Changes to heavy vehicle competency based assessment

5 december 2014

Roads and Maritime Services has introduced changes to improve heavy vehicle competency based assessment (HVCBA) to reduce the risk of fraud and corruption.

"Director of Safety and Compliance Peter Wells said the reforms were in response to recommendations from the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and aim to prepare industry for the future and support dedicated and professional heavy vehicle trainers to provide high quality, safety focused training.

“Heavy vehicle trainers and assessors perform a vital task to ensure heavy vehicle drivers meet all road safety requirements.

"All final competency assessments for drivers being trained to be heavy vehicle operators are now recorded and monitored by in cabin video and GPS technology," Mr Wells said.

An ICAC investigation earlier this year into false certifications of heavy vehicle competency assessments by an accredited assessor prompted the changes.

“Other changes have also been put in place to help ensure the scheme is as robust as possible and to give the community assurance heavy vehicle operators are competent and safe.

“A new code of conduct has been introduced for all registered training operators and a new accreditation agreement was introduced to strengthen provider obligations.

“Another major improvement will ensure the separation of the heavy vehicle training and assessment tasks wherever this can be practically achieved to avoid conflict of interest and temptation for corrupt practices,” Mr Wells said.

The implementation of these requirements will need modest administration changes from industry and have been welcomed as a positive step to ensure legitimate registered training organisations (RTO) are recognised for their industry leadership.

The industry was informed of the changes during a number of roadshows held at North Sydney, Wagga, Dubbo and Tamworth in August this year.

“A series of guides, specifications and frequently asked questions have been developed to closely manage the implementation and support operators. A hotline has also been established to inform the industry of the changes around thirty RTOs already signed up to the new arrangements,” Mr Wells said.

“Some providers have requested an extension to implement the new requirements and we are working with these organisations on a case by case basis to help them make the changes as quickly as possible.

"Roads and Maritime is also directly helping providers in rural areas of NSW where separation of the training and testing may provide challenges, particularly for small business, to ensure no provider is disadvantaged.

“A window of up to six months will be provided where there is genuine difficulty in meeting the timeframe,” Mr Wells said.

The reform package will be reviewed after 12 months to ensure it is achieving the intended outcomes and to make any changes necessary for ongoing compliance of heavy vehicle competency based assessment.

Registered training organisations having difficulty meeting the timeframes or new requirements should contact hvtraining@rms.nsw.gov.au.

CONTACT: Roads and Maritime Services Media Unit:  8588 5999

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