News & Security Advice

Queensland

Mandatory licensing scheme for Labour Hire companies operating in Queensland

The Queensland Government will introduce mandatory licensing of labour hire companies in a bid to crack-down on rogue operators exploiting and mistreating vulnerable workers.

Under the proposed mandatory licensing scheme, all labour hire providers operating in Queensland would need to:

  • pass a fit-and-proper person test
  • comply with strict workplace laws, including workers’ compensation, wages and superannuation
  • pay a license fee;
  • report regularly on their operations; and
  • divulge the number of employees they have engaged, along with the number of employees engaged through work visa arrangements

The proposed new laws will be backed by stiff penalties and some offenders will be liable for criminal prosecution. A compliance unit will also be established to check licence holders for continued compliance with their licence conditions, and investigate complaints.

Legislation to give effect to mandatory labour hire licensing will be introduced in May, with the scheme expected to be up and running in 2018.

Security industry trainees urged to stick to reputable trainers

The Queensland Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is reminding those training to work in the security industry to ensure they complete their training through a reputable provider.

The warning comes as the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) cancelled the registration of a further three Registered Training Organisations (RTO) that were delivering security training in states across Australia, including New South Wales and Queensland.

Sage Academy Training Pty Ltd, Premier Training Institute Pty Ltd, and Safety and First Aid Education Pty Ltd had their credentials cancelled due to delivering poor quality training and assessment in security training courses. ASQA acted on these organisations after concerns were raised by the OFT about their activities.

Safety and First Aid Education Pty Ltd have since appealed the cancellation.

ASQA is the national training regulator, responsible for registering RTOs and monitoring the quality of training delivery and assessment.

In 2016, the ASQA cancelled the registration of Peacemakers Security Pty Ltd, trading as Peacekeeper Security Training Institute.

During the investigation, ASQA found that Peacemakers recently issued qualifications to some students, without those students undertaking the proper training and assessment.

The OFT is reminding those wishing to enter the security industry to commit to doing the training properly with a reputable provider, and not risk losing, or not obtaining, your licence over poor, or in some circumstances, non-existent training.

Registered Training Organisations are listed at www.training.gov.au.

Information of training requirements to enter the security industry in Queensland are available from www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Queensland security licence exemption for ID scanning

Mandatory ID scanning for most liquor licensed venues in Queensland Safe Night Precincts commences on 1 July 2017

SPAAL had requested the Office of Fair Trading provide a clear and easy to understand written direction for the operation of ID scanners by licensed crowd controllers, as it was always our understanding that this was a screening activity and therefore required licensed personnel to operate this system.

The Commissioner for Liquor, Gaming and Fair Trading has approved the attached ‘guideline’ which in effect exempts certain ‘scanning personnel’ on licensed premises from the requirement to be licensed as a crowd controller under the Security Providers Act, but only under the following conditions;

  • ID scanning is mandatory for the venue.
  • The person scanning ID is accompanied and directly supervised by a licensed crowd controller at all times while performing ID scanning.
  • A licensed crowd controller independently assesses both the ID and the patron, and appropriately screens the entry of the patron.
  • If the ID scan identifies a banned patron, only a licensed crowd controller may remove that person from on or around the premises.
  • In any physical interaction between a licensed crowd controller and a patron, a person merely scanning a patron’s ID must avoid all involvement.
  • The person scanning ID must be appropriately trained to operate the scanning system.

 Security licence exemption for ID scanning guideline

SPAAL welcomes this decision which recognises the importance of the Queensland crowd control industry in identifying banned patrons attempting to entry late night trading premises within all Queensland Safe Night Precincts.

SPAAL is now developing a training package for the industry as the Liquor Act 1992 places considerable responsibility of licensees and therefore crowd controllers with regards to the use of the scanners (technical requirements) , as well as requirements for compliance with the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 to safeguard the handling of personal information obtained through scanning of ID’s.

If you require any further information about this training package and/or your responsibilities as a crowd controller please don’t hesitate to contact SPAAL's President, Garry Oliver on 0414527800 or president@spaal.com.au

Queensland Lock Out Laws Update

On Monday 23 January 2017 the Queensland Government announced that the 1am lock out would be removed and that all venues located in a safe night precinct, regardless of whether they were prescribed as a 2am or 3am safe night precinct, would be approved to trade liquor until 3am, if their current approved hours permit them to.

The statewide 2am last drinks are unaffected by these changes, in-line with current arrangements for venues outside of safe night precincts.

In further changes, certain licensed venues inside SNP who trade past midnight on a permanent basis will be required to have an approved networked ID scanner installed and operating at their venue by 1 July 2017.

Further information will be updated at www.business.qld.gov.au/liquor-gaming as it becomes available.

