New plan would stop 'tidal wave of audits'
THE ATA's plan for a new voluntary trucking operator accreditation system would halt the tidal wave of pointless customer audits and boost safety, Australian Trucking Association Chair Geoff Crouch said today.
Mr Crouch was releasing the ATA submission to the national truck law review about assurance models.
"Trucking businesses are overwhelmed with multiple compliance and customer audits, which are costly and time consuming. They generally cover the same ground and are of little legal value to anyone," Mr Crouch said.
"The ATA's plan for the future national truck laws includes a new voluntary accreditation system that would enable operators to demonstrate their safety and access alternative compliance arrangements, including on fatigue management.
"Under our approach, businesses certified under the ATA's TruckSafe accreditation scheme or another accreditation scheme approved by the NHVR would be deemed to comply with their safety duties.
"In addition, customers and other chain parties, including prime contractors, would be able to rely on a trucking business's certification as evidence that the business was compliant with its safety duties.
"The customer would be able to focus on meeting its own obligations rather than demanding yet another unnecessary audit."
Also, certified trucking businesses validated for alternative compliance would be:
- able to access the alternative fatigue management regime proposed in the ATA's fatigue management submission
- exempt from yearly vehicle inspections where relevant
- subject to a lower level of roadside enforcement
- pre-credentialled for the current NHVAS access arrangements and mass concessions.
Under the ATA's approach, the NHVR would be responsible for regulating accreditation scheme providers, including TruckSafe, and auditors. It would not continue to run NHVAS.
"The NHVAS modules do not cover a host of important safety issues, such as speed limiter tampering, speed management and load restraint," Mr Crouch said.
"Under our plan, scheme providers would need to meet high standards based on international best practice. The result would be increased safety and fewer audits.
"I want to thank the members of the ATA Safety Committee and the TruckSafe board for their exceptional work in developing this submission, which backed by detailed legislative drafting and point by point references to the international standards for certification and accreditation bodies.
"Throughout the HVNL review, the ATA has taken the views of its member associations and companies, and lodged evidence-based submissions with practical solutions to the issues we face.
"Through our partnership with Big Rigs, we have also provided the NTC with 64 pieces of constructive feedback from the grass roots of the industry. Our Have Your Say! campaign has now reached an audience of more than 144,000 people," he said.