, you have the added benefit that of coming and going as you please. Take breaks, have a snack, or come back to it the next day with a fresh brain; whatever helps you learn effectively. Though it shouldn’t take you more than 8 hours to complete, you can give yourself the time to really take in the information and pass the test.
Everyone learns in different ways, so consider what method will be best for you to pass your white card test. This could be taking notes, practising working with PPE, running through scenarios in your mind. Whatever way you learn best, use it to pick up the information well and pass the test in no time.
Should you happen to fail your test, it’s not the end of the world; your assessors will be there to assist. Above all, don’t be afraid to ask questions. There’s a reason every construction worker is required to have a white card. Health and safety is no joke, and you’ll want to ensure you have a solid understanding of it all before stepping foot on any construction site.
What is a white card, and how do you obtain one?
There are lots of construction tickets to list but knowing about and having a white card is vital for construction work. Just in case you aren’t sure exactly what it is, let’s talk some more about it.
A white card is the mandatory ticket for all workers in construction to have. There is no getting around it. Without a white card, you cannot complete any sort of construction work. You won’t be permitted on a worksite without one. You won’t be able to apply to jobs or even work as a general labourer.
Carrying a white card means you have completed a certified course in general construction induction training with a registered organisation in Australia. The course is listed as the ‘Prepare to Work Safely in the Construction Industry – CPCCWHS1001’ training course. It is an entry-level course covering basic construction health and safety. As we mentioned, it generally takes less than a day to complete from start to finish.
Obtaining a white card can be done in a number of different ways, including both online and face-to-face class options. The face-to-face option involves attending an in-person class in your local area, with most being completed in a single day. The online option lets you complete the course at your own pace. Most people have said that they completed the online course in about five hours because they sat and smashed it out. An online white card course hosted by an RTO is a valid card. However, some projects might decide not to accept the card because there wasn’t physical training conducted. Be sure to talk to your recruiting managers and employers about the white card requirements for each job.
Once you have completed the course and passed the assessments, the RTO will register your white card and the ticket will be mailed to you. After you have been registered, you’re free to find work in the construction field!