The NHVR have made temporary changes to the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) medical requirements and face-to-face audit requirements, in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The following arrangements will be in place for the next six months and will be reviewed if they need to continue.
These changes are:
- Heavy vehicle drivers operating under Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) or Basic Fatigue Management (BFM) accreditations may continue to drive with an expired driver medical, until they can practicably obtain one.
- Auditors can undertake all document and records validation and audits remotely, requesting electronic copies be emailed to them or by another suitable method and conducting conversations over the phone where applicable.
The NHVR recognises the impacts that the coronavirus pandemic is having on the ability to conduct audits in person.
To enable NHVAS processes to continue, a temporary change has been made to the Business Rules and Standards that will allow remote ‘off-site’ auditing.
Your auditor may now:
- request that documents and records are sent to them electronically
- conduct interviews with operator representatives via telephone
The change has been approved on the basis that suitable controls are used to ensure that the auditor’s conclusion can be substantiated with reliable and credible evidence.
You must still:
- Ensure policies, procedures and records are made available for analysis
- Ensure parties are available for interview where necessary
- Follow the normal process for audits to be approved
Expired BFM & AFM Driver Medicals
In recognition of the limited amount of medical practitioners currently available, the amended NHVAS Business Rules and Standards allow a driver to continue to drive, even if their medical has expired after 1 February 2020, until such time as they are able to secure an examination and medical confirmation.
It continues to remain the responsibility of all NHVAS accredited operators to ensure drivers under AFM or BFM are fit for duty, including the need to undertake related risk assessments and have in place suitable risk controls.
Accredited operators must also ensure their Register of Drivers is kept up to date, noting any expired medicals to be obtained as soon as reasonably practicable.
If you are experiencing any issues associated with meeting your accreditation requirements due to the current coronavirus situation, or require further advice regarding these changes, please contact the NHVAS Team on 07 3309 8770 as soon as possible.
Most importantly, if you believe there may be issues in having an audit completed please ensure that you contact the NHVR as soon as possible and certainly before your accreditation expires.
NHVR will be assessing situations on a case-by-case basis so we can ensure the safe, productive operation of the heavy vehicle industry for the benefit of all Australians.
If NatRoad members have any questions please don’t hesitate to call our team on (02) 6295 3000.