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Covid constraints prompt NHVAS medical and audit changes

Accredited operators allowed some concessions during Covid-19 restrictions


Escalating Covid-19 outbreaks have led the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is to re-instate temporary changes to the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) driver medical and audit requirements.

With a stated aim of supporting industry during the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, practical changes aim to make the scheme’s medical and audit requirements meet the operational and health needs of accredited operators.

The changes, which will be in place until January 31, include:

  • Drivers operating under AFM or BFM accreditations may continue to drive with an expired driver medical (that expired on or after 31 July 2021), until they can practicably obtain a new one.
  • Auditors can undertake all document and records validation and audits remotely, requesting electronic copies be emailed to them (or by another suitable method), and conduct conversations over the phone where applicable.

Read about the new mobile Covid vaccination vehicle for freight, here

“Over the past week, we’ve spoken to a number industry groups, including the Australian Trucking Association and NatRoad, about practical ways to meet the scheme’s strict safety requirements,” NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said.  

“We’ve taken industry’s concerns onboard, and from today, the driver medical requirements for those operating under Advanced Fatigue Management and Basic Fatigue Management, along with validation of documents and records undertaken by auditors will be changed.

“This will allow operators and drivers who continue to work in a challenging environment and ensure auditors can work within each state’s health guidelines.”

“I encourage all drivers to continue to proactively monitor their physical and mental health, follow government advice around social distancing and hygiene and stay home if they are feeling unwell.

“The NHVR continues to focus on doing everything safe and practical that we can to reduce the burden on industry.”

The move has gained praise from the National Road Transport Association (NatRoad).

“We are pleased to see that the NHVR has taken on-board NatRoad’s concerns to support the industry during ongoing COVID-19 restrictions,” NatRoad CEO Warren Clark said.

“NatRoad supports any changes the NHVR is making to allow operators to continue to work without disruption to the movement of freight while maintaining safety requirements, and we welcome continued conversations with the NHVR going forward to assist operators during increasingly difficult times.”

More information on the changes to NHVAS health and audit requirements are available here.

Latest information on border passes, testing and to access Covid-Safe Plans are available here.


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