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Accreditation in Road Transport

With two horrific collisions in the minds of all Australians there was a strong national opinion that the safety, performance and image of road transport had to change for the better. Presented by Wayne Checker, Compliance Manager for Transport Engineering and Management Pty Ltd at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Christmas
Luncheon 5/12/2002.

Wayne completed 10 years light and heavy vehicle mechanical trade experience with the Shell Oil
Company Municipal Tramways Trust (south Australian Government bus operator) and the Royal
Automotive Association. Since then has worked in fleet management (SA Public Buildings
Department), and road transport law development, administration and compliance (SA Department of Transport). He has also been involved in heavy vehicle engineering and testing for both the South Australian Government and with Edwards Consulting Services/Transport Engineering and
Management Pty Ltd. Wayne has also worked on various national working groups and technical
committees during the 1990s that involved the development of heavy vehicle National Standards (such as the Australian Design Rules) and Road Transport Reform initiatives. He is currently working for Transport Engineering and Management Pty Ltd as a road transport industry engineering and quality management facilitator/consultant and has developed all of our Transport Accreditation programmes covering maintenance management, mass management and fatigue management.
Wayne is a member of the following organisations:

     Society of Automotive Engineers (Australasia)
     Institute of Automotive Mechanical Engineers
     Quality Society of Australasia

The year is 1989. There are no accreditation schemes in road transport. The date is October 20th. Australia awakes to the news of a collision between a semi-trailer and bus has occurred at Cowper (near Grafton), NSW. 21 people are killed, another 22 people injured and two vehicles destroyed. The impact ripped the driver’s side of the bus off, which threw passengers across the highway. A state coronial inquiry found the semi- trailer drivers responsible for the crash. The driver was under the influence of a stimulant and had drivers onto the wrong side of the highway. Blood samples of the deceased semi-trailer drivers find a blood level of ephedrine, a “stay awake”
stimulant, was 80 times than that of a habitual user.
Two months later and three days before Christmas. Australians again wake to the grisly details of what remains Australia’s worst road disaster. 35 people lost their lives when two passenger coaches collide head on at Clybucca Flat (near Kempsey), NSW. A further 41 people are injured and two more vehicles are destroyed. Both drivers are killed. The impact snapped seat from their anchor bolts so that both seats and passengers were hurled about the vehicles with unbelievable high force. People and luggage are trapped against the back of the bus.

The NSW Coroner finds the McCafferty drivers fell asleep at the wheel allowing the vehicle to cross to the wrong side (actually the vehicle continued a straight line path on a curve in the road) and
collide with a northbound TransCity coach. And so with these two horrific collisions in the minds of all Australians there was a strong national opinion that the safety performance and image of road transport had to change for the better. Of course there were other recommendations that came out of these accident but they are not related to the subject of accreditation in road transport.
The collision have been attributed to be the reason for many of the road safety
initiatives that have since become part of our normal experience.

Since those tragic events we have seen the following initiatives taken:

  • 1987 Draft ISO 9002 is released in Australia.
  • 1988-1989 Major bus and truck accidents bring a major regulatory focus on heavy vehicle safety.
  • 1990 Pilot Team 200 launched; Road Transport Forum’s initial pilot
  • accreditation program.
  • 1993 National Road Transport Commission releases a discussion
  • paper rejecting operator licensing in favour of compliance based accreditation programs.
  • 1995 ISO 9002 Guidelines for the Road Transport Industry; drafted in January and released in November.
  • 1995 The pilot modules of the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme are established.
  • 1997 The RTF’s TruckSafe Accreditation program is formally launched, following on from TEAM2000.
  • 1997 HACCP transport standards and PACIA (code) commodity based accreditations become operational.
  • 1998 The NRTC releases the Transitional Fatigue Management Scheme.
  • 1998 TruckCare Accreditation Standards are released for livestock operators.
  • 1998 National Workshop on Road Transport Accreditation is conducted in Melbourne.
  • 1999 The Australian States agree on the standards for National heavy vehicle Accreditation Scheme for modules 1 and 2. Module 3, the Fatigue management module is still a trial prototype.
  • 2000 Australian Parliamentary inquiry into transport fatigue recommends that transport Fatigue related accreditation modules be logged with Standards Australia.
  • 2000 PACIA Carrier Accreditation becomes operational.
  • 2000 TransCare OH&S operator standards are released in Melbourne.
  • 2000 The Australian Trucking Association (formerly the RTF) re launches the new TruckSafe standards.
  • 2002 WA Main Roads release their WA Heavy Vehicle Accreditation standards.
  • 2003 WA Heavy Vehicle Accreditation mandatory for permit vehicle operation.

