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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 

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

Regulator Portal - Mining Worker's section to apply

Mining Worker's section can be accessed via 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. (PDF, 758.08 KB)

Assistance is also available by phoning the Mining Competencies and Authorisations team on 1800 814 609 (options 2 then 3) or emailing mca@regional.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 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.

Also refer to the other requirements on the Certificate of competence guide page including gathering samples of work to submit in a portfolio with your application.

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 before the 2022/23 financial year then you must reapply:

  • 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

All new applicants from the 2022/2023 financial year of exam rounds must apply to sit the round of written and oral exams as applicable in that year. If they are assessed as not yet competent then they reapply again for the next round of exams in the following year for the function.

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).

Practical experience for certificates of competence applications

A sample 'practical experience page' for a certificate of competence application is available to assist applicants to record the necessary experience details and complete the application.

Step 3: Prepare for your exam

If your application for examination is approved, you will be invited via email from the Resources Regulator portal to complete written and oral exams as applicable to the statutory function certificate you wish to hold. You must accept the invitation in the Mine Workers section of the Resources Regulator portal through the link in the invitation email or withdraw from it if you are not able to attend before the exams.

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 on the competencies and portfolios web page for details of how examinations assess competencies relevant to the certificate of competence function 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@regional.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, register to sit an exam form online on the Resources Regulator portal

NOTE: A three-year validity period applies in most cases for being eligible to resit. You should contact us via email on mca@regional.nsw.gov.au or call us on 1300 814 609 (option 2 then 3) 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 certificates reissued. You can then make paper copies of your certificate.

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.

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 1300 814 609 (option 2 then 3)