What is a VOC?

A VOC or Verification of Competency is a term often heard in the industry, but what is it?

Is it training? Is it a ticket? Why are all these job sites asking me to have one?

The answer is that it a VOC is neither training nor accreditation, but an assessment for operators who already have their licence, ticket or previous training.

So if it’s not a licence, what is the purpose of getting a verification of competency?

A VOC is a way to gather evidence that an operator’s skills are up to an acceptable standard. Generally, VOC’s are required for machines like excavators and skid steers that no longer require a high risk work licence, but you could be asked to have a VOC on any type of machine or equipment depending on the site rules.

So why am I being asked to get a VOC when I already have my licence?

Sometimes you will be asked to have a VOC even if you already hold a licence for that machine. This can seem like overkill: you already have your licence so why do you need anything else?

Well, whether you need a VOC or not is a site specific requirement, meaning you may need to have a VOC at one job site, then go to another job site 1km down the road and not need one.

The reasons for this can vary, we have listed a few common reasons:

  • The job site/employer may want to demonstrate duty of care as part of their risk management strategy
  • There may have been a workplace incident and VOCs are conducted for safety measures
  • You may hold a current licence without having operated for a number of years

So, do I need to have a VOC?

Put shortly, if an employer or job site is requesting that you have one, then yes, you need a VOC.