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Exam preparation

Use the following best practice guides and resources to better understand and prepare for the certificate of competence examination process.

Revised review of exam outcome policy

See 'Requesting a review' section for revised policy (December 2023) that now allows review of oral exam outcomes, in addition to written exams. Further information is available through the Mining Competencies and Authorisations (, 1300 814 609 option 2 > 3).

Certificate of competence exams

Latest exam dates can be accessed here. Please subscribe to Mine Safety News for further updates on exams.

General guidance and study resources

For information on eligibility and the processes involved in assessing whether a person is competent, refer to our Certificate of competence guide webpage.

For a general overview on what statutory functions are and how they apply to the mining and petroleum industry, read the Statutory functions web page.

Download and print the log book template (DOCX, 63.23 KB) to record information on visits to coal operations.

To assist you to prepare for exams, complete the optional form ‘Plan to prepare for third or more attempt of certificate of competence examinations’ (DOCX, 71.23 KB). The form prompts you to consider a range of actions to best ensure you are prepared to pass the examinations. People resitting an exam round for the third attempt are required to complete and submit the form with their application for a certificate of competence on the Resources Regulator portal. 

Best practice guides

There is a range of best practice guides to help candidates, employers and registered training organisations understand and prepare for the examination process. They were developed by the NSW Resources Regulator and the NSW Minerals Council in conjunction with other government agencies. Download the guides:

Please note that the guides relate to certificates of competence under the former Coal Mine Health and Safety Act 2002 and Mine Health and Safety Act 2004. The guides are provided for information only.

Latest exams and examiner reports

View exam papers and examiner reports by selecting the applicable statutory function position links below.

Coal mines - open cut

Electrical engineer

Latest exam paper

Latest examiner report

Mechanical engineer

Latest exam paper

Latest examiner report

Mining engineering manager of coal mines other than underground

Latest exam paper

Latest examiner report

Open cut examiner

Coal mines - underground


Latest exam paper

Latest examiner report

Electrical engineering manager

Latest exam paper

Latest examiner report

Mechanical engineering manager

Latest exam paper

Latest examiner report

Mining engineering manager - underground

Latest exam paper

Latest examiner report


Other mines (non-coal) - open cut

Quarry manager

Other mines (non-coal) - underground

Mining engineering manager

Latest exam paper

Latest examiner report

Underground mine supervisor

Latest examiner report

Licensed activities at coal mines

Cable repair signatory

Application form and guide

Latest examiner report

Sample question and marking criteria

Underground mine supervisor oral examination and quarry manager written examination

As an aid to supporting candidates to better prepare and perform in examinations, the NSW Resources Regulator and the examination panel have provided a sample question and marking criteria for the underground mine supervisor oral examination and the quarry manager written examination certificates of competence.

Exam rules

All candidates need to read the Certificate of competence: examination rules and requirements guide (PDF, 656.11 KB).

The Breach of exam rules policy (PDF, 120.39 KB) describes the framework for dealing with allegations of a candidate breaching the rules of a certificate of competence examination.

Exam feedback

Written examination

You will receive notification of your examination results as soon as possible after the examination and within four weeks. The results will contain any general feedback from examiners on the examination results.

You should review past written exam question papers for each function, comparing marks received against available marks to find areas of improvement, then self research to improve for your next exam. Examiners cannot generally provide more feedback on written examination results and may not be available.

Oral examination

For oral examination results where a candidate is not yet competent, the examiners assessment can be read out over the phone to you. If you then want further clarification then you can request an examiner contact you but this must be done within a month of receiving your results notification. Examiners may or may not available to meet your request.

Requesting a review

If you would like to obtain feedback on your exam results, you should first contact us via email on or call us on 1300 814 609 (option 2 then 3). At no stage is contact to be made directly by a candidate to an examiner.

If you are not satisfied with your examination outcome, you can request an examination review. To do so, read the Review of exam outcome policy (PDF, 1.05 MB). and determine whether you want to proceed. If so, complete and submit one of our forms within the required timeframe on the Resources Regulator portal