Roadworthiness Program

The Roadworthiness Program is being delivered by the NHVR on behalf of the Transport and Infrastructure Council (TIC).

The objective of the program is to produce a policy position which when implemented, will be used to reduce the social, environmental and economic impacts resulting from unroadworthy heavy vehicles. This is to be achieved by changing industry behaviour to ensure industry proactively maintains and operates their vehicles by adhering to the heavy vehicle safety standards. The program is looking at a risk-based approach for ensuring compliance to vehicle standards by auditing, monitoring and inspecting heavy vehicles on a common basis.

The Roadworthiness Program consists of four work-streams:

1. Consistent Inspection Framework

The Consistent Inspection Framework will provide a method for the development of policies and decision support tools that will ensure consistent inspection processes and criteria. The framework seeks to ensure that the classification of any non-conformity correlates with an evidence-based risk assessment of the non-conformity resulting in the issuing of a defect notice. This will achieve improved national consistency and improve regulatory effectiveness.

The Consistent Inspection Framework is made up of two parts:

Decision Support Tools

This aspect of the Consistent Inspection Framework project is focussed on the development of policy and decision support tools to provide guidance to authorised officers when conducting heavy vehicle inspections. One of the objectives is to create support tools for determining what constitutes a roadworthy heavy vehicle and the subsequent categorisation of defects in the event that a non-conformity is detected.

Competency Standards

The objective of the Inspection Competency Standards project is to establish minimum competencies for Inspectors to undertake different inspection types by:

  • Contributing to individual training plans and role definition, removing different rules between states resulting in consistent assessment outcomes across jurisdictions.
  • Introducing a balanced approach to professional learning with a mix of competencies and key proficiencies.
  • Integration of NHVR requirements with existing competency based frameworks and nationally recognised competency qualifications.
  • Identifying specific industry needs now and in the future to establish and create an efficient and effective system for Inspectors to operate within.

The NHVR position on required competencies and the provision of evidence of ongoing currency should lead to the increase in consistency in the inspections being undertaken and the interventions reported. Inspectors trained and developed to apply common standards will deliver impartial assessments and consistent vehicle standards assurance outcomes.

2. Management and Clearance of Defects

The objective of this project is to develop a nationally-consistent approach to administering defects, including the recording and clearance of defect notices.

The project scope will include the provision of guidance for administering defects in instances where issuance and/or clearance of a defect notice occurs outside of the registering jurisdiction.

3. Roadworthiness Data Collection

The aim of this project is to identify data to be gathered to support efficient and effective identification of heavy vehicle for risk-based inspection. The project is primarily focused on gathering standardised inspection data.

In order to implement a standardised minimum vehicle standards assurance inspection dataset to be collected by inspection service providers, priorities for data collection need to be identified. This is particularly important given the current varying data collection practices and systems in jurisdictions. It will ensure improvement efforts will be directed toward prioritised specific data items rather than pursuing complete datasets, where this approach is deemed too challenging, costly or time consuming.

4. National Risk-based Inspection Criteria Framework

Drawing on the work around inspection types and risk-based criteria the NHVR is preparing a National Risk-based Inspection Criteria Framework to be delivered to responsible Ministers in 2018.

The aim of this project is to bring together all the elements of the National Heavy Vehicle Roadworthiness Program into a cohesive framework for the identification, frequency, selection and method of inspection for heavy vehicles utilising a risk-based criteria matrix.

The risk-based criteria will guide the NHVR on what, when, why and how heavy vehicles are targeted, rated on the impact they potentially pose to road safety.

The National Risk-based Inspection Criteria Framework consists of two parts:

Risk-based Criteria

The NHVR engaged a Risk Analyst to perform a comprehensive analysis of the data collected during the National Roadworthiness Baseline Survey (NRBS) and to develop a framework and methodology for identifying, categorising and ranking risk factors that are associated with the mechanical condition of the heavy vehicle fleet.

This analysis and framework weighted the importance of data items to assist the NHVR to create an assurance methodology to target high-risk vehicle components, vehicle systems, and sub-systems, vehicle types, operators and industry sectors.

This will be used towards creating a framework as a foundation for consistent inspections.

Inspection Types

The objective of this project is to provide consistently applied guidance on standardised inspection types that can be applied as required to verify whether the vehicle components, systems and sub-systems are conforming to the heavy vehicle safety standards. The project is being undertaken to guide inspectors on the extent of an inspection they should conduct and to ensure a common approach to inspection and the recording of inspect results.

The NHVR is also looking into future research activities utilising the NRBS results, such as:

  • Compare state compliance data to NRBS results.
  • Future surveys similar to NRBS in 2019 and 2022 which will evaluate inspection approach and reassess fleet performance.
  • Correlation between crashes or safety risk and mechanical condition.

A Transition Plan will also be developed, to deliver the implementation of NHVR’s National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Scheme.