What is a VOC?
VOC or Verification of Competence assessments were initiated by industry to allow employers and contractors to ascertain if the person or persons being employed to complete specific tasks at their workplace were competent to complete the task required.
Many tasks require specific skill sets or recognisable qualifications that the employee would require enabling them to complete that task or tasks.
Why are VOC assessments completed?
Employers and contractors have a legal responsibility to ensure all employees at their workplace are capable and competent to perform the tasks requested of them.
Why are VOC assessments so important?
Many employers have in the past employed staff that claim to be competent or qualified to perform a specific task only to find out they are not competent or have never performed that task previously or do not hold the required qualification for that task or equipment type.
If an accident was to occur due to persons not being skilled or competent to perform the tasks, the employer and or contractors would be held accountable for not testing or challenging the skills of their workforce.
What standards are VOC assessments measured against?
VOC assessments measure and test against the standard(s) that industry is currently using within the workplace;
As an example, if you hold a qualification for track dozer operation RIIMPO308E then the VOC assessment would measure you to that same standard.
If you hold an “in-house” assessment certificate from your previous employer that does not have any formal or national qualification standard, then the VOC assessment will not have a recognisable standard to measure against.
Whilst the in-house standard you currently have may be considered by some to be OK, the VOC assessment will not recognise an “in-house” standard and therefore you should complete training and assessment to a nationally recognised standard prior to completing the VOC assessment!
Can I upgrade and get the new Qualification now that I have completed the VOC?
No, the VOC assessment will measure your competence against the existing qualification you hold. It will not upgrade your qualifications in the process, that is not the focus of a VOC assessment.
Is my VOC a Qualification?
No, the VOC assessment is not a qualification. For the VOC assessment to work, you must already have the qualification. The VOC assessment is simply a tool for checking that you are competent to perform the tasks that you currently have and hold qualifications for.
The VOC assessment cannot take an existing qualification away from you and nor will it provide you with a new or revised qualification; it is simply a Verification of Competence to ensure you are competent to perform the tasks required of you!
What if my employer wants me to be VOC assessed on a specific type of machine?
The VOC assessments are generally non-specific. What that means is a VOC assessment for a wheel loader (as an example) is designed to look at wheel loader operation. The VOC assessment is not specifically looking at the brand name or model of the wheel loader!
But what if my employer really wants me checked on a specific brand and or model?
That is a choice made by the employer and in that situation, the employer can request that you are tested or checked on a specific brand or type of machine or similar. RMS develop a series of VOC “dashboards” assessments that are brand specific.
How long does a VOC assessment take to complete?
A VOC assessment if done correctly should have two parts. The first part is a theory component whereby you will answer several questions relating to that task or machine type.
The second part of the VOC is the practical component of the assessment where you will need to demonstrate competent operation of the machine or task. This may include demonstrating to the assessor how to compete a walk around of the machine or task and then demonstrating that you can safely start and operate that machine or safely do a task!
The entire process (start to finish) may take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours, all depends on who is running the VOC, whether it is being done to a standard and the variations within that VOC.
Will I have to complete every aspect of a task to prove that I am competent?
No, the assessor will look for key indicators that will quickly prove whether you can operate that machine or do that task.
As an example, if you were being tested on dump truck operation, the assessor will not test every aspect of the dump truck as this could take several hours, the assessor will make sure you can start and operate the truck safely.
Equally, if you were being tested to see if you’re a competent welder, the assessor would not assess you on every aspect of welding. The assessor would check your knowledge and test you on one or two key aspects that would demonstrate your competence!
What happens if I am having trouble operating the machine or doing a task, will the assessor give me some tips and train me, so I can pass the VOC?
No, the VOC assessment (if done correctly) is in place to find out if you can do the task that you have claimed to be able to do, it is not there to train you.
What happens if I fail the VOC assessment?
Your employer would be notified. Recommendation would be made to your employer as to what is needed to get you to the required standard. It would then be up to your employer if they choose to have you trained so that you can be successful in completing the VOC assessment.
Will I get a certificate to say I have passed my VOC?
Possibly, generally your employer will receive a notification and or certificate that shows you passed the VOC.
RMS VOC ASSESSMENTS
RMS Training conduct VOC Assessments for a variety of competencies. Our VOC assessments have a 4- point rating. This rating provides the employer with an honest reliable appraisal of the candidate.
For example, if an employee is being assessed to see if they are suitable to operate a track dozer, we will test them on the dozer. At the completion of the VOC we will give them a rating out of 4.
(1) is a fail, (2) is low experience, (3) is medium experience and (4) represents an advanced level of competence. Having a 4-point rating system allows the employer to decide if that employee is suitable for the job or task in question.
RMS is well regarded for the quality of their VOC assessment documents and the level of theory and practical evaluation that needs to be completed. This ensures the VOC was completed to the highest standard and the outcome is trustworthy and reliable.