What Is a White Card and Why You Need It in Order to Do a Construction Work?

Construction is a dangerous and dynamic industry. There are many regulations that surround it which exist to protect both employees and employers alike. There’s no shortage of paperwork that needs to be done for employees to be eligible to work in such dangerous industries. In Australia, the government requires that employees working in construction Acquire a White Card, which signals that they’ve gone through adequate work health and safety training for their chosen field. Here are some important details about White Cards and how to get them.

What exactly is a White Card?

To work in the construction industry, an individual must pass a General Construction Induction course, also known as a “White Card course”.  These courses help cover the essentials of construction and how to handle certain aspects of the profession.

It’s a legal prerequisite for working in construction in Australia, which is why it’s so important that every employee gets one. The repercussions for not having one are pretty substantial, so you won’t see businesses neglecting to check for one.

Recent changes

Previously, White Cards were known as Red cards, Blue Cards, or Green Cards, depending on the state they were issued in. They were a necessity for every kind of trade, and there were many ways to obtain a card from different training courses. Recently, the government has stepped in and introduced stricter rules for the regulation of trades.

There’s only one White Card and obtaining one is a bit more difficult than before. You can’t complete an online course for one anymore, while this has been standard practice in the past. Exceptions include workers that are applying for a card from Western Australia or Tasmania. Other states aren’t eligible and must complete this training in other ways.

Prerequisites for a White Card

There are a few basic requirements to keep in mind when applying for a White Card certification. This course is available to anyone that wishes to work in Australian construction. All they need to do is apply for it and they can be provided with the training.

Applicants must provide original photographic evidence to prove their identity so that the White Card can be issued to their name. Their identity can be proven with the help of a document such as a passport, driver’s license, or others.

To pass the course, the applicant will need a functional level of English language communication, as well as comprehension skills. The course is done in English and there are relevant forms of assistance and support that are provided for applicants. To receive this support, applicants should enquire for further information from those providing the course.

How do I get a White Card?

There’s no official agency that provides these courses for those intending to work in the construction business. Instead, applicants can look for an eligible registered training organization or RTO in their state. As long as the organization is certified for providing these types of courses, an applicant can receive a White Card from them.

An applicant only needs to call a local RTO to request that they provide them with a white card course for construction and they should be able to organize the exact date and time for training. The organizations provide face-to-face delivery of these courses and they can be applied at any suitable training location. This can happen on-site at your current workplace or anywhere else that is convenient.

The course itself doesn’t last very long. You can expect it to last around four to six hours and the organization will provide you with a statement of attainment upon completion. Applicants often go through the course before even applying for a job in construction, simply because it shows that they are proactive in their role. Thinking ahead will provide you with a few benefits, as the employer will request that you have a White Card at some point either way.

Fines and consequences of not having a White Card

White cards are absolutely mandatory for anyone that intends to work in the construction industry. The card itself does not expire, so there’s hardly any reason for a construction worker to not go through the course. Retraining is often only a requirement of businesses if the cardholder hasn’t worked in the industry for at least two years.

Not having a White Card while working in the construction industry can have legal repercussions for the worker and employer. Should a business be caught with workers who don’t have White Cards, this can mean a fine of eleven thousand dollars. Due to this liability, and the ease at which a course is completed, hardly any business will accept a worker without a White Card. Those looking to enter into construction have no reason to avoid this course.


Without a White Card, it’s pretty much impossible to find work in the construction industry. It’s a crucial part of any construction worker’s CV, especially if they’re trying to get into the business. The good news is that there are hardly any limitations that will stop employees from obtaining their White Card, which means getting this certification is a breeze. Research about your local RTOs and you’ll be able to get a card in no time.


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Written by Emily Wilson

Content AuthorYears Of Membership

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