Rail IRC Chair Profile

VET provides real knowledge and skill sets that industry needs to continue to be responsive, agile and profitable.,” Carol Hedrick

In this month’s newsletter we continue a series of profiles featuring the Chairs of each of the 11 Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) we support.

This month we profile the Chair of the Rail IRC, Carol Hedrick, RTO Team Leader, Queensland Rail

How did you come to work in your industry?

I usually say that I fell into it.  My background is as a generalist Human Resources professional. I worked within the legal, construction and corrections industries before I applied for a Program Coordinator role with Queensland Rail’s Learning & Development area some 16 years ago.  After a variety of different roles with the organisation – I’m still here!  Australia-wide, the industry employs over 60,000 people as private and public passenger and freight operators, track managers, manufacturers and suppliers, generating over $26billion revenue annually.  The rail industry has so many different facets, and it’s one I’m proud to be associated with.

What is your current role?

I am the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) Team Leader at Queensland Rail.  My team and I manage the governance framework for our enterprise RTO and undertake assurance and compliance activities, across nationally accredited training for rail safety workers and other employees.  We also work with the business to educate, influence and help determine appropriate AQF pathways for our employees; and we work with trainers and assessors to improve their outcomes.

What is the best part of your job?

The people!  I work with a wide variety of people across all different roles. They have incredible stories and a wealth of knowledge of the industry.  Also rewarding is  knowing I have input into creating a safe and competent workforce, with the skills that industry needs.

Have you undertaken any VET courses, and if so, how have you incorporated these into your work or other pursuits?

I started my working life doing a Legal Secretary traineeship. During  my career I have also completed the Certificate IV Training & Assessment, Certificate IV Project Management, Certificate IV Frontline Management and Diploma in Organisational Change Management.  I use components of the knowledge and skills gained through those courses all the time in my working life – as well as in raising my two children!

Why are you an advocate for Vocational Education and Training?

VET provides real knowledge and skill sets that industry needs to continue to be responsive, agile and profitable.  It also provides the opportunity for workers to gain formal qualifications in recognition of their skills gained throughout their careers, and to undertake lifelong learning.

What has your organisation done to develop the skills of its workforce?

Queensland Rail has been delivering accredited training to a variety of workers for many years now. The transition to the Rail Safety National Law (RSNL) supports the ongoing commitment to VET in our industry, requiring rail operators to ensure workers have the competence to carry out their work safely.  So far this year, we’ve issued over 700 qualifications to our workers, and over 21,000 units of competency aligned to role/task requirements.

What are you passionate about? What makes you smile? 

My family!  I love seeing my children gain confidence to try new things and then how proud they are when they learn something new.  They both have an incredibly mature and dry sense of humour, and certainly keep us on our toes.  Our horses also make me smile – particularly seeing a foal galloping for the first time.  From a work perspective, given we are often compliance driven in RTO world, it’s so pleasing to hear colleagues from outside of our team explaining to others why we ask them to do what we do – that’s when you know they understand.