Accreditation Working Group final report released

Three legs support future vision’s focus on heavy vehicle safety

Accreditation Working Group final report released
Bill McKinley


The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) highlights the eagerly awaited final findings of a review on industry accreditation.

Written by consultancy Fellow Medlock and Associates and stemming from a mid-2017 direction from transport ministers nationally, ‘Report of Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Working Group’ finds safety, efficiency and productivity gains can be had by improvements to the operation of existing accreditation schemes, the current accreditation framework, and  the coverage of accreditation across the heavy vehicle industry.

The working group advocates three specific actions towards the framework:

  • A National Accreditation Standard, in draft form, to establish a set of requirements which accreditation schemes must meet
  • A National Audit Standard to establish the requirements for the development of an auditing regime to support heavy vehicle accreditation based on the National Accreditation Standar.
  • A revised regulatory model that would solve the issue that National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) and the WA Heavy Vehicle Accreditation (WAHVA) cannot formally recognise third party assurance schemes, such as TruckSafe, in making decisions to accredit heavy vehicle operators.

"Options to reform existing assurance mechanisms are currently being developed by the NTC [National Transport Commission] as part of the National Heavy Vehicle Law (HVNL) Review," the report states.

"Irrespective of which model is adopted by Governments under the HVNL Review, any assurance framework will need to be underpinned by a robust safety management system standard and auditing regime.

"The Working group considers that the NHVR should continue to work with stakeholders to develop the National Accreditation Standard and National Audit Standard in tandem with the NTC’s review of the HVNL."

Read how the accreditation review was launched by the NHVR, here

The ATA acting CEO Bill McKinley says the report showed it was feasible for the NHVR to regulate multiple industry accreditation schemes, with the schemes responsible for certifying their members.

"The model could enable TruckSafe certified operators to receive the benefits of the regulatory exemptions associated with alternative compliance," McKinley adds.

"It would also dramatically reduce the NHVR’s regulatory task, because it would be responsible for overseeing two or three scheme providers rather than 7,600 certified operators.

"As part of the ATA’s approach, we would also want to see amendments to the law so that businesses certified under an approved accreditation scheme – such as TruckSafe – would be deemed to comply with their safety duties under the national truck laws.

"In addition, customers and other chain parties, including prime contractors, should be able to rely on a trucking business’s certification as evidence that the business was compliant with its safety duties and obligations.

"The chain party would be able to focus on meeting its own obligations rather than demanding unnecessary, repetitive audits."

The full report can be found here.


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