Changes to how Network-based competencies are managed in the RIW System

From 1 January 2023, Network-based competencies issued by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) to a Rail Industry Worker must be awarded in the RIW System as follows:

  • Directly uploaded to the Rail Industry Worker profile by the RTO who delivered the training, or
  • Where a certificate is provided to the worker by the RTO for upload to the RIW System by their Employer, the certificate must have back-to-source verification on the certificate so the RIW Service Desk can verify the authenticity of the competency award.

If a competency award does not meet these requirements and is uploaded by an Employer in the RIW System with the usual add competency method, the competency will be rejected during verification, and you will need to progress the award through a service request (details below).

A Network-based competency is specific to a Network, such as Queensland Rail Safety Access the Rail Corridor or ARTC National Contractor Induction, which can be uploaded to the RIW System by an RIW Employer Admin.

Back-to-source verification is a method where the RIW Service Desk can immediately check with the RTO on the valid issue of a competency, the source of truth. This could look like a QR code on the certificate (see sample below).

Why is the RIW Program doing this?

In 2022 the Office of the Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) released its national regulatory priorities, focusing on competency of rail safety workers. To ensure we adopt best practice when verifying high-risk competencies and to reduce the potential for fraudulent competency certificates, the RIW Program is mandating source of truth on Network-based competencies issued after 1 January 2023. This means 

What does this mean for companies who manage competencies for Rail Industry Workers?

From 1 January 2023, if a Rail Industry Worker undertakes a course that results in the issue of a Network-based competency, please request the RTO to upload the competency direct to the Rail Industry Worker's profile. You can check which RTO's can directly upload competencies to a Rail Industry Worker in the RIW System on the RIW website.

If an RTO does not directly award the competency in the RIW System, check the RIW Business Rule for the competency and the evidence upload requirements.  You can then follow the steps below to understand how to add the competency to a Rail Industry Workers profile.

Certificate issued has back-to-source verification method included.
If the certificate issued by the RTO has a method by which the RIW Service Desk can perform immediate back-to-source verification, such as a QR code or other identifier, then please upload the competency certificate using the usual add competency method.

Certificate issued does not have back-to-source verification method included.

If the certificate does not have a back-to-source verification method identified, then fill in a Perform back-to-source verification on a Network-based competency service request at

The cost of this request is AUD $15.00+GST and will be processed in 12 business hours to confirm authenticity with the issuing RTO.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do with certificates issued before 1 January 2023?

If the certificate was issued prior to 1 January 2023, then just follow the usual add competency method.  Please still check the RIW Business Rules to ensure the evidence meets the upload requirements.

The RTO directly uploaded the competency evidence, however, did not apply it to the right competency.

If a certificate was directly uploaded by an RTO but applied to a different competency code, then you can request that the competency is re-awarded to another competency code by filling in a Re-award a Network-based competency service request at  There is no cost for this request.

For example, where the Rail Industry Worker was awarded Statement of Attainment TLIF0020 - Safely Access the Rail Corridor (32154) which fulfilled the requirements in the Around the Track National job role, the evidence may also be applied to the Certificate of Currency competency in other Network Operator job roles.

Help! I need to get the Rail Industry Worker to site quickly!

You can still use the fast track option when adding a competency if you need to get a Rail Industry Worker to site quickly. The RIW Service Desk will perform back-to-source verification at this time if required.  Choosing the fast track option covers up to 20 competencies for the worker and will be processed in 8 business hours for AUD $55+GST. 

What does this mean for Registered Training Organisations?

Registered Training Organisations should endeavour to upload Network-based competencies direct to a Rail Industry Worker profile in the RIW System for all Network-based competencies issued after 1 January 2023. They can use the single cardholder assign or multiple cardholder assign process.

If an RTO is unable to directly upload competencies, they must ensure:

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