Supervising your apprentice or trainee
Appropriate supervision is a legal requirement under the industrial arrangements, the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Act, 2001 and the training contract.
Workplace supervisors are in a key position to maximise the success of training and therefore ensure the supply of skilled staff for the future.
A capable supervisor can make workplace training meaningful and enjoyable for both the supervisor and the apprentice and trainee.
On this page:
- Role of the supervisor
- Induction to the workplace
- Six steps to effective mentoring
- Record keeping
- Training for workplace supervisors - free workshops
Role of the supervisor
A supervisor is responsible for training a learner on the worksite in a day to day working environment.
The role of the supervisor is to:
- act as mentor
- be a role model
- be familiar with the Training Plan and related training provided by the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) with workplace tasks
- give clear and consistent instructions on work tasks
- guide and support
- monitor and keep records of progress
- provide feedback and encouragement
- liaise with the RTO and other relevant parties.
Induction to the workplace
A good induction is crucial in providing a basis on which the apprentice or trainee can build effective workplace relationships and also give them a clear understanding of what is expected of them.
The workplace induction and ongoing support of the apprentice or trainee is normally the job of the workplace supervisor.
An induction should include at least:
- an overview of the business
- the role of the apprentice/trainee in the organisation
- expectations of all parties
- occupational health and safety issues relevant to the worksite
- the proposed training plan
- the responsibilities and obligations under the training contract
- administrative procedures
- basic work rules, work conditions and provisions under the award or industrial instrument
- an introduction to key personnel
- who to go to if there is a problem
More information is available in the Supervising your apprentice or trainee guide (pdf 257kB).
Six steps to effective mentoring
Supervisors can follow a simple six step process in mentoring an apprentice or trainee:
explain the task, its purpose and why it's done
explain all the steps in completing the task
demonstrate the task and explain how it will be assessed and recorded
provide sufficient opportunity to practice
provide encouragement, feedback and help to organise assessments with the RTO
when a competency has been achieved, ensure the apprentice or trainee is advised and the RTO confirms competence.
- collecting evidence about the apprentice's or trainee’s skills and knowledge,
- comparing the evidence to a set of industry-based standards, and
- ensuring that standards are met based on the evidence gathered.
A workplace supervisor won’t be required to make decisions on an apprentice or trainee’s competence - that is the RTO’s job - but the supervisor will be required to provide their opinion and provide evidence they have gathered on their ability to do the job.
As the workplace supervisor you will need to keep the following documents:
- records of on-the-job experience and workplace competence, as agreed with RTO
- results of any on-the-job training undertaken with the RTO
- copy of the full Training Plan prepared by the RTO
- letter from State Training Services approving the training contract
- copy of the training contract
- records of time worked and wages paid
- copy of the industrial award or agreement under which the learner is employed.
Training for workplace supervisors - free workshops
It is important that workplace supervisors have the necessary skills to oversee the on-the-job training for an apprentice or trainee.
State Training Services offers workshops for workplace supervisors from time to time.
Your Registered Training Organisation may also be able to assist with training for your supervisors and team leaders.
A range of resources, listed below, have been developed to help you do this training within your workplace, including workbooks and a DVD hosted by Scott Cam.