News & Security Advice

Victoria

ASQA cancels security qualifications issued by Victorian trainer

The national vocational education and training (VET) regulator has announced its intention to cancel 756 security qualifications issued by former Victorian training provider, Austwide Institute of Training Pty Ltd (Austwide).

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) investigated Austwide and found it to be critically non-compliant with the requirements of the VET Quality Framework.

As a result of this finding, ASQA cancelled the training provider’s registration. Austwide sought a review of the decision in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) however ASQA’s decision was affirmed and took effect on 26 May.

ASQA has examined training and assessment documents obtained from Austwide and found evidence that the organisation did not provide the training and assessment necessary to ensure students had the skills and knowledge required to be awarded a Certificate II in Security Operations.

As a result, ASQA has decided to cancel any Certificate II in Security Operations qualifications issued by Austwide – which also traded as Automotive Management Institute - between 28 April and 26 May this year because it believes the holders of this qualifications have not been properly assessed.

The strong regulatory action being taken by ASQA in this matter is based on reliable evidence that Austwide did not provide legitimate training and assessment of these individuals and was, in fact, operating a system intent on issuing qualifications 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 Austwide damages the standing of Australia’s vocational education and training system and warrants this strong response by the regulator.

ASQA is endeavouring to contact – by post, SMS and social media - the individuals involved. It is important that anyone who received a Certificate II in Security Operations qualification through Austwide between 28 April and 26 May this year read and understand the information sent to them.

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

However, should ASQA proceed to cancel the qualifications, 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 students who received a Certificate II in Security Operations qualification from Austwide between April and May 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.

Victorian Portable Long Service Leave Scheme for the security industry

The State Parliament's Economic, Education, Jobs and Skills Committee found that further research is needed before the introduction of portable LSL schemes.

The experience of interstate schemes and the desire to address the inequity experienced by workers who miss out on long service leave has led the Committee to recommend that the Victorian Government undertake feasibility studies into the introduction of portable long service leave schemes for the contract cleaning and security industries. Such work will provide a clearer understanding of the potential costs and benefits of expanding portability to these industries and assist the Government to determine whether to proceed with statutory schemes.

Victorian RIS proposed Private Security Regulations 2016

Under section 11 of the Subordinate Legislation Act 1994, comments and submissions are invited from the public on a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) regarding the proposed Private Security Regulations 2016. A copy of the RIS and an exposure draft of the proposed Regulations is attached.

The proposed Regulations will support the operation of the Private Security Act 2004 (the Act) and replace the current Private Security Regulations 2005, which are due to expire in 2016.

The proposed Regulations prescribe matters required for the practical operation of the Act, including classes of person to whom the Act does not apply, requirements for the keeping of records and registers under the Act, fees relating to licences, registrations and permits under the Act, and infringement penalties for certain offences under the Act.

The RIS examines the costs and benefits of the proposed Regulations and assesses alternatives. The RIS concludes that the proposed Regulations are the best means of ensuring that the Act continues to function effectively to maintain and improve the integrity and competency of the private security industry.

The RIS and proposed Regulations have been advertised for public comment in the Government Gazette and will be advertised in the Herald-Sun newspaper on Saturday 23 April 2016. Copies are available from http://myviews.justice.vic.gov.au/private-security-regulations-2016.

Your feedback is welcomed and must be in writing addressed to the Regulations Officer, Police Policy and Governance, Police and Corrections Division, Department of Justice and Regulation, GPO Box 4356, Melbourne, Victoria 3001 or by email to police.enquiries@justice.vic.gov.au.

Comments and submissions must be received by the end of Saturday, 21 May, 2016. Please note that all comments and submissions will be treated as public documents.

Ballarat security guard underpaid $30,000

A Victorian security company has been put on notice after it short-changed a Ballarat employee almost $30,000 over four years.

While the company has back-paid the worker in full, it has received a Letter of Caution from the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The employee was underpaid his normal hourly rate, casual loadings, shift allowances, weekend and public holiday penalty rates and overtime rates between 2009 and 2013.

The Fair Work Ombudsman found that the security guard was paid an average of $21.84 an hour for overtime work when he should have received $33 an hour.

Further, he was paid less than $20 an hour for public holiday work despite being entitled to rates of up to $37.73 – and on Saturdays, he was paid $23.14 instead of the minimum $29.97.

