What Is A RIW Card And Why You Must Have It Updated ASAP

March 2, 2023

The Rail Industry Worker (RIW) program is Australia’s national competency management system that aims to monitor and ensure the competencies of rail industry workers. The program offers several benefits to the Australian local rail industry and its workers, including applying and obtaining a virtual and physical RIW card, which serves as proof and enforcement of compliance and qualification in rail.

Rail is a high-risk industry and is governed by safety protocols and compliance requirements in Australia. All contractors and rail workers need relevant competency certifications to access the rail corridor and safely work in the Australian rail industry.

To streamline compliance and keep the workers’ data current, the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) joined hands with Metro Trains Australia (MTA) to introduce the Rail Industry Worker (RIW) system in 2012 to ensure the health and safety of the workers in the rail industry.

Let’s dig in further and try to understand how the system works and why it is important to keep your information up-to-date in the RIW.

What is the RIW Program?

The Rail Industry Worker program is Australia’s national system for managing the competency and accreditation of workers who have to access the rail corridor to perform their jobs. The RIW program was designed to ensure all rail workers with access to the rail corridor have the necessary training, qualifications, safety competencies, and medical fitness to work safely.

The RIW Program aims to establish a single national competency management system enabling participant organisations to track a worker’s job roles, competencies, and previous projects and employers. By maintaining a single electronic record of each worker’s health, education, and competencies; the RIW program assists in meeting regulatory requirements and compliance with Rail Safety National Law.

The system helps ensure only qualified workers are hired for rail jobs.

How Does the RIW System Work?

The rail industry workers create their profile in the RIW or RSW system and are issued a RIW or RSW card that keeps all their data, including competencies, qualifications, medical fitness evaluations, etc.

What is a RIW Card?

The RIW card is a physical card linked to an online account, i.e., your RIW profile. This account needs to be updated for rail workers after every training they complete. It helps maintain a record of their skill set at an industry level, allowing them to be considered for jobs that require the said competency. Besides, it serves as proof the rail safety worker has completed the training and is qualified to access the track.

The validity period of rail industry worker (RIW) cards is 5 years from the date of issue. You must renew your RIW card before it expires to avoid any work-related disruptions.

For instance, if you undertake a Handsignaller course, you can’t get on track as a qualified hand signaller until your RIW card is updated. Therefore, the RIW card must be updated in a timely manner after a rail worker successfully completes any rail course. Once it is updated, they are considered qualified for the skill set they acquired during the training.

The RIW card gives an assurance to Principal Contractors, Network Operators, and other contractors in the industry that the rail worker is qualified, competent, and medically fit to perform various rail jobs.

Why Do You Need the RIW Card?

You can swipe your RIW card onto a worksite where a real-time compliance check is run to allow workers to enter the rail corridor. You can only access the rail corridor if the competency data on your RIW card is in-line with the specific site requirements set forth by your Principal Contractor or Rail Network Operator.

It also allows network operators to quickly look into rail workers’ profiles at a moment’s notice and discover information like training records and certificates. It eliminates the need for keeping all such records on-site to avoid them being lost or damaged. They can also be sure they have the most recent data and are hiring the right candidate for the job.

Why is it Important to Get Your RIW Card Updated Quickly?

There are many benefits to maintaining the most recent and up-to-date information on your RIW profile and card. Let’s have a quick look into why you should have your RIW card updated as soon as possible.

  • Employers and rail contractors want to avoid injury compensation claims, and they won’t hire you for a competency that is not reflected in your RIW card
  • It reflects your commitment to safety and compliance, allowing you to stand out from other job applicants
  • Keeping your data current and secure significantly improves your job prospects
  • Up-to-date RIW profile means you can be considered for promotions by your current employer/contractor and can grab other opportunities within the rail industry
  • You can’t access the rail corridor until the required competency is not updated on your RIW card
  • It helps your employer meet their compliance obligations

Register yourself in a nationally recognised rail training for safe access to the rail corridor with a credible participating training organisation, and they will upload your competencies to your RIW profile once you complete your training.

CERT Training SARC Course (Safely Access the Rail Corridor Course)

CERT Training is one of Australia’s leading rail training organisations currently offering the TLIF0020 – Safely Access the Rail Corridor (SARC) course for safety around the rail corridor.

SARC is an entry-level course for rail workers in Victoria, and students will often get their RIW card (account) set up as a result of doing this course so they can have their qualifications updated in their online RIW account.

The course is also a mandatory requirement to get the RIW card for many rail network providers in Australia. It gives you the basic knowledge and skills required for safely entering, navigating and working in the rail corridor.

Why Choose CERT Training SARC Course?

  • Up-to-date knowledge with hands-on skills for safely accessing the rail corridor
  • Uploaded to RIW account within 48 hours
  • Get on-site ASAP
  • Free upload

Conditions for Getting 48-hour RIW Card Updates

  • Must have an active RIW account
  • Must have valid RIW account information
  • Courses must be undertaken with CERT Training
  • Doesn’t include medicals
  • 48 business hours (excludes weekends)

List of States Where CERT Offers 48-hour Card Updates

What sets CERT apart from the competition is that your competencies are updated on your RIW card within 48 hours of completing the training. CERT is the first training organisation in the industry to follow this best practice.

The idea is to allow students to get on track with their new qualifications as soon as possible. Similarly, employers don’t have to pay employees for their higher qualifications only to find out that they can’t work at that level until their card is updated.

Currently, CERT offers 48-hour RIW Card Updates in the following States across Australia.

  • Queensland
  • Victoria (starting mid-march)
  • Other states to follow soon.

The RIW system is a great way for employers, contractors, and network operators to ensure safety around the rail corridor. It also makes compliance with industry standards easier.

If you’re a rail worker seeking new opportunities and a long and safe career in the Australian Railways, it’s a must for you to have the necessary qualifications and competencies updated on your RIW card.

Register yourself in the CERT Training RIW Card Course: TLIF0020 – Safely Access The Rail Corridor (known as SX52 / RISI in NSW) now and earn the right to serve in the rail industry.

The cherry on top? Your RIW card will be updated within 48 business hours!

Enrol in SARC today: