Jacob Shaw

What is a White Card?

Written by Jacob Shaw

A White Card is a license required to enter and work on construction sites in Australia. The White Card is also known as general construction induction card. It is an essential license for anyone looking to work in the construction industry.

While each state and territory in Australia issues its own White Card, they are nationally recognised and can be used anywhere in Australia, regardless of the state or territory in which you completed the construction induction training.

Previously the White Card has been known as Blue Card, Red Card or Green Card depending on your state or territory.

How do you get a White Card?

To be issued a White Card, you must complete the accredited unit of competency CPCWHS1001 - Prepare to work safely in the construction industry with a registered training organisation (RTO). Once you successfully complete the training, you will be issued with a Statement of Attainment by the RTO.

As CPCWHS1001 - Prepare to work safely in the construction industry is an accredited unit of competency, you must provide your Unique Student Identifier (USI). USIs can be created for free in 5-10 minutes using the Government USI portal.

Course participant must have basic English language, literacy and numeracy skills. The White Card course is rated level 1 by the Australian Qualification Framework. The levels range from 1 (basic) to 10 (doctorate). They must be able to understand instructions and ask for clarifications in English.

The process to get the physical White Card varies state-by-state.

White Card Queensland

In Queensland, RTOs are tasked to issue the White Cards under WorkSafe QLD licensing. At Tradie Training, all our training centres are equipped to process the White Cards on the day of training, and you will leave the course with your general construction induction card (White Card) in hand, ready for work.

WorkSafe QLD requires the training to take at least 4.5h.

You must bring 3 forms of identification displaying your name, with at least one of them also showing your photo.

The full ID requirements and special arrangements can be found here.

The minimum age requirement for obtaining a White Card in Queensland is 13 years old.

A Queensland (QLD) White Card
A Queensland (QLD) White Card

Tradie Training delivers training daily in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast.

White Card New South Wales

SafeWork NSW will issue your White Card in NSW. After completing your White Card training, the RTO will report the completion and SafeWork NSW will post the card to your nominated delivery address. You can use your Statement of Attainment as evidence of training to start work in the meanwhile.

The fee for the White Card charged by SafeWork NSW will be paid by the RTO and is included in the course price.

SafeWork NSW requires the course to run for at least 6 hours and participants must be at least 14 years of age to undertake White Card training.

A New South Wales (NSW) White Card
A New South Wales (NSW) White Card

White Card Victoria

Similar to New South Wales, RTOs report the course completion and WorkSafe VIC posts the White Card to your preferred delivery address. Your Statement of Attainment can be used to work on while you are waiting for your White Card to arrive.

The fee for the White Card charged by WorkSafe VIC is covered by the RTO and is included in the course price.

A Victorian (VIC) White Card
A Victorian (VIC) White Card

WorkSafe VIC requires the course to run for at least 6 hours.

You must bring photo identification to the course such as your Passport, driver’s license etc.

White Card Tasmania

In Tasmania, it is your own responsibility to apply for the White Card with WorkSafe Tasmania. Once you have completed your White Card training and obtained your CPCWHS1001 - Prepare to work safely in the construction industry Statement of Attainment, you have 60 days to complete your construction induction application form.

An additional fee of $11.90 must be paid to WorkSafe Tasmania when lodging the form.

The form is available online here.

A Tasmanian (TAS) White Card
A Tasmanian (TAS) White Card

You must bring 3 forms of ID to the course.

Please note that you will need to own or buy the PPE required for the training if you decide to complete the TAS White Card course online.

White Card Western Australia

RTOs are in charge of issuing the White Cards in Western Australia. Some RTOs will issue your White Card on the day of training when completing the training face-to-face. When completing the training online, the RTO will post your Whitecard to your nominated delivery address.

WorkSafe WA does not charge extra for the license.

A Western Australia (WA) White Card

Please note that you will need to own or buy the PPE required for the training if you decide to complete the WA White Card course online.

White Card courses in SA, ACT & NT

Tradie Training currently doesn’t deliver the course in South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory or the Northern Territory.

Who needs a White Card?

Workers in the following roles are required to have a White Card in order to legally enter construction sites in Australia:

  • Tradesmen
  • Labourers
  • Site supervisors
  • Site managers
  • Surveyors
  • Any other worker that needs to enter the construction site

What does the White Card course teach?

The course will cover general health and safety topics that workers benefit from while at work in the construction industry. The course has been introduced to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities each year on construction sites and in the broader construction industry in Australia.

Here is an overview of the topics covered by the White Card course:

  • Workplace health and safety regulation and legislation
  • Identify construction hazards and their associated risks
  • Health and safety reporting and communication processes
  • Incident and emergency response procedures

At Tradie Training, we go through the training material and questions as a group, with the trainer explaining each step of the way. The trainer can answer any questions you might have about construction work while going through the training. The training is completed on tablets that we provide using a custom-built training application. There is no paperwork involved, making the training course interactive, engaging and hassle-free.

As part of the training and assessment, you will learn when and how to use the following 4 forms of personal protective equipment (PPE):

  • Hard hat
  • Eye protection
  • Hearing protection
  • Retro-reflective vest
General induction training - PPE signage
General induction training - PPE signage

The White Card course is intended as general construction induction training (GCIT) and should be complemented with site-specific indication training conducted by the employer prior to entering construction sites and starting work.

Can you do the White Card course online?

As of 2024, self-paced online White Card training is only available to residents of Western Australia and Tasmania. Residents of all other states and territories must complete the course face-to-face.

Queensland residents can also opt to do the course face-to-face using video conferencing software. This option requires you to have access to a computer with a webcam as well as the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required for the training.

This option comes with additional challenges to the learner and is mainly aimed at residents living in remote locations with limited access to proper face-to-face training.

Note: This is not self-paced online training. You will join a virtual classroom using video conferencing software, such a Zoom for example, with a qualified trainer and assessor. Virtual classrooms have set dates & start times.

White Card online - What changed?

WorkSafe Queensland changed the delivery criteria of the White Card course to face-to-face in 2019. Prior to 2019, anyone in Australia could complete the QLD White Card course online. With the QLD White Card being nationally recognised, it used to be a popular workaround to local state restrictions for residents from all other Australian states.

Here is what WorkSafe QLD has to say about the change:

Concerns about the effectiveness and quality of online training were raised by various stakeholders during the Best Practice Review of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland in 2017. In addition, similar concerns have been long held by work health and safety regulators in other jurisdictions including New South Wales and Victoria.

This arrangement aligns with those in Northern Territory, South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, where online delivery of construction induction training is not permitted.

Training for a white card is delivered under a national competency standard, with mutual recognition between states. This change in requirements responds to industry concerns regarding the quality of online training which has placed the mutual recognition of Queensland issued white cards at risk.

The full press release can be found here.

If you need more information, have any questions about construction work, the course or support, feel free to contact us.

Ready to get started? You can book your Queensland White Card course here