Government Review of the OHS Accreditation Scheme

30 March 2014

A discussion paper and the terms of reference for the review of the Australian Government Building and Construction OHS Accreditation Scheme are now available.

The Federal Department of Employment is conducting a review of the Australian Government Building and Construction OHS Accreditation Scheme (the Scheme), with the intention of "identifying options to reduce red tape and compliance costs, without compromising safety outcomes". The review is expected to be completed by 30 June 2014.

A discussion paper about this review, and the related review to "Modernise The Office of The Federal Safety Commissioner" is available from the Department of Employment website. 

Submissions are due by 2 April. The Australia Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) is preparing a draft submission to the review, which they propose to circulate to members, including the ACA, for approval by Friday 21 March.

The terms of reference for the review are as follows:

  • The costs of complying with the Scheme, including the cost of seeking and maintaining accreditation, particularly for smaller businesses/projects
  • The suitability of current funding threshold limits applying to building work covered by the Scheme
  • Scope for improvements in the accreditation process to reduce red tape, including but not limited to:
    – application and other paperwork requirements at the accreditation and re-accreditation stages
    – scope to better target compliance effort (in particular, on-site audits) according to risk, and to increase voluntary compliance by companies o extending the period of accreditation for businesses with a good audit history
    – capacity of smaller businesses to achieve accreditation o the suitability of AS/NZS 4801 as a pre-requisite for the Scheme
    – options to charge for audits.
  • Changes to the Scheme criteria and/or associated guidance material which would streamline or clarify requirements (including any updates necessary to reflect current best practice) 
  • Consistency, transparency and accountability in the application of Scheme criteria by Federal Safety Officers and the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner
  • The process for selecting and appointing Federal Safety Officers to ensure any potential for conflict of interest is appropriately managed 
  • Awareness of, and adherence by, funding entities to the Scheme requirements
  • The interaction of the Scheme with state and territory pre-qualification arrangements for their building and construction procurements
  • The interaction of the Scheme with other Commonwealth procurement processes.
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