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National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority Guidance Note

Guidance Note
N-09000-GN0955 Rev 0, 27 February 2012
The purpose of this note is to explain various changes to the requirements for the certification of crane
drivers working in the offshore petroleum industry in Australia in Commonwealth State and Northern
Territory waters.
Until 31 December 2004 there was only one government administered system in Australia for the
accreditation of offshore crane drivers. The system was run by the Department of Industry and Resources
(DoIR now Department of Mines and Petroleum) and was restricted to the Western Australian State
The system was introduced in July 1994 with the adoption by the Department of Occupational Health
Safety and Welfare of Western Australia (DOHSWA now WorkSafe WA) of the National Occupational
Health and Safety Standard for Users and Operators of Industrial Equipment. This change introduced a
uniform national crane driver certification system with no provisions for an industry, e.g. offshore
petroleum industry, specific crane driver certification.
The decision was made by the Department Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (which later changed
to DoIR) to supplement the National Certification System by introducing an offshore crane driver
accreditation scheme in Western Australia.
Under the scheme the intending offshore crane drivers were examined by WorkSafe WA registered and
DoIR endorsed assessors.
Those who passed the exam were issued with the appropriate land based crane drivers certificate (e.g.
derrick or tower crane) by WorkSafe WA and a letter of endorsement from DoIR confirming their offshore
The intent of the system was not to ensure that a certificate holder was competent to operate safely each
make of a crane within the crane category for which he held the certificate but rather to ensure that the
certificate holder possessed the basic skills and knowledge to allow him to learn how to operate safely a
specific crane on an offshore facility.
The responsibility for the crane specific training and the over all competence of the offshore crane driver
remained with the operators of offshore facilities.
Crane Driver Competency
in the
Australian Offshore Petroleum Industry
Crane Driver Competency in the
Offshore Petroleum Industry in Australia
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Current requirements for offshore crane drivers
Regulatory context
The system for the accreditation of offshore crane drivers was discontinued by DoIR as of 1 January 2005.
Currently there is no government administered system for the accreditation or licensing of offshore crane
drivers in Australia. There is however, a Unit of Competence that has been assessed and endorsed under
the government training and qualifications framework. See the section below on competency schemes.
Offshore crane driver competency system
To meet the requirements outlined above the operator of the facility should develop and implement an
offshore crane driver competency system which defines:
1. Competency (knowledge, skills and experience) requirements.
2. Training needs.
3. Competency assessment processes.
4. Re-training and competency re-assessment requirements.
5. Retention and maintenance of training records.
6. Ongoing monitoring and regular review and improvement of the offshore crane driver competency
7. Persons responsible for the offshore crane driver competency system.
The existing Commonwealth, State and NT legislation has no requirement for the certification of
a crane driver to operate a crane on an offshore petroleum facility.
Schedule 3 of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 states in Clause
9(2)(f) that the operator of a facility must:
provide all members of the workforce, in appropriate languages, with the information,
instruction, training and supervision necessary for them to carry out their activities in a manner
that does not adversely affect the health and safety of persons on the facility
Regulation 2.9 of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Safety) Regulations
2009 also states that:
The safety case for a facility must describe the means by which the operator will ensure that
each member of the workforce at the facility has the necessary skills, training and ability:
(a) to undertake routine and non-routine tasks that might be given to him or her;
These requirements apply to every person/member of the workforce on the facility, including
crane drivers.
In other words, it is ultimately the responsibility of the operator of the facility to ensure that a
crane driver is competent to drive a crane on a facility in a safe manner.
Legislative Requirement
Crane Driver Competency in the
Offshore Petroleum Industry in Australia
Guidance Note
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The competency system should take into account the availability and practicality of nationally recognised
Units of Competence. (TGA) is official National Register of information on Training
Packages, Qualifications, Courses, Units of Competency and Registered Training Organisations.
In 2008 a Unit of Competence (PMASUP305A Operate Offshore Cranes) for offshore lifting operations was
This Unit of Competence was developed by an offshore oil & gas industry working group, which included a
number of current crane operators. To gain recognition for a national Unit of Competence, the
assessment needs to be performed by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). It should be noted that
administration of RTOs is managed by TGA; NOPSEMA does not have any involvement with appointment
or recognition of RTOs.
Some operators may consider making allowances in their systems for crane driver assessors or crane
drives holding certificates from other jurisdictions.
It must be stressed however, that since the operator of the facility is responsible for the crane driver
competence such allowances should complement the operators system and should not be used or seen
as being used as an attempt to transfer the operators responsibility to others.
Any enquiries concerning the certification of crane drivers for the offshore petroleum industry in Australia
should be directed to:
Zbigniew Lambert
OHS Regulatory Specialist (Lead)
T: 08 6188 8715
F: 08 6188 8737
M: 040 1984 120
A person holding a crane driver certificate for a land-based crane issued in Australia under the
national certification system may only require additional offshore specific training and
competency assessment before being allowed to operate a crane on an offshore facility. It is up
to the operator of the facility to determine on a case by case basis, under their offshore crane
driver competency system, what additional training and competency assessment the person
would require.