Skip to main content

A NSW Government website

How to apply

How to apply to be examined to obtain a certificate of competence to practise in one or more statutory functions.

Important: Certificate of competence exams for 2021/22

Exam dates from July 2021 to June 2022 can be accessed here. Refer to the Mine Safety News as a subscriber for further updates on exams.

To apply to sit an exam, you must apply online through the Resources Regulator portal, when it becomes available by mid-June 2021.

For those re-applying to sit an exam prior to mid-June 2021, a resit application form will be emailed to you prior for return to mca@planning.nsw.gov.au.

Regulator Portal - Mining Worker's section now live

We have introduced a Mining Worker's section to the Resources Regulator portal to enable workers to apply for examinations, certificates of competence and practicing certificates online.

A help guide for navigating the portal is available here.

Assistance is also available by phoning the Mining Competencies and Authorisations team on (02) 4063 6461 or emailing mca@planning.nsw.gov.au

Four steps to gaining your statutory function certificates

To apply to be examined to obtain a certificate of competence and a practising certificate to practise in one or more statutory function, you will need to

  • complete an online application form
  • provide evidence of your identity, age, qualifications, and experience.

If you are able to satisfy these criteria, you may then be eligible to undertake the written and oral exams applicable to the certificate you are applying to obtain.

View the steps below for further details. 

Step 1: Be informed and prepare

Download the Guide - Applying for a certificate of competence (PDF, 1.59 MB) to read what is required for the statutory position you want to exercise. You must have the required evidence of holding the prerequisites prior to applying.

Subscribe to the Mine Safety eNewsletter to keep informed before and during your exams.

Read the Learning best practice guide - candidates (PDF, 248.15 KB) and attend a briefing session. Briefing sessions are optional but are highly recommended. They generally run between one and three months prior to the closing date for examination applications.

Review the exam calendar and submit an application before the specified closing date. You should allow time for your application to be assessed and notify if any part of your application is incomplete. Late or incomplete applications submitted after the closing date will not be accepted.

Please register your interest to attend a briefing session at least one month prior to the briefing date so we can confirm we have sufficient numbers and an appropriate venue. Please register via our online facility.

Step 2: Pay for and complete your application

An application fee is payable via a link within the application or via the examination fee schedule factsheet (PDF, 246.32 KB) on the Resources Regulator website. Details of payment must be recorded in your application. A further examination fee is applicable to sit the exam if your application is approved. The link to the examination fee is sent to you in your invitation to the exam.

You apply online via the Resources Regulator portal when it becomes available at the end of May 2021.  Watch out for the article in the Mine Safety eNewsletter by being a subscriber to announce the date when the Portal application is available.

If any of the following situations apply to you as a previously approved candidate within the last 3 years then you must re-apply:

  • sat a written or oral exam and found not yet competent, or
  • been approved to sit an examination for a certificate of competence within the last 3 years, or
  • deferred your first oral examination attempt within the last 3 years

In the transition period until the end of May 2021, individuals reapplying are to contact us via email at mca@planning.nsw.gov.au or phone 02 4063 6461 to obtain and return completed the Re-examination form. Alternatively submit a current re-application form we may have previously emailed to you.

Make sure you have certified copies of all evidence documents (for example, attach qualifications, emergency preparedness, units of competence and identification).

You must submit a complete application with all required details and documents that have been certified as a true copy. Incomplete applications will not be accepted but will be returned to you for completion. You must resubmit a complete application before the closing date (we will not separate corrected parts of your application or missing documents).

For further assistance refer to the Exam preparation page, which includes a sample completed practical experience page.

Step 3: Prepare for your exam

If your application for examination is successful, you will be invited via correspondence from the Resources Regulator to complete written and oral exams as applicable to the statutory function certificate you wish to hold.

The examinations are designed to test each candidate's ability to perform the relevant statutory function in practise. This includes demonstrating:

  • knowledge of safe mining practices across a range of mining situations
  • the ability to apply that knowledge to practical situations
  • consideration of related capabilities, such as communication and other non-technical skills.

All certificate of competence candidates are expected to demonstrate knowledge and skills at the level expected for a person performing that statutory function.

You will need to be able to satisfactorily answer questions in both the written (where applicable) and oral exams demonstrating your competence to perform the relevant statutory function.

Refer to the Resources Regulators guidance notes on the Statutory functions relevant to the certificate of competence exam you wish to undertake.

Visit the Exam preparation page to view:

  • past examination papers, to familiarise yourself with the types of questions asked
  • examiners reports, to find out how well questions were answered by past participants and what examiners were expecting in the answers.

Ask a friend or colleague to test you on the questions to help prepare for the oral examination.

Step 4: Sit for your examination

Complete both the written (where applicable) and oral exams on the dates and times advised.

Candidates must first sit for and pass all components of the written exam before progressing to the oral exam.

Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled start time for your exam. Check the details of where your examination is to be held, as venues differ from time to time. Examinations can be stressful, so arriving early will give you a bit of time to revise and mentally prepare yourself.

Make sure your contact details are up-to-date when sitting each exam to ensure you are notified of the results as soon as possible. To change your contact details, email mca@planning.nsw.gov.au.

Resitting an examination

If you have previously applied and been approved to sit an exam for a certificate of competence you do not need to complete the full application again. Instead, complete a re-sit form online from late May 2021 on the Resources Regulator portal. Candidates for re-attempt exams closing before 10 June 2021 will be contacted to submit a paper application.

NOTE: A three-year validity period applies in most cases for being eligible to resit. You should contact us via email on mca@planning.nsw.gov.au or call us on 02 4063 6461 if you are unsure of your eligibility.

Replacing certificates

You can apply through the Resources Regulator portal to be issued with an electronic copy of your certificate reissued. You can then make paper copies of your certificate.

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 mca@planning.nsw.gov.au or call us on 02 4063 6461. 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, 231.54 KB) 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.

Recognition of qualifications

Applying for recognition of qualifications attained outside Australia.

Recognition of overseas qualifications

When applying for a certificate of competence, evidence must be supplied as part of the application process that the qualifications you hold meet the requirements provided in the Guide - Applying for a certificate of competence (PDF, 1.59 MB).

If you hold qualifications that are not listed in the guide because they were achieved outside of Australia, you may be able to obtain proof of equivalence for those qualifications using one of the acceptable methods below:

  • Provide evidence that the qualification for the level and year you achieved it, is accredited under an international accord, such as the Washington, Sydney or Dublin accords.
  • Apply to an Australian University or Engineers Australia for assessment of the qualification you hold and whether it is equivalent to the required Australian degree or qualification (refer to appendix A of the guide). Visit www.engineersaustralia.org.au and click on 'Migrating to Australia', then 'Apply for a migration skills assessment' and follow the step-by-step guide.
  • Provide certified copies of the assessment documentation with the examination application to the NSW Resources Regulator. The documentation provided with your application should also include course outlines/transcripts for all courses studied in the qualification for which recognition was granted.

Note: If the original document is not in English, you must provide a certified copy of the written translation (by an authorised translation service, such as an appropriate embassy or a professional translation service accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd).

The NSW Resources Regulator will consider the equivalence and recognition of the qualification as part of the application process.

For further information, contact us on (02) 4063 6461.