WorkCover Queensland sharpens compliance focus

Ensuring businesses have appropriate workers’ compensation insurance and understand ‘who is a worker’, are hot buttons for WorkCover Queensland this year, as part of a state-wide employer compliance program.

WorkCover has bolstered its year-round onsite employer compliance and education visits and employer wage audits with access to data matching information linked to the Australian Tax Office and the Office of State Revenue.

In 2015, WorkCover visited 2,300 Queensland businesses from the construction, agriculture, manufacturing, retail and tourism sectors to educate employers on their responsibility to insure workers with an accident insurance policy.

During this period, uninsured businesses lodged 260 workplace injury claims with WorkCover, costing the scheme approximately $6.5 million, while audits of 650 Queensland businesses found that 8% omitted to declare wages paid to contractors deemed workers and 3% of employers were uninsured.

If you own a business and employ workers in Queensland, even members of your family, it is compulsory to have an accident insurance policy with WorkCover. If a worker is injured at work, they can apply for workers’ compensation no matter whom or what caused their injury, so it’s important to be covered.

WorkCover Queensland Manager - Customer Compliance, Ms Stacey Looney said the vast majority of businesses do the right thing by having an accident insurance policy and paying the right amount of premium, yet non-compliance is a concern.

“Any Queensland business who employs a worker is breaking the law if they don’t have a WorkCover Accident Insurance policy,” Ms Looney said.

“Uninsured employers who lodge WorkCover claims are held to account and subject to significant financial penalties, including the cost of the claim. These penalties can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars for severe injuries.”

A WorkCover Accident Insurance policy costs as little as $200 per year, inc GST (depending on which industry a business belongs to and wages paid to its workers).

“It’s never too late to start complying,” Ms Looney said. “Small businesses covered by WorkCover enjoy benefits including protection for the business and workers against injuries and protection against penalties for employing workers without having a policy.”

If employers are confused about their obligations to insure their workers against injury or who they need to cover, WorkCover is here to help.

Employers can apply for a WorkCover policy online by visiting Worksafe.qld.gov.au, or by calling WorkCover on 1300 362 128 to get the right advice.

2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games – Security Recruitment

FOUR global security companies have been appointed as a consortium to manage security for the Commonwealth Games.

Comprising of MSS Security, Wilson Security, SecureCorp and SNP, the consortium will deploy more than 4,000 security personnel.

GOLDOC Chairman, Peter Beattie AC said the safety and security of spectators and athletes would be a priority for GC2018.

“This is a sporting event, it’s also the largest event Australia will see this decade, and we’re determined everybody will be able to enjoy the Commonwealth Games in a safe and friendly environment,” he said.

“GOLDOC is working closely with Queensland’s Department of Education and Training and industry experts to tailor the skills of the GC2018 security workforce to local needs.”

Transport and Commonwealth Games Minister, Stirling Hinchliffe said 30 per cent of the security workforce would be recruited from South East Queensland.

“The security workforce for the 2018 Commonwealth Games will be specially trained by GOLDOC and its partners to deliver a high-quality presence for the Games and new, industry recognised skills for hundreds of local workers,” he said.

“A significant consideration in planning for GC2018 has been the Games’ legacy; it has been built into new and upgraded venue infrastructure, and now the workforce skills of hundreds of Queenslanders.”

GOLDOC Chief Executive Officer, Mark Peters said GOLDOC is confident that the primary security contractors would provide effective, professional, friendly and helpful security services for all GC2018 participants and visitors.

GOLDOC Head of Security, Danny Baade said the security workforce would include both newly trained and experienced personnel.

“South East Queensland has delivered many large events in recent years, the G20 Summit is just one example,” Mr Baade said.

“We’ll be providing a visible presence for GC2018 which is similar to what you would expect to see at a major Australian airport, while complementing the work of other security agencies.”

Most recruitment and training of security personnel will commence during 2017.

ASQA announces further Peacemakers security qualifications to be cancelled

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has announced its intention to cancel a further 1,947 security and related qualifications and statements of attainment (SoAs) issued to 1,020 people by Peacemakers Security Pty Ltd (Peacemakers).

ASQA announced in September its intention to cancel 461 qualifications and SoAs issued to 236 individuals by the now-deregistered Peacemakers between March and July 2016.

This latest round of cancellations effects qualifications and SoAs issued between 9 September 2015 and 8 March 2016.

ASQA cancelled Peacemakers’ - which traded as Peacekeeper Security Training Institute - registration as a provider of vocational education and training (VET) in July because of its failure to meet the national training standards, particularly the failure to adequately assess the competence of its students.

The strong regulatory action being taken by ASQA in this matter is based on reliable evidence that Peacemakers did not provide legitimate training and assessment of these individuals and was, in fact, operating a system intent on issuing qualifications and SOA’s without providing training or assessment.

