TruckSafe urges action on accreditation reform

Call for HVNL move comes two years after safety schemes report

TruckSafe urges action on accreditation reform
Ferdie Kroon


TruckSafe has marked the second anniversary of a major heavy-vehicle accreditation report with a call for reform to get under way.

The Australian Trucking Association’s (ATA) accreditation scheme wants "fast action on accreditation" to be included as a critical part of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) review. 

The intervention comes after the Fellows Medlock and Associates report for the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), Analysis of Heavy Vehicle Safety Accreditation Schemes in Australia, was released in February 2018.

The report advised a rationalisation of such schemes into a single system encompassing TruckSafe, the NHVR’s National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) and the Western Australia Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (WAHVA).

The TruckSafe board of directors has met, with questions raised about the recommendations and outcomes of the Medlock review. 

"The Medlock review identified TruckSafe as a robust scheme," TruckSafe chair Ferdie Kroon says.

"TruckSafe accredited operators should receive the same benefits as those in the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme." 

Review recommendations also included the need to ensure robust audit requirements, greater consistency between schemes through alignment of standards, mutual recognition between schemes, development of a single national accreditation framework, regulatory recognition for all recognised schemes and expanding scheme membership. 

"While the findings of the review have great potential to reform heavy vehicle regulation, we are yet to see any action," Kroon says. 

"That’s why we’re calling for fast action on this as part of the current HVNL review.

"In addition – and as an immediate step – state governments should ensure that TruckSafe accredited operators get the same benefits under their own requirements as operators in any other scheme."

Read how the accreditation reform effort began, here

Supporting the discussion at yesterday’s TruckSafe board meeting, the ATA has released its submission to the Productivity Commission on national transport regulatory reform. 

The submission calls for an agreed approach to accreditation. The role of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator should be changed so it regulates accreditation scheme providers, such as TruckSafe, and auditors but does not run one itself. 

"We want to know why no action has yet been taken, despite the Medlock Review finding that TruckSafe is stronger and more robust than the NHVAS," ATA chair Geoff Crouch says. 

"TruckSafe is a superior scheme and the discussions about recognising it have come to a standstill. Faster action is needed."

The ATA submission also calls on the PC to revise its draft findings about the NHVR’s cost recovery arrangements.

Its draft report asserts that there is very limited cost recovery for the cost of running the NHVR. 

"In fact, all heavy vehicle operators in the HVNL states pay an extra registration charge to fund the NHVR," Crouch says. 

"In its consultations on heavy vehicle charges for 2020-21, the NTC pointed out that this regulatory component of registration charges was in fact too high, not too low. 

"Its consultation report concluded that a reduction of around 1.3 per cent in the regulatory component in 2020-21 was justified to make sure it accurately recovered the NHVR’s approved budget, $156.4 million."

The ATA submission can be found here.

Other submissions can be found here.


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