The NHVR has made a number of changes to improve the NHVAS Business Rules and Standards over the years.
The November 2019 meeting of the Transport Infrastructure Council endorsed changes to the NHVAS Business Rules and Standards that encouraged further alignment with Safety Management System principles as well adding clarifications to avoid misunderstandings. These changes were the result of an extensive review and consultation conducted over 2 years. A summary of responses to the changes as well as amendments can be found in the
A summary of the consultation process in 2019, can be found at NHVAS Business Rules and Standards review consultation.
After a minor change to the requirements to be accepted as an NHVAS auditor, a new version of the NHVAS Business Rules and Standards was released. The change involves the ability for the NHVR to recognise an auditor’s lead auditor qualification that has been issued by a body other than a JAZ-ANZ accredited body.
The criteria now reads if conducting an audit wherein the auditor leads one or more auditors or has in place a formal agreement to second a person with the technical competencies they must also hold a relevant lead auditor qualification accepted by the NHVR or by another person or body authorised for that purpose by the NHVR.
This is the only change from the previous version, the criteria surrounding the Heavy Vehicle Auditing (HVA) qualification remains unchanged. No action was required from NHVAS participants or auditors registered with the NHVR to conduct NHVAS audits.
The NHVAS Business Rules and Standards had some minor amendments effective July 2017.
- Vehicle inspection requirements were amended to be in line with harmonised operational policy, to show that a vehicle being nominated into the maintenance management module for the first time must have passed a vehicle inspection by a road transport authority or one of their delegates within the last 12 months. Previously the business rules stated 6 months, which did not align with harmonised operational policy for all Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) participating states.
- Standard 9 and all references to the fuel tax rebate have been removed. Due to a strengthening of NHVAS audit timeframes the commonwealth no longer recognises the NHVAS as a scheme for which fuel tax rebates apply, for vehicles built before 1996.
Industry feedback indicated that some aspects of the auditor registration criteria may have been impractical and could possibly prevent auditors from applying to be registered with the NHVR. In June 2015 the following amendments to the NHVAS Business Rules and Standards were made to the criteria that must be met by a person wishing to be registered as an NHVAS Approved Auditor.
- Lead Auditor Registration requirement - Section 14.1 of the NHVAS Business Rules and Standards set out general criteria to become registered with the NHVR as an NHVAS Approved Auditor. Criterion 14.1(a) required an auditor to have third party certification in heavy vehicle auditing and also as a lead auditor. The amendment returns the general certification level to auditor status and specifies the circumstances in which the Lead Auditor qualification would be required. This maintains the requirement for the lead auditor knowledge base, but not the requirements to maintain certification.
- Technical Competencies - Section 14.2 of the NHVAS Business Rules and Standards required auditors of Maintenance and Mass Management systems to have sufficient technical knowledge to understand records and to conduct technically competent interviews or have a formal arrangement so they can draw upon another’s technical competencies. This requirement was amended to state that the technical competencies may be acquired either from AQTF courses or from training recognised by the NHVR.
The NHVR undertook a review of the NHVAS as part of the National Heavy Vehicle Roadworthiness Program, a joint initiative with the National Transport Commission (NTC).
As a result, the auditing provisions of the NHVAS Business Rules and Standards was changed on 1 March 2015. The changes standardised the way audits are conducted, strengthened the quality of audits, ensured more effective safety requirements for heavy vehicles and enhanced the standing of auditors. Auditing is a key way to ensure operators comply with the management of their maintenance systems to ensure their heavy vehicles comply with the law.
The changes affect the way in which NHVAS auditors are recognised and audits are conducted.
- Those who wish to become an auditor need to seek registration with the NHVR.
- To become registered, auditors need to meet a number of criteria in addition to being certified as a lead auditor.
- Provisions aimed at reducing the potential for conflicts of interest were added. For example, if an operator’s choice of auditor appears to be inappropriate, the NHVR may stipulate a list of alternative auditors the operator must choose from.