The changes will be implemented from today.
The changes will be implemented from today. Kirstin Payne

NHVR relax accreditation burden during COVID19 crisis

THE National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has announced temporary changes to National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme medical requirements and face-to-face audit requirements, in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the regulator has listened to the industry and the common-sense changes would be implemented from today (Wednesday March 25).

"We are making some practical changes that will help to take pressure off the health system and support operators and drivers in a time of unprecedented demand," Mr Petroccitto said.

"The following arrangements will be in place for the next six months, when we will review if they need to continue.

These changes are:

  • heavy vehicle drivers operating under Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) or Basic Fatigue Management (BFM) accreditations may continue to drive with an expired driver medical, until they can practicably obtain one
  • auditors can undertake all document and records validation and audits remotely, requesting electronic copies be emailed to them or by another suitable method and conducting conversations over the phone where applicable.

"With more than 7,000 businesses benefiting from the NHVAS we have taken the lead on reducing the burden on industry wherever possible," he said.

"We have also removed amenity provisions from access permits during curfew periods, worked with states to clarify border restrictions and supported states to make planning changes to support extended freight movement.

"While good driver health is important, it's clear that we should be doing anything we can at the moment to reduce the burden on our medical facilities.

"I'd encourage all drivers to continue to proactively monitor their health, follow government advice around social distancing and hygiene and speak to a manager if they are feeling unwell.

"I want to encourage any operator or auditor who still has questions or concerns about being able to meet their obligations to get in contact with our Accreditation team.

"We will be assessing situations on a case-by-case basis so we can ensure the safe, productive operation of the heavy vehicle industry for the benefit of all Australians."

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