The employee lodged a request for assistance with the Fair Work Ombudsman after becoming aware he was being paid below lawful minimum rates.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the Melbourne-based security company co-operated with inspectors and avoided enforcement action.

“When we find employers who have made mistakes, our preference is always to educate them about their obligations and work with the business to resolve the issues outside of the Courts,” she said.

Ms James says it is vitally important employers ensure they are aware of the minimum wage rates applicable to their workplace, including penalty rates.

“A small mistake left over time can easily result in a hefty bill for back-payment of wages – so it is important employers get it right in the first place,” she said.

SPAAL offers Corporate members free telephone advice on workplace relations matters. Workplace Relations

SPAAL appoints Victorian Director

The SPAAL Board has appointed Naomi Oakley as SPAAL's Victorian Director.

Naomi served with the Victorian Police for 12 years and has worked in the security industry since 2003. Naomi currently operates a security company U-nome Security  that specializes in party, event and licensed venue security. Naomi conducts education sessions at schools aimed at parents, teenagers and teachers to highlight the dangers and risks associated with attending and holding unsafe parties and is a recognised advocate and industry spokesperson for safe events. Naomi has a Diploma in Risk Management, Certificate IV in Investigation Services and Certificate II and III Security Operation.

 

 

 

 

Payroll Tax Voluntary Disclosure Program – Victorian Private Security Business Licence Holders

The Commissioner of State Revenue is aware that holders of a Private Security Business Licence may have incorrectly claimed payments made to Private Security Individual Operator licence holders as exempt contractor payments and not payments made to an employee (refer to attached Bulletin-PTX-1/14).

Holders of a Private Security Business Licence now have an opportunity available to them to make a voluntary disclosure of those payments. By making the voluntary disclosure, employers will receive a reduced penalty tax rate of 5 per cent plus the applicable market rate of interest on any outstanding payroll tax.

Your voluntary disclosure must be made on or before the close of business on 30 November 2014.

The voluntary disclosure should cover all financial years from 1 July 2010 (see Revenue Ruling GEN014 – Assessments – Period of Retrospectivity).

Information Fact Sheet

Criminal History Checks changes from 1 September 2014

As at 1 September 2014, Victoria Police will require all security applicants to provide - as a minimum - a full 10 year criminal history check. This includes background checks from any other country that the applicant has resided in for a period of more than 12 months.

This policy is consistent with the requirements of section 25, 26, 82 and 83 of the Private Security Act 2004 which identify the circumstances in which the Chief Commissioner of Police must refuse to grant a licence/registration.
Therefore, all applicants on a visa (i.e. persons who are not permanent residents of Australia or Australian Citizens) must provide a copy of the standard Victorian Fingerprints and National Name Check as well as a certified copy of their
International Police Check from any other country that the applicant has resided in for a period of more than 12 months over the previous 10 years since turning 16 years of age. This requirement also applies to students.

The International Police Checks can be the same as those provided to Department of mmigration and Border Protection (DIBP) as part of the initial visa application, or they can be ordered by the applicant at their own expense through the appropriate embassy/consulate.

Both Police Checks will be utilised to undertake an assessment of the applicant’s criminal history against the ‘Revised Schedule of Offences’ accessible Here or on the Victoria Police website at www.police.vic.gov.au/privatesecurity.

It should be noted that just because an applicant has an offence recorded on their International Police Check from another country, it does not necessarily automatically preclude them from obtaining a licence in Victoria if that offence is of a type not recognised in Australia.

Victorian Monitoring Centre Operator Training Removed for Licensing

Licensing & Regulation Division (LRD) has determined that the requirement for training for the security guard sub-activity of monitoring centre operator be removed.

This decision has been made in consultation with the Private Security Industry Regulators at a national level who are also in the process of removing the training requirement. The Victorian Security Industry Advisory Council has been informed of the change and is supportive of this decision.

The decision was made as a result of feedback from the technical sector of the Private Security Industry which determined that the current training requirements did not meet their specific industry needs.

The decision to remove the training requirement will take effect immediately however does not remove the requirement to be licensed.

LRD is in the process of communicating this change to the industry.

Please note that this change will not affect the training requirements for the security guard sub-activity of control room operator.