Achieving FSC Accreditation (Part 3)

Interested in becoming a Federal Safety Commission (FSC) accredited company and delivering Commonwealth Funded Construction Projects?



READ ON, this is Part 3 of a 3 part series where we answer all the common questions we receive and get some added insight from our Managing Partner (and long-time Federal Safety Officer), Ralph Willson.


You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.



Does the FSC accommodate innovative approaches to WHS?


Like any accreditation and certification process, the FSO will audit a company (and project) against an objective audit criteria and will also take into consideration applicable legislative requirements, particularly with respect to managing a hazard and associated risk/s.


A consistent requirement (under the criteria) is for a ‘formal’ and ‘documented’ process. The criteria does not specify how this must occur; however, the criteria seeks to drive systematic management of health and safety which is underpinned by sound hazard identification, risk assessment and control.


Innovation is achieved by executing new ideas that create value. We often encourage innovation in the application of risk controls and inherently safer design decisions. However, we also encourage innovations that better support formal processes and reduce administrative burden where possible.


It is worth noting that informal processes are not likely to meet the intent of the FSC criteria, nor the need for systematic management of health and safety and other legislative requirements.



Im a Joint Venture (JV) Partner, Do I need to be FSC accredited?


At least one JV partner needs to hold current FSC accreditation and one of the accredited companies management systems must be adopted and fully implemented for the Scheme project. A hybrid management system (combination of the JV partner processes) is not accepted unless the JV becomes accredited in its own right.



What are the most common non-conformance issues?


Across the FSC program the three most common areas where non-conformance reports are issued are:

· Mobile plant (14%)*

· Emergency Planning (11%)*

· Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Control (10%)*


*This data is current as of December 2020, and inclusive across the life of the program.



What are the potential downsides to Accreditation?


The decision to become accredited should be a medium to longer term strategic consideration. It requires ongoing leadership and commitment, effective resourcing and WHS capability development across an organisation.


Subject to an organisations current systems and programs, this may require significant upfront and ongoing investment.



Where do we start?


We recommend that clients have a desktop review (gap analysis) performed of their WHS management system against the FSC criteria.


We usually have one of AusSafes Federal Safety Officers perform this review (we currently have the highest number appointed under the scheme with 7). The purpose of the desktop review is to understand if your current systems and processes conform, and if they don’t, assist you to identify actions needed to achieve the standard necessary.


If your systems do conform, we recommend a mock audit (implementation based audit) to be performed on your nominated project. A mock audit will assist an organisation to understand the audit process (including depth and rigour applied) and will evaluate implementation and its effectiveness.



We have received our FSC audit report and we have a number of gaps. Can you help us?


Yes, we can help with various things including system and procedure upgrades, implementation support (e.g. risk assessments, training, inspections, site based coaching) and mock audits.


We need to ensure we don’t have any conflicts of interest. Contact us to see how we can help.




More Info:

Contact Us for more information


Also check out FSC site for more information - https://www.fsc.gov.au/home


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