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Statutory functions

A statutory function is a job or duty that is determined by a law or rule. In the NSW mining industry, statutory functions are identified under Schedule 10 of the WHS (Mines) Regulation 2014.

Resources Regulator, in consultation with the Mines and Petroleum Competence Board (the board), has developed a framework and descriptions of statutory functions that require a practising certificate or competence certificate. This is the first step in a plan to review and maintain standards for competence certificate examinations and align to the proposed maintenance of competence scheme for practising certificates.

Statutory functions overview

View the following frequently asked questions for an overview of the statutory functions framework.

Frequently asked questions

What are statutory functions?

A statutory function is a job or duty that is determined by a law or rule. In the NSW mining industry, statutory functions are identified under Schedule 10 of the WHS (Mines) Regulation 2014.

Different classes of mines have different statutory functions. For example, some are specific to underground coal mines. Only people meeting defined requirements are eligible to be nominated by the mine operator to perform a statutory function.

How many people can hold each statutory function?

Some functions can be held by multiple people at the mine at the same time. For example, there may be several mechanical tradespersons at an underground coal mine. However, some functions, known as key statutory functions, can only be held by one person at any one time. This is to ensure there are clear lines of authority on critical matters and there is no confusion, inconsistency or conflict in approach.

Can a person hold more than one statutory function?

A person can perform more than one statutory function and can hold functions at more than one mine. For example, a person could be a quarry manager for several quarries. However, the person must also be readily available to exercise and be capable of exercising the statutory function. This means a mine operator couldn't nominate someone to be a quarry manager to manage multiple quarries if they involve so much work or are so far apart that the manager can't be readily available to exercise functions at each quarry.

What are the mine operator's obligations in relation to statutory functions?

The mine operator must ensure that:

  • no-one perform a statutory function at the mine unless they meet the requirements for that function
  • the person nominated to perform a statutory function is readily available to perform, and is capable of performing, the statutory function.

Only one person can be nominated to hold a key statutory function at any time. 

No mining activities are to be undertaken if the mine operator has not nominated a person to hold a key statutory function which is vacant for 7 days or more.

Operators of coal mines must notify the regulator if the person nominated to hold any statutory functions changes.

To do this they must submit a Notification of reportable events form.

What are the obligations on a person nominated to exercise a statutory function?

A person nominated to hold a statutory function at a mine must, as soon as is reasonably practicable, inform the mine operator of any matter that may interfere with the individual's ability to perform the statutory function. For example, if a practising certificate is suspended or cancelled.

How do I become eligible to hold a statutory function?

You need to hold the relevant practising certificate, certificate of competence or other requirement for nomination. See our certificates of competence page for more information.

Further information

Read this guide on statutory functions (PDF, 602.6 KB)

Statutory function descriptions

Consultation workshops were held in 2016 for drafts of descriptions. The board responded to the feedback to finalise the descriptions which have been agreed to by the Resources Regulator and are available to view below.

Underground coal mines

Coal mines other than underground mines

Underground mines other than coal mines

Mines other than underground mines or coal mines

Competencies for statutory functions

The Resources Regulator, in consultation with the Mining and Petroleum Competence Board, has finalised the competency framework (PDF, 1.77 MB) and identified competencies for each statutory function. The competencies were identified for the statutory function position descriptions developed through a series of workshops in 2018 with practitioners across the various functions and classes of mines.

Underground coal mines

Coal mines other than underground mines

Underground mines other than coal mines

Mines other than underground mines or coal mines

Blueprinting for certificate of competence examinations

During 2020, the Resources Regulator, together with exam panels engaged with Johnstaff Advisory and JT Education Consultants in a series of workshops to develop a ‘blueprint’ for each certificate of competence using competency benchmarks (refer Framework above).

The blueprint for each function is a reference document for examiners with a ranking system of essential and desirable benchmarks for each of the 8 competencies at their level. Against each benchmark one or more of the following types are selected to assess them:

  • portfolio of workplace documents
  • written (multiple choice, fill in the blank, short and long answer)
  • oral.

From the 2022/2023 financial year exams, a candidate must be assessed as competent for essential benchmarks and at least 60% of desirable competencies.

For the 2021/2022 financial year, written exam candidates will continue to be marked and must achieve a minimum of 60% to pass.

Further information will be made available in early 2022 including an updated Guide for applying for a certificate of competence with specific information for each function.

Existing candidates will continue in the examination processes with appropriate transition provisions to be advised.

New applicants will be required to submit a portfolio with their application through the Regulator Portal. The requirements for the portfolio are set out in the Portfolio requirements for candidates (PDF, 384.97 KB).

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