Protection Officer Training

Changes to Protection Officer Training

Protection Officer (PO) 1 and 2 training has reformed to align with 10 nationally accredited units of competence. The purpose of the reform has been to raise the standard of competence and on job performance of Protection Officers 1 and 2.

The reform has involved and will affect all Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) accredited by TfNSW and have the relevant 10 units of competency ( UoC ) on scope.

A list of the competencies that now are a requirement to work in the Sydney Trains rail corridor as a Track Protection Officer 1 and/or 2.



Apply safety critical communications in the rail environment


Perform lookout duties


Use audible track warning devices


Conduct track protection assessment


Implement absolute signal blocking


Clip and secure points


Operate under track protection rules



Pilot rail traffic within work on track authority limits


Plan and coordinate protection for multiple worksites within limits of a work on track authority


Implement a track occupancy authority

Changes to off-the-job (in classroom) training

The off-the-job training and assessment is now 5 days for PO1 and 3 days for PO2.  You can do training as two separate programs (PO1 and PO2 separately) or as a combined 8 day program (PO1 and PO2 combined).

The off-the-job training requires specific practical resources for the learners which centres on a model railway. The model enables learners to complete scenarios and show sound risk management and decision making throughout the course. Training is best for 8 - 12 people.

The reformed PO1 and PO2 training courses are now available for enrolment at TfNSW Learning and Development:

  • Track Protection Officer Level 1 Training (Course Code: TPO01C)
  • Track Protection Officer Level 2 Training (Course Code: TPO02C)

External RTOs affected by the reform are  currently  transitioning to the new PO1 and PO2 course. Please contact your RTO to find out more about transition dates.

Changes to on-the-job training

The on-the-job training and assessment is delivered via a digital, app-based logbook and has been designed to be completed within a 12 week period. Trainers/assessors are able to have real time contact with learners as they submit evidence which may include videos, audio files and photographs.

At a suitable time within the nominal 12 week on-the-job training period and prior to the final assessment, learners are required to complete a ‘post requisite’ course, SCC01 (Apply Safety Critical Communications in the Rail Corridor TLIF0008) to obtain the unit of competence. This course is available from the accredited RTO learners are studying their PO training with.

Changes to the PO1 and PO2 final assessments

A final holistic assessment is then undertaken and the relevant units for either PO1 or PO2 are awarded to successful learners. Candidates can have up to three attempts at a final holistic assessment. Each attempt will require the learner to undertake a new assessment item.

During the final stage of transition the final assessments for all candidates will be conducted at Transport for NSW.

Until further notice, all PO final assessments will continue to be conducted by TfNSW with the delivering accredited RTO having an assessor attend. This will be reviewed in 12 months with a view to accredited RTOs undertaking the final assessment.

Transition arrangements for existing POs

Transition arrangements are in place in relation to those POs who hold existing PO certifications. All POs seeking to undertake PO 2, 3 or 4 training will be required to complete a one day bridging course as a pre-requisite (Course Name: Track Protection Fundamentals, Course Code: TPF01C). All learners who have completed the bridging course and the PO training will also need to successfully complete SCC01 (Apply Safety Critical Communications in the Rail Corridor TLIF0008) as a post requisite.

Enrolments for Training and Final Assessments can be made via Equip for NSW Transport cluster employees or by emailing your Training Request Form to for external learners.