Supervise your apprentice or trainee

When you take on an apprentice or trainee, you are obliged to provide a workplace supervisor, who:

  • is appropriately qualified to supervise at the right level
  • is designated to train the apprentice or trainee
  • is employed in the same workplace
  • has equal or similar working hours to your apprentice or trainee.

If you are an employer in the electrical industry, read important information about supervising your electrical apprentices.

What is a qualified supervisor

Your supervising registered training organisation will determine if the supervisor is appropriately qualified.

An appropriately qualified workplace supervisor for an apprentice is:

  1. a person who has satisfactorily completed an apprenticeship in the apprentice's calling in Australia, and is the holder of a completion certificate issued under an Act
  2. or
  3. a person who holds a certificate of recognition issued under an Australian Act, certifying the person has the necessary skills and knowledge in the calling
  4. or
  5. an Australian tradesperson in the apprentice's calling, as defined under a specific industrial instrument
  6. or
  7. a New Zealand tradesperson in the apprentice's calling whose occupation may be recognised under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition (Queensland) Act 2003
  8. or
  9. a person who holds a relevant qualification in the apprenticeship calling
  10. or
  11. a person individually, or persons collectively, who has/have documented competence (i.e. a testamur/qualification and associated record of results or a statement of attainment as recognised under the Australian Qualifications Framework, achieved through an RPL or training pathway) in all the competencies the employer is required to provide training for under the apprentice's training plan.

and where a worker is required to have a licence to practice the calling/occupation, the qualified person holds a current workers licence.

An appropriately qualified workplace supervisor for a trainee is:

  1. a person who has satisfactorily completed a traineeship in the trainee's calling in Australia, and is the holder of a completion certificate issued under an Act
  2. or
  3. a person who holds a certificate of recognition issued under an Act, certifying the person has the necessary skills and knowledge in the calling
  4. or
  5. a tradesperson in the trainee's calling, as defined under a specific industrial instrument
  6. or
  7. a person who holds a relevant qualification in the traineeship calling
  8. or
  9. a person individually, or persons collectively, who has/have documented competence (achieved through an RPL or training pathway) or demonstrated competence in all the competencies the employer is required to provide training for under the trainee's training plan. (Note: cannot be a person or persons currently undertaking the same traineeship)
  10. or
  11. a person undertaking a traineeship, at a higher level than the trainee's, whose traineeship incorporates supervisory or coordinating skills and who has documented competence (achieved through an RPL or training pathway) in at least 1 of the competencies the employer is required to provide training for under the trainee's training plan and who is supervised by a person who qualifies under (1) and/or (5) and/or (6).

and where a worker is required to have a licence to practice the calling/occupation, the qualified person holds a current workers licence.

As well as being compulsory, supervisors also play a central role in the success or failure of an apprenticeships or traineeship.

A capable supervisor:

  • sets clear expectations
  • makes their apprentice or trainee feel supported
  • delivers high quality training and mentoring (which compensates for low training wages)
  • demonstrates rapport and understanding.

In turn, effective supervision of apprentices and trainees leads to:

  • more productive workplaces
  • higher quality output and services
  • more employees who can work independently
  • employees who can do a broader range of tasks
  • greater likelihood of apprentice or trainee completing their apprenticeship or traineeship.

As well as adequate supervision, you must also provide appropriate facilities, range of work and training.

Supervision of your apprentice or trainee

As an employer of an apprentice or trainee, you must ensure appropriate and qualified supervision of the apprentice or trainee during their apprenticeship or traineeship. Learn more about supervision and what makes a good supervisor.