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Competencies and portfolios

Revised competencies framework and portfolios. This page contains revised guidance on these documents for reference in applying for a certificate of competence and undertaking exams.

Candidates should be familiar with required competencies framework which is applied to:

  • the prerequisite portfolio of samples for certificate of competence applications
  • written and oral exams.

Statutory function descriptions

The descriptions provide guidance on what is required to carry out the statutory functions as stated in schedule 10 of the WHS (Mines and petroleum sites) Regulations 2022. They were developed in consultation between the Resources Regulator, the Mining and Petroleum Competence Board and the NSW mining industry through a series of consultation workshops.

Candidates preparing to undertake exams for a function should be familiar with and understand the description to ensure their answers align with them.

Coal mines other than underground mines

Underground mines other than coal mines

Mines other than underground mines or coal mines

Competencies for statutory functions 

Competencies were identified from the statutory function descriptions through workshops led by consultants with practitioners across the various functions and classes of mines in 2018 and 2019. The Resources Regulator, in consultation with the Mining and Petroleum Competence Board, had a framework of competencies developed and endorsed  with each statutory function grouped into one of three levels.

The framework was revised by a working group of examination panel convenors in 2023 for more suitable use in examinations. People should be familiar with the framework (PDF, 249.87 KB) to understand the scope of what can be assessed and prepare for the examinations.


New applicants will be required to submit a portfolio with their application through the Regulator Portal. The purpose of the portfolio of work documents is to partly demonstrate, along with the other pre-requisites, that the applicant has the minimum competence to undertake the exams. 

The requirements for the portfolio are set out in the Portfolio requirements for candidates (PDF, 193.23 KB).

New applicants should commence gathering their portfolio documents in preparation to be submitted with their application by the advertised closing dates.

Blueprinting for certificate of competence examinations

Each examination panel for a function maintains a blueprint of mapping where competencies are assessed by a round of written and/or oral examinations each year. 

The blueprint then identifies for written exams any essential questions where essential competencies are mapped to them and candidates must pass by achieving the minimum mark or responses to demonstrate competence. 

Other competencies are assessed in questions which have a minimum mark to demonstrate competence. The minimum mark for each question and that obtained by each candidate are totalled to determine whether overall the candidate achieved the totalled minimum mark or converted percentage to pass the exam paper. For example the minimum mark or converted percentage out of 100 may be 66.

It will be made clear in the results issued to each candidate for each written exam the marks awarded for each question or section of the exam paper and whether essential competency questions were passed and the exam paper overall.

The oral exam consists of scenario questions where the candidate must achieve the minimum mark, number of items and/or specific items in their answer for each of them to pass the exam and be assessed as competent. Competencies assessed for each question can be essential, other or a combination of them. 

Further information is available in the Guide for applying for a certificate of competence.

You can also read the Frequently asked questions (FAQS) for assessment blueprinting. (PDF, 111.84 KB)