Rep numbers unrecorded

30 October, 2015  |  News

One of the dilemmas facing MBIE in the development of the transition training framework must surely have been the absence of any formal record of health and safety rep numbers.

Since 2008 ACC has provided funding for some 23,000 reps to be trained, but there is no data on how many of these are currently serving.

Also, this number represents only those who have received government-funded training. All three of the ACC-funded trainers also accepted trainees on a user-pays basis, and there were 10 other approved training providers – including Safety ‘n Action – who only accepted paying customers.

Figures obtained by Safeguard from seven of the 14 rep training providers came up with a total of 45,000 reps who had undergone training since 2008, although the numbers that are currently serving would presumably be much lower.

The data showed a wide margin between those who attended courses run by the three funded trainers and those going to other providers. The CTU, Business NZ and Impac each averaged some 3500 trainees per year, compared to 120 per year for each of the four other organisations who supplied data. Safety ‘n Action declined our request to provide trainee numbers.

Overall 56% of these reps had their training funded by ACC, but the number of reps being funded by their employers increased steadily in recent years. This was, no doubt, partly attributable to the government’s decision to restrict rep funding to high risk industries, but could also be seen as an indication that the training was well regarded by employers.

Of the three big players, only the CTU has had more ACC-funded trainees than self-funded ones in recent years, while for Business NZ the number of user-pays trainees has consistently been more than double that of ACC-funded ones.

The data also showed that between 40 and 50% of stage 1 trainees progressed to stage 2 training, and a similar percentage of those reps went on to stage 3.

Source: Alert24 2/11/15,