This behaviour is not the typical ‘non-compliance’ detected by ASQA during its regulatory work, where training organisations are actually providing training and assessment but are not fully meeting their regulatory obligations.

The actions of Peacemakers damages the standing of Australia’s vocational education and training system and warrants this strong response by the regulator.

With the assistance of the Queensland Office of Fair Trading, ASQA has written to students who obtained a qualification through Peacemakers between 9 September 2015 and 8 March 2016 advising them of its decision and giving them an opportunity to provide written advice stating why their qualification and/or SoAs should not be cancelled.

Students issued a security or related qualification and/or statement(s) of attainment by Peacemakers during this time should check their emails and/or standard mail for a notice from ASQA. ASQA is also attempting to reach students using SMS where it has the person’s contact details.

The cancellation of the qualifications and/or statements of attainment is not automatic – individuals have the opportunity to submit evidence and information to ASQA as to why their qualifications and/or SoAs should not be cancelled.

However, should ASQA proceed to cancel the qualifications and statements of attainment, individuals who still want to obtain a license to work in the security industry will have to regain their qualification through another training provider.

Any student who received a security or related qualification or SoAs from Peacemakers between March and June this year and has not received a notice – or would like more information - should contact the ASQA Info Line on 1300 701 801 or email qualifications.review@asqa.gov.au.

Queensland Training Ombudsman to review security industry training

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

9 August, 2016

The Palaszczuk Government has directed Queensland’s Training Ombudsman to undertake a review of training in the security industry.

The decision comes after the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) cancelled the accreditation of Queensland-based training provider Peacemakers Security Pty Ltd.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills Yvette D’Ath said it is important to ensure the highest standards of training in Queensland.

“The security industry is one of the most sensitive areas for vocational training, because of the roles that graduates of that training can undertake,” said Mrs D’Ath.

“I want to ensure that we have a properly trained security industry in Queensland, to ensure the safety of people and property across the state.

“As such, I have directed the interim Training Ombudsman to undertake a review of training in the security industry, with a particular focus on identifying any systemic issues or areas for improvement.”

“In relation to Peacemakers, the Office of Fair Trading is working with ASQA in relation to course participants past and present – those who already received the qualifications and licence, and those who are seeking a gain a licence.

Mrs D’Ath said that under the circumstances, it was appropriate to conduct a broader review of security training in Queensland.

“Peacemakers was not an approved training provider contracted by the Queensland Department of Education and Training.

“The Palaszczuk Government has a strong focus on ensuring quality training services are provided in Queensland.

“This is why we have established the office of the Queensland Training Ombudsman and will continue to work closely with ASQA to support any Queenslanders impacted by the actions of any organisations not upholding these standards.”

Anyone with concerns about the quality of their training and wanting to discuss options can contact Training Queensland on 1300 369 935 or email training@det.qld.gov.au.

Additionally, the Queensland Training Ombudsman can be contacted on 1800 773 048 orinfo@trainingombudsman.qld.gov.au.

QLD Office of Fair Trading Security Industry News – April 2016

 

Welcome to the April 2016 edition of the Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) Security Buzz, an e-newsletter for Queensland security providers.

Australian Skills Quality Authority strategic review on security provider training in Australia

The private security industry undertakes important, and sometimes sensitive and high-risk activities, when protecting people’s personal safety and property. As well as meeting high standards of integrity, it is critical for security providers to be proficient in the skills necessary to competently and safely perform their duties.

OFT is aware of concerns in the community about the quality of vocational education and training being delivered by some registered training organisations (RTOs), including some RTOs delivering security-related training.

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) is the national regulator of vocational education and training and has recently completed a strategic review of training in security training programs in Australia.

On 28 January 2016, ASQA published its report, which contains a range of recommendations aimed at improving security training in Australia.

OFT will continue to work collaboratively with security industry regulators in the other Australian states and territories to enhance consistency in the nationally-recognised training competencies prospective security providers need to undertake to be eligible for a licence.

However, ASQA continues to be responsible for the registration and regulation of RTOs, and for addressing concerns about the performance and quality of training delivered by RTOs, including those operating in Queensland.

Legislation change for some liquor licensees

The Security Providers Act 1993 (Security Providers Act) requires that a crowd controller register be maintained and contain specific information, including crowd controller IDs, shift times, licence numbers and incident details.

In addition, certain liquor licensees in Queensland are also required to maintain an ‘incident register’ in accordance with the Liquor Act 1992 (Liquor Act). This register must also contain specific information about an incident in which a person is injured or is to be removed from the premises.

Licensees should be aware that recent legislative changes in the Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence Legislation Amendment Act 2016 amend the Liquor Act to remove the need for certain liquor licensees in the Brisbane City Council area to record incidents in both an incident register and crowd controller register. In particular, where these licensees are required to record an incident in the crowd controller Register, they are no longer required to also record the information in the incident register.

