Review of Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Systems

Final report


Mr Peter Medlock - Consultant


In November 2014 Transport Ministers approved changes to the NHVAS Business Rules to strengthen the operational design of the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) and audit system governance as part of the NHVAS Review Project deliverables. The aim of this and other work was to increase the accountabilities of key parties and allow the NHVAS to function utilising effective, risk based assurance program.

The Analysis of Heavy Vehicle Safety Accreditation Schemes in Australia and its subsequent findings will inform further structural and operational improvements to the NHVAS and other schemes by:

  1. Providing a comparative analysis of heavy vehicle safety accreditation schemes/systems throughout Australia and the relative road safety benefits including:
    1. the governance and oversight arrangements for safety accreditation schemes and how they compare to relevant international standards
    2. accreditation scheme rules and standards, including their consistency with best practice international standards
    3. the arrangements of accreditation schemes for training, accrediting and engaging auditors, their related activities and oversight including tracking and actioning non-conformances.
  2. Identifying what, if any regulatory benefits could be provided for complying with an appropriate safety accreditation scheme including the necessary regulatory oversight.
  3. Examining the safety merits of requiring operators who sub-contract on government infrastructure projects to be accredited under an accreditation scheme.

This review examined the marketplace to identify the best practice approach for the delivery of heavy vehicle safety accreditation as a service to industry in order to reduce the duplication of processes, and inconsistencies between, schemes. The review may have regard to:

  1. previous inquiries into NHVAS and/or other schemes under the review
  2. the findings of the National Roadworthiness Baseline Survey and other roadworthiness surveys
  3. safety research into the effectiveness of accreditation schemes
  4. relevant coroners' reports if appropriate
  5. relevant international standards for risk management and conformity assessment schemes
  6. the 2016 Intergovernmental Agreement on Competition and Productivity-Enhancing Reforms.


In February 2019, the NHVR established a joint jurisdictional and heavy vehicle industry working group to respond to this comprehensive report into heavy vehicle accreditation schemes.

In October 2020 this working group published the Final Report of the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Working Group which presents an option for a framework for the governance and oversight of schemes, building on development of agreed standards.