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HSR Training - SafeWork NSW

Why do this course?
A Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) must consult the members of its workforce on all Work Health and Safety matters before making decisions.
When a workplace has been divided into work groups for the purpose of WHS consultation, the Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) for each work group assist the PCBU with gathering information and feedback from each of the members in their work group about WHS matters that may affect them. HSRs must ensure every person has their say, and gather and relay this information back to management so that management can make decisions.
An HSR also has the power to issue "Provisional Improvement Notices" (P.I.Ns) if the HSR believes consultation efforts between the PCBU and workers have failed. HSRs may also issue Cease Unsafe Work notices if the HSR believes there is reasonable concern that to carry out work would expose a worker of their work group to a serious risk to their health or safety emanating from an immediate or imminent exposure to a hazard or danger.
Under Clause 21 of the WHS Regulation 2017, HSRs are entitled to attend an initial HSR course, and annual HSR Refresher course.
HSR Frequently Asked Questions
What training is available for a Health and Safety Representative?

HSRs are entitled to attend:

  • a 5 day HSR Course of training that is approved by SafeWork NSW, and

  • a 1 day HSR Refresher Course approved by SafeWork NSW.

Who can attend HSR training?

Persons who have been elected by their work group as a Health and Safety Representative can attend HSR Training. HSRs can only be workers, not managers.

Am I still an "HSR" if my workplace hasn't yet been divided into work groups for the purpose of WHS consultation?

No. Work groups must be established first before HSRs are elected. Conversely if you have HSRs, then you must already have work groups for them to represent.

Is HSR training mandatory?

HSR training is not mandatory until an elected HSR specifically requests to attend the course of training. From that point the PCBU must provide for and allow the HSR to take the course.

Do I need a U.S.I number for this training?


Who pays for the course?

The PCBU must pay for the course and "reasonable costs" to do the training. You are owed your normal pay as an employee of the business for the time spent on the course.

Does the certificate expire?

No. Neither the Initial 5 day or 1 day Refresher course certificates have an expiry. This may change in the future should SafeWork NSW change the course or if the WHS Act or WHS Regulation changes.

Do I have to do the Initial 5 day course to be an HSR?

No. You can be an HSR without having done the official training but you will not be authorised to issue PINs or instigate a Cease Work direction for unsafe work without having completed the training.

Can I do another course such as a course in WHS risk management or a course to be a health and safety committee member instead of the SafeWork NSW Initial 5-day HSR course?

No. The 5-day SafeWork NSW course is the only course an HSR can do to become an HSR.

Is the SafeWork NSW Initial 5-day course suitable for the worker representatives of a health and safety committee?

Yes, but because a health and safety committee is made up of both Management representatives and Worker representatives you may want to consider having all members of the HSC attend HSC-specific training, as HSCs and HSRs deal with different aspects of health and safety in a workplace. 

Once started how long do have to complete the Initial 5 day HSR course?

SafeWork NSW state that an HSR has 6 months to complete the training from the completion date of their first day of training.

If I do not complete the course within the 6 months, do I have to do the course again?


If I do not complete all 5 days of the course will I get a certificate?

No. You will be issued instead with "Topic Completion Certificates" for the days you attended and completed. E.g. If you completed 3 of the 5 days you will received 3 certificates, one for each day.

Who qualifies for the HSR Refresher course?

Any person who has completed the Initial 5 day HSR course may do the HSR Refresher course. (Note, a person who is not an HSR or an HSR who has not completed the initial 5-day HSR training may also sit in on the course unofficially but they will not be registered with SafeWork NSW or certified.

How often do I have to do the HSR Refresher course?

An HSR is entitled to attend an "annual refresher." This does not mean you have to do the course every year but you are entitled to if you want to do it.

Can a person who is not an HSR do the Initial 5 day HSR course?

Anyone can do the course and they will receive the SafeWork NSW certificate. However, that doesn't automatically make them an HSR. Sometimes managers or supervisors may do the initial 5-day course to further their knowledge of WHS law and PCBU consultation. Only workers can be HSRs.   

Is the 1 day HSR Refresher course mandatory?

Only if it is requested by an HSR that they want to do it. At that point it becomes mandatory and must be provided by the business.

Do I have to do the Initial 5 day course to be able to issue PINS or Cease Work directions?


I did the HSR training before 2023. Do I need to do it again? 

Both HSR courses were revised in 2022 by SafeWork NSW and the new courses have been delivered since 2023. This does not mean you have to redo the Initial 5 day course. Your original certificate is permanent. It might be a good idea to do the new HSR Refresher as there are definitely new things in the course. 

Will HSR training help me if I am also a worker representative on a health and safety committee?

Yes. HSRs are expected to be some or all of the worker representatives on a WHS committee. This is covered in the SafeWork NSW Initial 5-day training. 

Who can deliver HSR training?

SafeWork NSW HSR training can only be provided by a SafeWork Approved Training Provider (ATP.) Courtenell is a SafeWork NSW Approved Training Provider for the delivery of the Initial 5 Day, and the 1-day Refresher HSR courses.

Can HSR training be delivered on line? 

Yes. Courtenell is approved by SafeWork NSW to deliver "virtual" HSR training. We can deliver in ZOOM or TEAMS. There are some additional requirements and limitations in class size to consider if wanting to do HSR virtually. 

Where is HSR training delivered?

Courtenell can deliver HSR training on site (at your premises) or at one of our public venues in Sydney. We have venues in the Sydney CBD and at Blacktown. We can also deliver HSR training on line. 

Available HSR Training:

Related WHS training

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