NHVAS Business Rules and Standards review

Consultation on proposed changes to the NHVAS Business Rules and Standards closed 14 April 2019. The NHVR would like to thank everyone who took the time to provide comments.

Outcome

On 22 February 2021 the NHVAS will be applying Changes to NHVAS Business Rules and Standards.

What was reviewed

The National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) Business Rules and Standards establish the coregulatory framework for administering the NHVAS as part of the accreditation provisions in the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL). It details the requirements for entry to and participation in the NHVAS and provides a framework for NHVAS governance and administration.

The NHVAS was first offered to industry in 1999 as an alternative compliance scheme. It has since evolved as a formal process for recognising operators who have robust safety and other management systems in place. It is also increasingly being used to show compliance with general duty requirements under road transport law.

The NHVAS Business Rules and Standards are periodically revised to reflect changes in the NHVAS, new requirements and consultation with users.

The last major change occurred in 2008 when the fatigue module was introduced, since then only minor revisions of the standards have occurred. Changes since 2008 have included alignment with the HVNL when it was introduced in 2014 and the addition of the NHVR approved auditor mandatory registration criteria in 2015.

Why we consulted

On 1 October 2018, CoR laws were changed to align more closely with workplace health and safety provisions. These changes mean every party in the heavy vehicle transport supply chain has a duty to ensure the safety of their transport activities.

Historically the NHVAS Business Rules and Standards have been written in a way that meets with quality management system methodology. With operators now needing to address the risks that they have control and influence over, they will be required to employ systems that align more with a risk management approach.

The introduction and implementation of risk management practices into the NHVAS Business Rules and Standards will see operators adopt an approach to business similar to the Safety Management Systems (SMS) ideology.

The proposed changes to the NHVAS Business Rules and Standards will create a more purposeful regime that more closely reflects the working of an SMS, as well as refinements that act as red tape reduction and create a more seamless transactional environment for scheme participants.

The NHVR is consulting on proposed changes to the NHVAS Business Rules and Standards in order to

  • provide the heavy vehicle industry with a clear and comprehensive expression of how the NHVAS will operate
  • extend the opportunity to consider and comment formally on the proposed approach to a broader range of potential stakeholders, and
  • allow members of the wider Australian community the opportunity to consider and comment on the proposed standards. 

Information Sessions

The NHVR held a number of information sessions on the proposed changes in February and March 2019. These sessions allowed people to discuss the changes and provide feedback directly to the NHVAS team.