Feedback on oral examinations

The New Zealand Mining Board of Examiners is concerned about the number of certificate of competence (CoC) applicants that are being failed because they are unable to demonstrate they have the ability and knowledge required to maintain a safe work environment, using the four competency areas examined:

• operating and safety systems
• legislation
• leadership and,
• emergency management.

In the past year the Panel of Examiners has examined 223 applicants of which 91 were failed because, in one or more of these areas, they were unable to satisfy the panel that they could apply their skills, knowledge and practical experience in day to day operations.

From the 91 applicants who did not pass their examination;

  • 87% were unable to demonstrate competence in legislation
  • 80% were unable to demonstrate competence in leadership
  • 73% were unable to demonstrate competence in operating and safety systems
  • 66% were unable to demonstrate competence in emergency management

To pass, applicants must be considered competent in all four competencies.

A holder of a CoC who is appointed to a safety critical role has statutory roles and responsibilities which are set out in legislation. It is therefore important that CoC applicants are familiar with the legislative requirements of their role and how to apply this knowledge on the job. If applicants are unable to demonstrate an understanding of this relationship, they will fail.

It is important that applicants come to the examination with a strong understanding of the CoC’s legislative requirements and responsibilities. This means knowing the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and the Health and Safety at Work (Mining Operations and Quarrying Operations) Regulations 2016 and an understanding of how both are applied on the job.

Sample scenarios and questions (PDF 26 KB)

Other documents that applicants should also have an understanding of are:

  • the Health and Safety at Work (Worker Engagement, Participation, and Representation) Regulations 2016
  • the Health and Safety at Work (General Risk and Workplace Management) Regulations 2016
  • the Health and Safety at Opencast Mines, Alluvial Mines and Quarries good practice guidelines

The Board and WorkSafe are working closely with industry to ensure appropriate experience and training is available to address these issues.