How to complete the crowd controller register

One of the most common breaches of the Security Providers Act seen by OFT is the failure to properly maintain the crowd controller register.
In particular:

  • crowd controllers fail to sign off the register at the end of a shift
  • insufficient details of incidents that occur during their shift are recorded.

A liquor licensee is required to keep a register of crowd controllers that work for them. The register must be written in ink and legible. It must be kept in a secure place at the business.
The register must contain all the following details about each crowd controller on duty:

  • full name
  • security licence number
  • security firm’s name and address (if the services are provided by a firm)
  • identification number worn
  • date and time of the start and finish of each period of duty
  • for restricted licensees, the name of the crowd controller who holds an unrestricted licence and is directly supervising the restricted licensee.

If a crowd controller is involved in an incident where a person is injured or a person is removed from the premises, the following information must be entered into the register:

  • date, time and place of the incident
  • a description of each person involved in the incident, including their name if known
  • details of the incident including whether a person was removed from the premises
  • details of injuries suffered by any of the people involved
  • details of action taken by the crowd controller or other staff in response to the incident.

This information must be entered into the register as soon as possible after the incident.
It is the responsibility of the liquor licensee to ensure that the register is properly maintained and signed by the crowd controllers.
The register must be firmly bound along its spine and the pages contained therein must be sequentially numbered.

Are you offering advice on security equipment?

There are two categories of ‘technical’ security provider licenses – advisor and equipment installer.

If you own a business that sells security equipment, you should consider whether you need a security advisor licence, even if you do not install the security equipment. If you install as well, you are likely to need both categories of technical licence.
Security equipment is defined as equipment which provides or enhances security, or for protecting or watching property. It includes alarms and monitoring systems, cameras, access control devices, intrusion detection devices and safes.
To sell such equipment, it is very likely that you will need to give some sort of security advice. The advice might be as simple as:

  • explaining how the capabilities of the product you are selling will enhance the security of the property the buyer wishes to protect
  • telling the buyer where or how the product should be installed
  • explaining the benefits of one security measure over another, given the buyer’s specific circumstances.

Giving advice for reward about security equipment, methods or principles means you are a security advisor and need to be licensed as such.

Acting as a security adviser while not being appropriately licensed may result in fines of up to $117,800 or 18 months imprisonment.

Information on how to become licensed can be found on the OFT website.

Compliance checks maintain consistent results

Pro-active compliance checks are conducted state-wide by the OFT, Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) and the Queensland Police Service (QPS).

Compliance checks cover all sectors of the security industry, but due to the large number of licensed crowd controllers in Queensland and the risks associated with this type of work, this particular sector remains a strong focus.

In the financial year to date, OFT, OLGR, and QPS have completed over 700 compliance checks, conducted nearly 200 investigations, and issued over 100 infringement notices and 50 official warnings.

The focus of compliance operations has spanned the state, and taken in the various types of security provider licensee.

For example, half of OFT’s spot checks occurred on either the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast, with a significant focus also on the Cairns, Mackay, Brisbane and Toowoomba regions.

Locksmiths featured prominently after being the focus of a dedicated compliance operation in March 2016, resulting in six investigations for a total of five enforcement actions.

Compulsory refresher training

Changes to all new and renewed licences will be rolled out in 2016. These changes will add a condition to bodyguard and crowd controller licences. This condition will be displayed on the back of the licence.

The condition serves as a reminder, that as a crowd controller and/or bodyguard, you must complete 3 modules of training every 3 years. This is not a new requirement. The condition on the back of the licence is designed to remind licensees that continuing to hold these functions is contingent on completing the refresher training.

You will receive a notice in the mail with your new licence. The notice will inform you of the module names, module descriptions and the due dates for completing this required training.

Bodyguards and crowd controllers should always be aware of their training requirements and set reminders for themselves to ensure training is completed on time.

Making the little things easier

The OFT understands that our lives are becoming busier. Amendments to legislation have reduced red tape surrounding the licensing process.

Security industry licensees no longer need to:

  • provide photographs every two years. Instead, new photographs are only required every ten years, which is the same as for Queensland drivers licences
  • write a letter to advise us of changes in their personal or contact details. A phone call is now accepted.

Licensees must give OFT notice of any change in details within 7 days. This may include your:

  • name
  • business name
  • postal address
  • residential address
  • convictions or disqualifying offences.

If you require access to any security industry forms or fees, go to our website. It’s the little things that count.

Queensland Security Industry Ministerial Advisory Committee

SPAAL has written to the Attorney General requesting a Ministerial Advisory Committee to be formed to investigate and report on a number of critical issues that need urgent attention within the Queensland security industry as a result of the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) review of security industry training and other industry issues identified by SPAAL.

SPAAL Letter QLD Attorney General - Establishment of Security Advisory Committee - 11 March 2016