top of page


Dickens Assessment and Training Services is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) providing quality assured and nationally recognised training within the Civil Construction Industry. We are an approved provider of Certificate III in Civil Construction Plant Operations under the NSW Government Smart and Skilled program.


Smart and Skilled is a reform of the NSW Vocational Education and Training (VET) system. It's helping people in NSW get the skills they need to find a job and advance their careers.


Apprenticeships and traineeships combine work-based training with an employer and formal training from a training provider. They are established under training contracts between the employer and the apprentice or trainee and are regulated by government. They're a great way to be paid for work, learn and earn a qualification.


Smart and Skilled provides eligible students with an entitlement to government-subsidised training up to and including Certificate III. Prospective students must meet the below criteria to be eligible for this funded training:

  • 15 years old or over

  • no longer at school

  • living or working in NSW

  • an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, humanitarian visa holder or New Zealand citizen


DATS tailor our apprenticeship program to suit the needs of the individual trainees and employers using a combination of on-the-job and face-to-face training and recognises the role of skilled operators working within the civil construction industry throughout NSW. Onsite training means minimal loss of productivity.


Under the NSW Government fee-free apprenticeship initiative, NSW apprentices that commence their training on or after 1 July 2018 may be eligible for fee-free training. These funds contribute towards the cost of the training that Australian employers or the employee would otherwise have to pay.


Employer Incentives

Employers may be eligible for wage subsidies, payroll tax exemptions and workers compensation exemptions for the term of their employees apprenticeship. For more information on the Australian Apprenticeship Incentives Program visit  -

Training Services NSW in the NSW Department of Education, is responsible for Smart and Skilled and leads policy, planning, funding, regulation and advice on VET and employment in NSW. Additional information can be found at or contact us on 1300 014 415.


Getting Started

Dickens Assessment and Training Services (DATS) will make contact with potential apprentices/employers onsite to establish their needs. Once this process is completed we can move to the sign-up stage.


Sign Up:

Once the employer and trainees are in agreement to commence training, DATS will notify an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network to conduct the sign-up process, whereby the Training Contract will be completed and signed. (For more information on the signup process performed by an approved Australia Apprenticeship Support Centre, please refer to


During this time an Enrolment Pack will be completed and all required enrolment paperwork is processed and completed by DATS. The Training Contract is then submitted for approval and a Commitment ID is issued to access the Smart and Skilled subsidised funding. Training can commence.


Commencement of Training:

On our first visit, the trainer will go through the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process with the apprentice.

This process ensures the apprentice can obtain credit for any achievement gained through relevant prior learning. e.g. Workplace Health and Safety Excavator Ticket can form evidence for the “RII Conduct Excavator Operations" unit of competency.


RPL Evidence which may be collected may include but not limited to:

  • Copy of trainee's resume

  • Copy of any tickets or licences held

  • Copy of any courses/certificates previously completed or partially

  • Third party references and /or referees

All future visits, after the RPL process is completed, will be formal and work-based training in the remaining units to fulfil qualification requirements.


You will receive all required training resources and once the Apprentice has received formal training, all workplace tasks can be recorded in the training record book which will be supplied by DATS. The workplace supervisor will need to sign off on all tasks. This will then assist the assessor in determining when the assessment can take place.


Our trainers will contact the Workplace Supervisor(s) prior to the commencement of training and arrange a suitable time to meet with the apprentice.

On completion of all required units of competency, the apprentice will receive:

  • A Nationally Recognised Qualification from Dickens Assessment and Training Services

  • A wallet sized card specifying any RII Units of Competency for Plant which have been completed

Download our apprenticeship information flyer here

bottom of page