Since the 1997 the take up rate of accreditation schemes has accelerated rapidly.
There are now in excess of 11 schemes that have a national implication even though some of them are only recognised in a specific jurisdiction. The pace and number of schemes has left some operators confused and unsure of what they need. It has also caused great concern in how the manage the numerous schemes.
Some business are faced with having to adopt numerous schemes simply to stay in legal compliance and to satisfy customer requirements.

11 schemes 

No doubt some of your have begun counting them in you minds. Let me help you:

1. ISO 9000 quality management series. It’s purpose being to assist business in meeting and improving on customer satisfaction.

2. TruckSafe by the Australian Trucking Association (formerly the RoadTransport Federation).

It was established to improve the standard of safetyand professionalism in the trucking industry.

3. National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) a joint government and industry venture. It is intended to be a voluntary alternative to conventional enforcement. It’s use to dated however has been more popular as a mandatory condition for permits an operation, that is to operate under exemption from certain statutory limits.

Three modules:

Maintenance Management
Mass Management
Fatigue Management (still in development)

4. TransCare. A Victorian Work Cover Authority and Victorian Road Transport Association initiative. It is used by transport operators to identify, analyse, assess, improve and monitor health and safety hazards and associated risks.

5. Transitional Fatigue Management Scheme. Another joint government and industry initiative. This scheme provides 14 hours of driving and/or working day and some other minor flexibility in the management of fatigue in exchange for:

  • a) Driver health check.
  • b) Driver and manager training in fatigue management.
  • c) Management must implement auditable process for driver fatigue management, training, health and rostering.
  • d) Driver carrying a Driver Certification Manual.

6.   PACIA Carrier Accreditation developed by the chemical and transport industry. It’s aim is to provide the safety performance of transport carriers for the chemical industry.
7.   Hazard Analysis Critical Control Principles (HACCP). A food safety system used in transport to identify and minimise the risk of hazards that could lead to foods becoming unsafe during transport and storage.

8.   It originates from the Foods and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and the World Health Organisation.
9.   TruckCare the Australian Livestock Transporters Association Scheme. It is designed to take care of animal welfare and food safety.
10.  WA Heavy Vehicle Accreditation is a WA government scheme. It is mandatory for individuals and organisations who operate permit vehicles in Western Australia. The scheme is managed by WA main roads. It covers Maintenance Management and Fatigue Management. A further OHS training element will be included within the next 12 months.
Whilst this list is not complete is does cover the majority of schemes.

11.  TruckSafe and NHVAS are experiencing by far the greatest growth. In 2001 it was predicated the total road transport accreditation growth rate in participation would continue to average some 17% per annum. According to the NTI insurance TruckSafe accredited vehicles have 46% less “accident” than the general fleet and a 26% lower cost loss. Unfortunately the regulatory agencies are not publishing the performance of NHVAS, it could be that they are not measuring it, but would expect that it too is delivering improved safety.

Well that completes my coverage of the background and the present operation of accreditation schemes in road transport. It closing then I would like to give so comment on the future direction of accreditation in the industry. Given that road freight movements are expected to increase by 70% in the next decade, the following accreditation come management actions have been
recommended as part of a all embracing strategy that will compliment National Road
Safety Strategy approved by all Australian governments in 2000.

  • Employers to introduce management systems to promote and monitor belt useand improved cabin management as part of their accreditation programs, andby the selection of seat that allow comfortable belt use, Campaigns to encourage a compliance culture including the publication of high profile convictions.
  • Support industry accreditation schemes which can be adopted by large andsmaller operators including owner-drivers, and which will address compliance with important safety initiatives.
  • Accreditation programs to cover speed limiter compliance, and enhancedenforcement by regulatory bodies.
  • Governments and industry to enhance emphasis on training through training ofnew entrant and improved safety emphasis in accreditation schemes. Industry and government to complete and implement the Fatigue Reform forheavy vehicle drivers being conducted by the National Road Transport Commission, and continue to seek ways to minimise the level of fatiguerelated crashes, including the application of intelligent transport systems.

In conclusion, accreditation systems are seen and being used as a significant tool in maintaining legal compliance, reducing safety and health risks and providing customer satisfaction. It is not a passing fad but rather being increasingly seen as an important management and assurance tool.
Thank you for the opportunity to talk to you today.


From Famine to Feast: A decade of Change in Australian Road Transport
Accreditation 1990 to 2000; Mr Kim Hassall; Ms Kathy Simpson; Ms Judy Barnesby.
A 5th International & 8th National Quality Research Management Conference paper
dated 31/11/2001.
EMA Disaster Events Data Tracking System (EMA Track). EMA – Emergency
Management Australia.
Recent Bus Crashes in Australia; Australian Plaintiff Lawyers Association.
Ten years after Kempsey road tragedy; ABC Online, Australian Broadcasting
Heavy Vehicle Road Safety Seminar; Melbourne 22-23 October 2002. Seminar
Transport News, September 2002, Transport Engineering and Management Pty LtdAccreditation in Road Transport

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