Frequently Asked Questions

What if I fail the self-assessment?

If you fail the self-assessment we recommend further training and/or further work experience in the field prior to attempting the re-assessment.

Are there GPR criteria in the self-assessment?

No, GPR is not included in the self-assessment.

Is GPR required equipment?

GPR is not required as it is does not trace underground assets.

Why does the assessment only focus on electro-magnetic techniques and not on GPR?

EMF is a proven means of locating a buried asset whereas GPR is not as it uses reflective technology and is open to interpretation.

Are reasons for not using GPR explained during the assessment?

A GPR device is just another tool that a locator may utilise in certain conditions. Due to ground conditions a result may not be achieved.

How are the assessors selected?

Assessors have to meet specific criteria set-out by DBYD.

Minimum 5 years full time equivalent locating experience

Appropriate Locator training undertaken in the past

High level of knowledge and skills in each of the criteria listed on the Self-Assessment questionnaire

Genuine interest in and commitment to the quality of locating in Australia

Strong support for DBYD and this Locator certification process

Two high level industry referees/nominations

Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

I am Telstra accredited, why do I need another certification?

The DBYD Certification is intended as a future industry standard for all asset owners – not just Telstra. Telstra and Optus have endorsed the certification.

How will the certification be policed in the field?

DBYD is not a regulatory body and therefore cannot enforce the certification in the field. The certification is required to become Telstra accredited and the DBYD Locator brand will be recognised in the industry in the near future. Only DBYD Certified Locators can use the DBYD Certified logo and be issued with an ID card which are both unique identifiers. If asset owners specify that DBYD certified locators must be used and they aren’t, then the damages may be deemed negligent by the asset owner in regards to damage cost liability.

Does the certification recognise prior learning (RPL)?

Applicable prior learning is essential to be able to pass the assessment. The assessment does not specify which particular prior learning is applicable to be able to pass the assessment. This is largely because of DBYD cannot retrospectively determine whether the various courses run in the past are suitable or were delivered to meet current certification assessment requirements.

Is there a difference in the assessment of city and rural locators?

The assessment is on a locator’s competency and does not differ between rural and city locators.

Does the certification cover all locating techniques?

The certification covers the main locating techniques that are common to locating a broad range of in ground assets including communications, power, water etc. Further details on topics covered can be found in the self-assessment.

Are certified locators allowed to locate all assets?

The certification does not give permission to locate or access underground assets. Permission needs to be sought from asset owners. Currently a certified locator can locate Telstra, if she/he is Telstra accredited. It is expected that other asset owners will in time also adopt DBYD locator certification.

If the assessor is a locator, how do you guarantee impartiality (conflict of interest)?

It is necessary for the assessor to be a locator and have relevant locating experience. However, DBYD endeavours to avoid any conflict of interest where possible, by allocating assessors that may not be in direct competition to the participants. The assessment is a rigorous and well documented process based on technical application. If a participant fails then the cause of that failure will be documented and transparent for the participant to review.

If an APL is not DBYD certified, will she/he still be on the list of locators that is sent out with the Telstra plans?

Details of APL’s will be sent for as long as they are Telstra accredited, e.g. for the remaining balance of the term of their current Telstra accreditation agreement. Agreements normally run for a 2 year period. DBYD certified locators will have the logo next to their names on the Telstra list. Eventually only DBYD Certified locators will be on the lists sent out.

Do you have to be able to locate fibre to be DBYD certified?

Yes, a locator has to be able use the methods prescribed to locate fibre optic cables in order to pass the assessment. Fibre location is required, because fibre is now a common in ground asset installed right across Australia by many different asset owners.

Would the certification be suitable for construction subcontractors?

The certification is suitable for all experienced locators or contractors that locate assets on the job. If ground breaking is occurring as a regular part of your business it may be more practical and cheaper to have your own staff certified rather than engaging an outside company.

Does engaging a certified locator offer any benefits?

Engaging a certified locator offers assurance that the locator has passed a rigorous assessment and has been deemed competent and has the appropriate equipment as well, also to be able to meet your duty of care when excavating, especially if an asset owner has specified the use of a certified locator in locating its assets.

If I engage a certified locator, can I be assured that there will be no damage?

There is no guarantee that a certified locator won’t cause any damage. The DBYD certification is the most rigorous and possibly the only fully independent competency assessment for locators in Australia.

Who is conducting the practical assessments?

The practical assessments are carried out by DBYD approved assessors.

How does somebody prove, she/he had 3 months work experience?

The work experience itself cannot be proven; however, it is highly unlikely that an inexperienced locator will be able to pass the assessment.

Do I need PI insurance to become certified?

There is no insurance requirement to become DBYD certified. It is however a requirement for the Telstra accreditation.

Is there a process in place to protect the DBYD Locator trademark? Will the trademark be tarnished if there are damages and incidents caused?

Any known damages or incidents involving a DBYD certified locator will be investigated (within legal boundaries) and if a DBYD Certified locator is shown to have contributed to the damage due to negligence then appropriate action will be taken where possible. Depending on the circumstance this may include having DBYD Certification withdrawn.

Is it sufficient to have one transponder locator per company?

It is sufficient as long as the necessary equipment is available for jobs where transponder locators are required and is presented at the assessment.

