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About FOLS

FOLS is an important asset for employees engaged in forestry operations. It demonstrates adequate training in using equipment, understanding safety, environmental care and operating standards.

Anyone engaged in timber harvesting should hold a FOLS. Timber harvesting includes the harvesting of any tree or part of any tree for the purpose of sale or processing and sale.

FOLS Categories

Full FOLS

A Full FOLS remains current for a three-year period. It is issued based on the assessment of your ability to operate competently and safely.

For Victorian State Forest Operators, it is a VicForests requirement to have the following two competencies: FPICOR2203B - Follow environmental care procedures; and FPICOR2205B - Follow OHS policies and procedures.

You can apply to hold a FOLS for any skilled activity undertaken in your job role.

What is required to hold a Full FOLS?

  • For Victorian State Forest Operators, you must complete the compulsory competencies and provide evidence of competency*:
    a)   FPICOR2203B - Follow environmental care procedures
    b)   FPICOR2205B - Follow OHS policies and procedures
  • You must complete the units of competency for all skilled activities undertaken in your role (that you want to be recognised on your FOLS Card for) and provide evidence of competency*.

Trainee FOLS

A Trainee FOLS is current for a six-month period. It is issued if you are undertaking training and assessment, but have not yet attained, the selected skilled activities required of your job role.

It enables you to be trained while continuing in your role, under supervision.

What is required to hold a Trainee FOLS?

  • For any units of competency that you have completed, you must provide evidence of competency*
  • For the units of competency that you are currently training in, you must:
    a)   Provide proof of enrolment*
    b)   A nominated work supervisor must complete the Supervision Agreement within your application form.
          They must be a current FOLS holder.
    c)   Your trainer/s must complete the Training Agreement within your application form.
          They must be a qualified trainer with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

Provisional FOLS

FOLS renewals require an operator to provide evidence of training and competency and a statement of skills currency signed by an employer or person who can verify the person has been using those skills in the last 3 years. There have been a small number of operators who are unable to find their evidence of training and ForestWorks, having exhausted all avenues with the operator (DWELP, RTOs etc.) a solution is sought to enable these operators to work whilst being reassessed.

It is proposed that forest operators working on land within VicForests' jurisdiction be issued a 12-month provisional FOLS in order for those operators to undertake reassessments. A letter of recommendation VicForests in support of this issue would trigger this process. This will not apply to manual tree falling.

12 month Provisional FOLS for VicForests Operators Only
  1. It is proposed that a 12 month Provisional FOLS be issued to VicForest operators that meet the following requirements:

    1. Evidence for current endorsements cannot be sourced after exhausting all reasonable sources

    2. ForestWorks requests VicForests provide a letter of recommendation that a Provisional FOLS be issued for a 12 month period as well as a currency statement for all other endorsements on their FOLS (except manual tree-falling).

  2. Operators are required to provide a Statement of Attainment within 12 months of the provisional FOLS being issued or their FOLS lapses. ForestWorks will maintain records of Provisional FOLS issued to operators and provide VicForests with a monthly summary.  A renewal will be sent in 12 months for a Full FOLS (this will require additional processing and will be treated as adding an endorsement and cost $50).

  3. Operators requiring an endorsement in manual tree-falling will need to be assessed as competent by an RTO prior to a FOLS being issued.  Provisional FOLS will not be issued with manual tree-falling endorsements.

  4. This proposal will be reviewed June 30 2017.

Skilled activities and their associated units of competency

Click here to search for skilled activities and their associated units of competency in different states.

*Evidence of competency or enrolment

Evidence of competency is a Statement of Attainment or evidence of assessment to demonstrate that you have completed a unit of competency.

Proof of enrolment is evidence of your enrolment, to demonstrate that you are currently being trained in a unit of competency. For example, you can provide a statement from your RTO or an enrolment receipt.

Apply for a FOLS

You can apply for a FOLS by completing an online application, or by completing a printed application form.

When lodging your completed application, you will also be required to upload or attach copies of the required evidence of competency* and/or proof of enrolment*.

Click here for more information or to apply


FOLS is an industry-led, not for profit, membership-based program that is managed by ForestWorks.
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