What is a white card?

Posted by Pia Abrahams on

Construction workers in Australia require a white card to work on a construction site.

A white card is an essential requirement for anyone working on a construction site in Australia.

This card, also known as a General Construction Induction Training (GCIT) card, is proof of completion of a mandatory safety training course that educates workers on the basic knowledge and skills needed to work safely in the construction industry.

It’s a legislative requirement and mandatory for all construction workers.

1. Understanding the purpose of a white card

The primary purpose of a white card is to ensure that construction workers have a fundamental understanding of the risks and hazards associated with construction work, as well as the necessary safety measures to mitigate those risks.

Regardless of size and scale, construction sites can be inherently dangerous environments. All workers must be aware of the potential hazards and know how to protect themselves and others from harm.

By obtaining a white card, workers demonstrate they have received basic safety training and are familiar with the following topics:

  • Workplace health and safety legislation
  • Identifying and managing construction hazards
  • Basic risk management principles
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Safe work practices
  • Emergency procedures
An Australian construction worker legally enters a construction site with a white card.

2. Why is a white card mandatory?

In Australia, it’s a legal requirement for anyone working on a construction site to hold a valid white card. This requirement is mandated by the Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws and regulations in each state and territory.

Employers have a duty of care to provide a safe working environment for their employees and ensure that all workers on site have the necessary safety training is a crucial part of this obligation.

Failure to comply with these regulations can result in significant fines and penalties for both employers and workers.

3. How to obtain a white card

To obtain a white card, individuals must complete a one-day training course delivered by a registered training organisation (RTO) approved by the relevant state or territory authority. Courses typically cover the following topics:

  • Recognising and mitigating hazards on construction sites
  • Implementing safe work protocols for safe operations
  • Utilising personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Fundamental risk management principles
  • Foundational strategies for hazard prevention
  • Emergency procedures and effective responses to critical situations
  • Compliance with Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) legislation

Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive a white card, which is valid for three years in most states and territories.

The white card is nationally recognised, meaning that it can be used in any state or territory in Australia.

An Australian construction worker continues working on a construction site with an up-to-date white card.

4. Renewing a white card

White cards need to be renewed every three years to ensure that construction workers remain up-to-date with the latest safety practices and regulations.

The renewal process typically involves completing a refresher course or undertaking an online assessment.

It’s important to keep track of the expiration date of a white card and renew it before it expires.

Working on a construction site without a valid white card can result in serious penalties and fines.


Having a white card is a crucial requirement for anyone working on construction sites in Australia.

It demonstrates that workers have received basic safety training and are aware of the potential hazards and safety measures in the construction industry.

By ensuring that all workers hold a valid white card, employers can fulfil their duty of care and provide a safer working environment for everyone on site.


Safe Work Australia - Working on a construction site

NT WorkSafe - General construction induction training (White card)

SafeWork SA - White card

SafeWork NSW - White cards

WorkSafe ACT - White cards (Construction induction)

WorkSafe QLD - General construction induction

WorkSafe Tasmania - White cards (Construction induction)

WorkSafe Victoria - Construction induction training (White card)

WorkSafe WA - Construction induction training