What happens if you are not certified and locate Telstra network?

Any unauthorised access to Telstra network carries a significant legal risk and potential liability. Authorised access is required to meet legal and HSE requirements.

Telstra locators that have a current accreditation agreement with Telstra do not need to be certified straight away. When the current accreditation agreement runs out they will need to be certified to continue as Telstra Accredited Locator.

How long is the certification valid for?

The initial certification is valid for two years.

What is fail rate?

The current fail rate is 35 % (as at 20/04/16), but will likely increase with more participants going through the assessment.

How long does it take to complete the certification?

The theory component is undertaken online and takes approximately 45-60 minutes. The practical assessments take about 1.5 to 2 hours at this point in time, however as more asset owners endorse this course there is potential for the assessment to take a longer duration. The practical assessments are grouped by region depending in the number of participants. DBYD endeavours to arrange practical assessments in a timely manner.

Is the UALL course and practical experience enough to pass the certification?

The UALL course offers a good foundation for new locators and focuses on theoretical knowledge. It is recommended that new or inexperienced locators would seek further face-to-face training before enrolling in the DBYD certification.

What is the best course for novices?

For people new to the industry we recommend to start with the Utility Advanced Line Locating online course with Locate Management and then seek further face-to-face training with a Registered Training Organisation.

Will a list of certified locators be sent out along with the plans?

As Telstra has endorsed the certification and DBYD certified locators are highlighted on the list that is sent out by Telstra along with their plans. DBYD Certified locators are also listed on the DBYD Locator website.

Are there any other asset owners coming on board?

DBYD is in discussions with further asset owners.

Is there a standard for RTOs delivering locator training? Who is regulating the RTOs course content and their training outcomes? Is there an assessment for RTOs?

DBYD has made the recommended RTOs aware of the content covered in the assessment to ensure the courses are relevant.

If the DBYD certification is the new benchmark, does this mean the NULCA course and Telstra course was not good enough?

The DBYD certification is not a training course, but a competency assessment. Previous training is required to pass the assessment.

The competency assessment will determine to a certain extent whether previous training was adequate or not. For the majority likely it will be – for some it will not. There has been feedback from the industry in previous years relating to shortcomings in some courses in particular that were being delivered. The DBYD competency assessment is intended to identify any shortcomings.

Does the NULCA course cover all the content for the DBYD assessment?

The NULCA course has been adapted to meet the requirements for the DBYD assessment.

If I did a NULCA course 7 years ago, do I need to do a refresher?

Please refer to the self-assessment on to see if a refreshment course or further work experience is required.

Prior to 2010 JB Hunter delivered the Telstra Accreditation Course.

In 2009 NULCA introduced its Locating Course which JB Hunter also delivers.

They were two separate courses.

Is the certification only for Telstra?

The DBYD Certification is intended as a future industry standard for asset owners and constructors alike. Telstra is just the first asset owner to recognise the benefits and to adopt it. Other asset owners are currently reviewing the certification. Currently the DBYD certification is a requirement to become Telstra accredited. Further asset owners have been approached for their endorsement.

What keeps locators that fail the assessment from working in the field?

Locators that fail the assessment (and do not re-attempt) will not be able to renew their Telstra accreditation. It does not limit them from locating other assets (depending on other asset owners’ requirements).

Who has drafted the questions and designed the assessment?

The assessments have been designed by a group of subject matter experts.

There are inconsistencies with asset owners’ requirements – will these be addressed as further asset owners come on board?

Asset owners have the right to determine their own requirements. DBYD’s aim is that more asset owners adopt the certification as requirement for locators.

The current certification has been designed to incorporate the three core asset type location techniques. It is expected that some asset owners may have additional requirements that may in the future be included in the assessment itself or alternately provided separately by the asset owner. Until other asset owners come on board specific requirements in addition to the existing have not been quantified.

Are Optus and NBN coming on Board?

DBYD is in discussions with both, Optus and NBN.

Is NULCA looking to become an RTO to provide training as an industry association?

No, NULCA is currently not looking to become an RTO, but will continue to deliver training via JB Hunter Technologies.

Does DBYD nationally have the intent to send specific locator information when enquiries are made?

There is a benefit for locator information to be provided when DBYD enquiries are made and this is being discussed.

Does a person have to be re-assessed once further asset owners come on board?

Once further asset owners have adopted the certification, further modules may be added to the assessment. DBYD does not envision that certified locators will need to be re-assessed prior to their renewal date.

Is the DBYD certification mandatory for becoming re-accredited with Telstra?

Yes, the DBYD certification is the new training component required to become Telstra accredited.

Will construction companies be approached?

DBYD is communicating with the Civil Contractors Federation to raise awareness amongst contractors. It is the overall aim to have certified locators on all dig sites.

Does having the certification mean there is no further fee to become Telstra accredited?

The administration fee for the Telstra accreditation remains the same and it not related to the costs for the DBYD certification.

Do I need to take both the DBYD and the Telstra card out to a job?

The new Telstra cards will show the DBYD certified locator logo; therefore, the Telstra APL card will be sufficient for Telstra purposes. Other asset owners may require sighting of the DBYD card or may provide their own authorisation document.