Induction, training and information

This guidance supports schools and early learning services with health and safety induction, training and information recommendations. This will help you meet your statutory duties and requirements as person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU).

Questions to consider

Do you have:

  • A designated person or persons responsible for supervising new workers?
  • An induction process that includes an explanation of your workers’ health and safety responsibilities?
  • An induction process that includes a full health and safety briefing on workplace hazards and safe working methods?
  • A record of health and safety training needs for specific roles, tasks or areas of work?
  • A health and safety training plan for delivering the training identified?
  • A list of trainers available and their areas of expertise, including experience and qualifications?
  • Signed worker training records?
  • Health and safety information accessible to all workers and others on-site?

Benefits of health and safety training

PCBUs have a duty to manage workplace risks.

Professional development in health and safety supports PCBUs to be compliant and also strengthens the capabilities of workers to maintain a safe and happy work environment.

Benefits for management

  • Improved health of workers.
  • Reduced workplace accidents.
  • Reduced sick leave.
  • More engaged workers.
  • Increased worker performance.
  • Reduced absenteeism.
  • Better staff retention.
  • Lower injury, illness and sick pay costs.

Benefits for workers

  • A safe and healthy work environment.
  • Reduced likelihood of accidents or injuries in the workplace.
  • Improved health.
  • Improved morale.
  • Increased job satisfaction.
  • Improved sense of wellbeing.

Training recommendations for workers

Health and safety training must benefit the safety of workers in the workplace.

Training should include:

  • induction training covering health and safety
  • knowing the health and safety responsibilities of the board/early learning service and all staff
  • risk identification and management
  • incident recording and reporting, including near hits and misses
  • safe work procedures
  • safe use of all equipment relevant to the worker’s duties
  • safe use, storage and maintenance of personal protective equipment
  • safe use and storage of hazardous substances
  • role-specific training for those with health and safety responsibilities in the workplace, for example, health and safety representatives
  • emergency procedures, including evacuation procedures and use of emergency equipment. 

You have the same duty of care to volunteer workers as you do to every other worker. PCBUs need to ensure volunteer workers understand the hazards and risks of their work and are competent to work safely. That means they also need appropriate training and information.

For more information on volunteers, see:

Roles and responsibilities

Training for health and safety representatives

Health and safety representatives (HSRs) are given special powers under the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) and are therefore required to undergo training.

  • Initial training is considered completed when the HSR is assessed as having achieved the New Zealand Qualifications Authority unit standard 29315.
  • An HSR may use their annual training entitlement to attend training.

As the PCBU, the school board must pay the training fees and pay for any other reasonable expenses that the HSR may incur or has incurred in attending training (including the cost of travel and accommodation that may be booked or paid for in advance).

An HSR may choose a training opportunity (whether initial or additional training) in consultation with the PCBU about the time, date, location of and the costs (including training fees) relating to the training.

A PCBU must make a decision following a request from an HSR to use his or her annual training entitlement to attend initial or additional training as soon as practicable, and within 3 months of receiving the request.

The maximum total number of days’ paid leave that a board is required to allow in a calendar year for training of HSRs is based on the number of workers who work for the PCBU on the specified date in the year and is determined in accordance with the following table.

Workers as at specified date in year (ie, 1 April)

Maximum total number of days' paid leave that PCBU is required to allow to be taken

1 to 5


6 to 50


51 to 280

1 day for every 8 workers or part of that number

281 or more

35 days plus 5 days for every 100 workers or part of that number

Many PCBUs may already have members of staff on a health and safety committee (HSC), however such staff members are not HSRs for the purpose of the Health and Safety at Work Act unless elected and trained.

HSR training – WorkSafe(external link)

Providing health and safety information

Boards also have a responsibility to provide accessible health and safety information to all workers and other people on site. Members of the school community and people visiting the school need to understand the hazards they are exposed to or can create, and know how to minimise risk.

Health and safety information can be provided in the following formats/forums:

  • posters and signs
  • workers and student handbooks
  • induction and training
  • parent/whānau and community meetings
  • classroom activities
  • health and safety committee meetings
  • workers’ meetings
  • online.

Assessing information and training needs

An analysis of the following will help decide what health and safety training and information is needed:

  • hazard registers and control plans
  • hazard checklists
  • the injury/incident register and investigation reports
  • worker, student, visitor and contractor induction processes
  • workers’ professional development and job training plans. 

As part of this process, you must demonstrate that the health and safety information given to workers has been understood. Workers’ training records must be signed as evidence of completion.

Induction training for new staff

There is no specific requirement for induction of new workers. However, this a very common method of providing new workers and visitors with health and safety information and training.

Each board needs to maintain a checklist of what is to be provided and a record must be kept of each induction.

Induction training for new workers should:

  • include a full health and safety briefing on workplace hazards and safe working methods
  • identify and explain existing and potential workplace hazards
  • explain the person’s health and safety responsibilities
  • explain staff reporting requirements for incidents and accidents
  • introduce the health and safety representative, fire warden, and first aider
  • explain any emergency and evacuation plans
  • show the location of first aid kits, civil defence kits, phones, fire extinguishers, fire alarms, emergency exits, emergency meeting points
  • explain any compulsory personal protective equipment and safety gear, and why it must be used.

WorkSafe’s induction video provides staff with a high-level overview of their rights and responsibilities when it comes to health and safety. It will also help staff and management to better understand WorkSafe’s expectations about health and safety attitudes and behaviours.

New starter induction process – WorkSafe YouTube(external link)

First aid qualifications and equipment

The board (as the PCBU) must ensure that adequate first aid is provided for the workplace and that workers have access to the equipment and facilities for administration of first aid. The board must also ensure that an adequate number of workers are trained to administer first aid.

The board will need to provide a first aid kit that is easily accessible and ensure that all workers know where it is located. The number of people to be trained to administer first aid will depend on the number and composition of your workforce.

First aid for early learning

Licensing criteria for both home-based and centre-based early childhood education (ECE) services set out requirements for first aid qualifications and provision of first aid kits.

ECE centres and kōhanga reo must have 1 first aid qualified person present for every 25 children attending at all times. For home-based services, a first-aid-qualified adult must be present at all times while children are attending.

The licensing criteria for first-aid qualifications are below:

Centre-based services: HS25 First aid qualifications

Home-based services: HS22 First aid qualifications

Te Kōhanga Reo: HS25 First aid qualifications

Tools and resources

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