Does confined space training expire?

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The Model Code of Practice for Confined Spaces makes no reference to training expiring so does it expire? This article explores the facts and the fiction about confined space training.

Repeating Confined Space training

The following documents provide no clear indication of how often to repeat training:

  • The Code of Practice for Confined Spaces (Dec 2022).
  • Australian Standard AS 2865-1995 Safe Working in a Confined Space.
  • Code of Practice for how to manage work health and safety risks
  • Code of Practice for Construction Work (Aug 2019)

So how do you determine how often to repeat training?

Like so many things these days the requirement for confined space training is based on risk.

Risk related requirements

From the Code of Practice for Confined Spaces it states:

The PCBU must ensure that information, training or instruction provided to a worker are suitable and adequate having regard to:
− the nature of the work carried out by the worker
− the nature of the risks associated with the work at the time of the information, training and instruction, and
− the control measures implemented.

Code of Practice for Confined Spaces, Dec 2022, Sect 1.4 Information, training, instruction and

From this you can see that training is relevant, but that frequency will be based on the risk, the nature of the work and the control measures implemented. So the lower the risk, the less training will be required. The higher level of control you have in place the less training will be required. An example of this potential difference is having senior supervision managing a confined space entry compared to remote work by a couple of workers.


So where does the requirement for repeating training come from? We honestly don’t know where it came from. It may be historical, but we know who is perpetuating it. It’s those that stand to make the most money from it. Yes, that’s right. It’s the training companies. Their advertising is awash with it. Whether it’s implied or just plain stated, it’s those guys who keep telling us you need to get more training.


Confined Space training does not expire. And there is no prescribed frequency for refresher Confined Space training. There is a requirement that all whose work involves Confined Spaces are trained.

In terms of repeating training:

Determine the level of risk (you can use our free register) and then establish an appropriate routine or set of rules for when confined space training needs to occur and abide by it. If you decide that you aren’t going to conduct regular refresher training, then beware. This will only be sufficient where:

  • the organisation is carefully monitoring the competence of workers
  • the confined space work is routine, regular and dealing with the same type of risks each time.
  • the organisation has no confined space incidents
  • there is no changes to legislation or industry best practice

If any of the above is untrue, then you will need to provide additional training.


A word from the Managing Director: “We aim to establish long term, mutually beneficial working relationships, helping organisations grow and avoid the pitfalls that many fall into. Too many organisations feel their certification is a burden. We want to help organisations realise the benefits of effective management systems and certification”


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