Confined Space Training Courses

Just because an RTO trains a person and then issues them a certificate of competence in a confined space following successful course completion, this does not always mean their course is necessarily of excellent quality. Whilst ASQA generally oversees the quality systems of a training organisation. they do not perform a quality ‘test’ or assessment over the content of one course provided by an RTO, as the competency guidelines are simply too wide to evaluate.

For this reason, the WAHA has developed guidelines for RTOs to ensure they are offering minimum training content and practical assessments. This content is shown below:


MSMWHS217 Gas Test Atmospheres
RIIWHS202E Enter and Work in Confined Spaces
RIIWHS401E Supervise work in Confined Spaces

1. Legislation

1.1     Identify the definition, legislation, regulations, codes of practice, standards relevant to confined space entry

2. Risk Assessment

2.1      Describe the hazards of confined space work

2.2      Principles of a hazard and risk assessment matrix

2.3      Discuss hierarchy of control

3. Equipment Required

3.1      Anchorage –tripods, davits

3.2      Harnesses – full body, inspection, correct fitting and selection

3.3      Connectors – karabiners, maillons, snap  hooks and scaffold hooks

3.4      Lanyards – single, double and adjustable (include a shock absorber and acceptable forces on the body.

3.5      Type 3 SRL

3.6      Personnel winch

3.7      Inspection criteria for equipment as a user / operator

4. Entry Permits

4.1    Correct selection of permit

4.2    Information to be entered on permit: time, date,  location, description, risk assessment,  personnel, communications, atmospheric monitoring, PPE, hot work, isolation, purging, entry time, exit time, rescue plan and authorising signature

4.3    Duration of permit

4.4    Conditions when a permit can be withdrawn

4.5    Is SCBA required?

5. Atmospheric Monitoring

5.1    Standard 4 head gas detector

5.2    Detects oxygen, hydrogen sulphide, carbon monoxide, LEL

5.3    Fresh air calibration, bump testing, clearing the peaks

5.4    Manufacturer 6 monthly calibration

5.5    Limitations

5.6    Correct use

6. Importance of rescue

6.1      Discuss legislation requirements for rescue

6.2      Discuss Suspension Intolerance

6.3      Non entry rescue

7. Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus

7.1      Pre-operational check: cylinder, cylinder pressure, straps, back plate, face mask, identify parts, leak test, negative pressure (mask on turn off cylinder) and positive pressure (insert finger into side of mask and air should leak out)

7.2      Donning, doffing and clean set

7.3      Medical requirements


1. Perform a SWMS

1.1      A SWMS needs to be completed with the students in which they are to sign off on before the commencement of practical activities to ensure that each candidate understands risk and control measures

2. Inspect Equipment

2.1      Trainers to lay out all training equipment to be used for the practical activities and with the student do a practical inspection of the equipment

3. Fit Harness and Buddy Check

3.1      Students to be shown how to correctly fit a full body harness

3.2      Each student is to be buddy checked by a fellow student

3.3      Trainer to also inspect and check each student for correct fitting of the harness and adjust if required

4. Operation a Gas Detector

4.1      Turn on, fresh air calibration, bump test clear the peaks

5. Prepare to Enter a Confined


5.1      Complete a permit and set up all entry equipment

6. Perform a Gas Detection of a Confined Space

6.1      Gas test around the opening standing upwind

6.2      Crack the opening and check again standing upwind

6.3      Remove the cover storing in a safe area,

6.4      Lower the gas detector in checking the upper, middle and lower level for approx. 3 minutes each level

6.5      If there is liquid at the bottom of the confined space, ensure the detector is not lowered into it.

7. Enter a Confined Space

7.1      Lower a worker into the space attached either to the sternum or dorsal d ring utilising a primary attached to the sternum d ring and secondary system attached to the dorsal d ring: Type 3 SRL, personnel winch, pre-rigged mechanical advantage kit

7.2      Lower a worker into the space using the spreader bars attached to the shoulder rings

7.3      Perform a rescue from the confined space

8. Inspect equipment and pack up

8.1      Conduct a post use inspection of equipment

9. Clean up work area

9.1      Consult with authorised personnel to ensure safety system is dismantled and removed

9.2      Clear work area and dispose of or recycle materials

9.3       Clean, check, maintain and store tools and equipment



Training on Elements 1 and 2 – Theory and Practical Exercises for the Basic Confined Space Entry Course – including student examination – should take a minimum of 16 hours.

The WAHA strongly recommends a ratio of students to trainers should be no greater than 10 to 1 as the ability to assess practical competence of each person will otherwise be compromised.


Whilst a certificate of competence issued by an RTO for a nationally recognised competency technically never expires, it is the strong recommendation of the WAHA that re-certification of Confined Space Training should be undertaken every year.