There were media reports today claiming that terrorist groups are using forged licences to create fake identities. Authorities are concerned that criminal groups now have access to technology that enables them to replicate even those licences that incorporate security devices such as holograms and microchips.
Given that the technology exists, it is reasonable to believe that other criminal groups will be applying this technology simply to make profit.
This could involve selling fake High Risk Work Licences (such as forklift and machine operator licences) to people who are seeking skilled jobs but who lack the required qualifications. Indeed, this has already been recognised as a problem by regulatory agencies.
The consequences of inadvertently hiring an unqualified person to do high-risk work could be disastrous. No employer or recruitment firm would want to be in the position of having employed someone to operate dangerous machinery on the basis of a forged qualification, only to have that person injure or kill someone at the work site.
Fortunately, it is easy to authenticate high-risk work licences issued in Western Australia through WorkSafe WA's online licence search facility.
To use this service, go to http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/worksafe/worksafe-licence-and-registration-search, select 'High Risk Licence' and enter the job applicant's details.
If the search is unsuccessful, it would be prudent to contact WorkSafe's Business Service Centre on 1300 424 091 before completing the hiring process.
For licences issued in other States, you can verify the licence by contacting the relevant authority. You can find contact details via the Safe Work Australia website at http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/who-we-work-with/regulators/pages/whs-regulators.