Making sure your skills, quals and standards stay relevant and useful

The way rail, tram and bus workers access training and qualifications has changed significantly over the past few decades.


The significant increase in private RTOs (Registered training Organisations) and the shift away from in-house training by the major organisations has altered the balance in how we achieve our qualifications.

Nevertheless, our Union has been working hard behind the scenes to ensure the content of training courses and qualifications remain relevant to the needs of workers, and to the roles that our members perform in the rail, tram and bus industries.

National Secretary Mark Diamond is on the board of Australian Industry Standards – the organisation which oversees the development and maintenance of qualifications for workers in the transport and logistics sectors. The RTBU is also involved in a number of industry committees through the Rail Industry Safety & Standards Board (RISSB).

Mark said both of these peak bodies support the development and review of the Rail Industry Standards, Codes of Practice, Guidelines and Qualifications.

“When we work with AIS, we not only help ensure that our members’ skills remain valuable and relevant to their employers, but we also contribute to securing their ongoing employment through portability and national recognition,” Mark said.

“Similarly with RISSB, our involvement helps drive national harmonisation and interoperability in the rail industry, improve operational consistency and - importantly - safety.”

“It’s vital that workers are part of the conversation about skills development, so that the training packages which underpin national qualifications genuinely reflect what goes in the workplace.

“Furthermore, we need to be vigilant against attempts by some employers to de-skill their workforces as a justification for paying workers less.”

Mark said Australian Industry Standards was currently conducting a number of industry reviews including:

• Covid 19 in the industry;
• Automation;
• Asset maintenance;
• Safety;
• Customer service in the digital age; and
• Cyber security.

RISSB is also constantly reviewing its Standards, and a number of our members are assisting with their technical expertise.

If you are interested in being a part of this important ongoing work, that will help secure stable employment into the next generation and are willing to share your expertise and be a part of the ongoing development and review of future RISSB Standards and AISC Qualifications, please contact Gary Talbot in the RTBU National Office by email gtalbot [at] .