What is a Registered Industry Code of Practice (RICP)?
A Registered Industry Code of Practice (RICP) is one that has been assessed by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) as complying with NHVR’s Guidelines for Preparing and Registering Industry Codes of Practice (PDF, 497KB) and which therefore qualifies for registration under section 706 of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL). To achieve this status, it must promote a risk-based safety and compliance framework and provide guidance to all relevant parties in the chain of responsibility about how to identify and mitigate the risks associated with their transport activities and how to meet their obligations under the HVNL.
A distinguishing feature of an RICP is that it may be used in court proceedings as evidence of what is known about hazards, risk assessments or risk controls associated with transport activities and may be relied on to determine what is reasonably practicable in the circumstances. (See s 632A, HVNL)
NHVR has already registered one code of practice – known as the Industry Master Code - which has been developed to provide guidance across a broad range of industry sectors. NHVR must ensure that all codes that it registers are consistent with each other. Therefore any subsequent RICP must align with the Master Code and should reference it where there is overlap. Supplementary industry specific RICPs are to be read in conjunction with the Industry Master Code.
How will adopting an RICP benefit my business?
Any individual, group or corporation is free to adopt an RICP, or a part of an RICP, to assist them develop processes for managing the risks associated with their transport activities and for meeting their obligations under the HVNL. The way an RICP is adopted can be tailored to the specific circumstances of each operating environment.
An adopter who incorporates relevant practical advice from an RICP into their business can have some confidence that if a court were assessing their compliance with the safety duty, or another part of the HVNL, it would be assessing them against standards that they know and understand.
Better risk management within a transport operation may also improve its reputation, reduce lost hours from injury or court attendance, and result in lower insurance premiums. Other companies looking for business partnerships are likely to prefer an entity that is known to comply with an RICP.
Who can develop an RICP?
An individual, group or corporation can develop an RICP in accordance with NHVR’s Guidelines for Preparing and Registering Industry Codes of Practice (PDF, 497KB).
What is the cost of developing an RICP and is financial assistance is available?
The NHVR will require an initial contribution for administration cost associated with the industry codes of practice process. The fee is applied immediately after the notice of intention (NOI) has been submitted and the NHVR gives approval to proceed with the development of an Industry Code of Practice.
A further contribution will be sought after the assessment process and prior to the Coded being registered. This amount will vary based on the complexity of the RICP and the level of subject matter expertise required for the assessment of the Code.
Industry stakeholders are able to apply for funding under the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative for the development of an industry code of practice. This can include the development of an industry code and implementation of an education and awareness campaign related to the code. Each application is assessed on its merits and all applications must comply with the HVSI Submission Guidelines.