Thu 26 Mar 2015

OUTCOMES OF THE REVIEW OF THE FEDERAL SAFETY COMMISSIONER ACCREDITATION PROGRAM:

Members are advised the requirements of the Federal Safety Commissioner’s Contractor Accreditation Scheme (OFSC) have undergone a thorough review in the latter part of 2014. CCF was one of the parties invited to be a part of the Industry Operations Review Panel. The review was focussed on streamlining the process of applying for, becoming and maintaining accreditation under the OFSC scheme, the review has delivered a number of improvements that are summarised below.

Contractors are asked to note that the OFSC is working with relevant State/Territory Authorities to seek the universal acceptance by those authorities that OFSC Accreditation will meet the health and safety requirements of those organisations from a contractor prequalification perspective. Please note that this does not mean that OFSC Accreditation will be the sole Health and safety requirement, rather one of a group of acceptable health and safety requirements, others may include Health and safety Systems third party certified to AS/NZS 4801, ISO 18001 or other equivalent Safety systems certification.

Summary

  1. The following outcomes of the OFSC Review will be of interest to Civil Contractors, it is anticipated that the legislative aspects of the review outcomes will be effective from early-2015, with the administrative improvements implemented progressively through 2015.
  2. Further detail of the full requirements for OFSC Accreditation can be accessed at: http://www.fsc.gov.au/sites/FSC

Key Points

  1. The entry requirement for certification to AS/NZS 4801 has been be removed.
  2. OFSC will move to a risk based Accreditation model in the future which would have an impact on the period of Accreditation; i.e. contractors with a lower risk profile as assessed by onsite audit would have greater periods between Accreditation audits (the final model is yet to be released).
  3. There is potential under this risk based model to shift re-accreditation requirements out to six years for low risk organisations.
  4. The audit process would be adjusted to shift emphasis towards the contractor’s embedded safety culture rather than the current focus on documentary evidence of minutely managing safety documentation.
  5. There would be continued focus on the nominated 18 areas of construction deemed to be “High Risk” however the option is being left open to expand this as necessary.
  6. A further key emphasis will be on the Principle Contractor’s management of sub-contractors-OFSC will be developing guidance material on their expectations in this area.
  7. The threshold values (of Federal funding) where the OFSC Accreditation applies is to increase slightly from $3M and $5m or 50% of Project Value to $4M and $6m or 50%, this value will be reviewed each three years and adjusted based on CPI/Construction cost increases.
  8. The Accreditation Program will continue to be at no cost to the contractor.
  9. Further guidance material is to be developed aimed at assisting contractors developing OFSC compliant systems not based on AS/NZS 4801, this is aimed at reducing the initial cost to become accredited, the revised audit criteria are available at: http://www.fsc.gov.au/sites/FSC/Resources/AZ/Documents/RevAuditCriteria0709.pdf
  10. A number of improvements are being made to the engagement and training of auditors for the scheme, aimed at increasing standardization of interpretation among OFSC auditors.
  11. Processes are being developed to allow unaccredited companies to tender on works where they are part of an alliance where another contracting partner is accredited, provided the alliance works under the systems of the accredited alliance partner.
  12. OFSC will more strongly promote the acceptance of OFSC Accreditation as an acceptable WHS Prequalification for other client groups.