Maintaining FSC Accreditation

Establishing and Maintaining a FSC Accreditation

The Federal Safety Commissioner (FSC) was established in 2005 to ensure that the building and construction industry are consistently working towards achieving the highest possible health and safety standards in Australia.

To become accredited by the FSC, builders must ensure they have comprehensive health and safety systems in place and undertake more scrupulous auditing. The accreditation has proven effectiveness in improving safety within the building and construction industry.

This article provides information for companies looking to become and maintain a FSC accreditation.

What is FSC accreditation? What you need to become FSC accredited?

A Federal Safety Commissioner (FSC) Accreditation is a system designed to improve health and safety within the building and construction industry. Builders can apply for an accreditation from the Federal Safety Commissioner under the Work Health and Safety Accreditation Scheme (the Scheme). Becoming accredited under the Scheme provides builders with the opportunity to tender for contracts that are funded directly or indirectly by the Australian Government.

To obtain accreditation applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to manage construction hazards and high-risk activities.
  2. Maintain a positive record regarding workplace health and safety.
  3. Consistently obtain good on-site audit results, particularly regarding:
    • senior management commitment to WHS;
    • incorporation of safe design principles into the risk management process;
    • WHS consultation and communication;
    • effective subcontractor WHS management arrangements;
    • project performance measurement; and
    • WHS training and competency.

In response to requests for greater clarity regarding accreditation, the Australian Government have developed a clear guideline that outlines the auditing criteria. FSC Audit Criteria Guidelines: The FSC Audit Criteria Explained

What are the benefits of FSC accreditation?

An advantage for builders and construction companies, that obtain a FSC accreditation, is automatic acknowledgment of meeting the work health and safety elements of the prequalification schemes for building and construction work in Australia (excluding Tasmania). This opens up other channels of business for your company and gives accredited builders access to more projects and tender opportunities.

Powers and responsibilities

FSC Accredited builders are subject to regular on-site audits, which are conducted by Federal Safety Officers (FSOs). Follow up audits may be required to verify that corrective actions have been implemented if an organisation receives a non-conformance.

Federal Safety Officers are to act as third party auditors to builders and companies seeking or maintaining their accreditation. A FSO can enter a premises for the purpose of ascertaining whether an applicant or accredited company are compliant. However, they can not forcefully enter any premises. On site, a FSO may inspect the premises, appliances or equipment and take essential samples of goods or substances. They may also request a copy of documents and interview any necessary people.

If an accredited builder fails to comply with the accreditation conditions, the FSC has the power to issue compliance measures against the builder. Administrative and legislative compliance measures can be undertaken, the OFSC will work with accredited companies to help resolve these imposed conditions. However, if there are no improvements, the FSC can impose additional conditions, legislative sanctions, which can include suspension or cancellation of accreditation.

Systems to help maintain your accreditation

Once accredited, there are a number of ongoing requirements that must be maintained, these include;

  • maintaining compliance with the conditions of accreditation, including appropriate policies, procedures and processes
  • WHS reporting
  • regular on-site monitoring audits

A safety management system should be developed and implemented, with policies, procedures and processes that are tailored to your company and the work you undertake. These need to be maintained and reviewed periodically.

Whilst the amount of documentation and upkeep can be overwhelming and difficult to maintain manually through spreadsheets and paper trails, online compliance systems can be a huge benefit to your company by allowing your business and workers to manage and share one worker profile, a quick and easy process to maintain and share relevant documents within your business and with external parties. This also applies to sharing company or plant & equipment records, with a single profile for each to track and manage all related documentation, tickets, insurances, registrations or licences.

A compliance management system like Comply Flow consolidates and streamlines an organisation’s processes, files and other regulatory documentation. This not only saves organisations time and money by reducing manual administration tasks, but also helps to eliminate gaps in compliance and risks presented by missing information or records.

Compliance management software creates one source of truth for safety and compliance, and advantages your company by allowing you to manage all your business & workforce documentation in one place, facilitating compliance with relevant legislation and industry standards. It is an easy way to stay organised and for you and other parties to access accurate and up to date information, ensuring that your entire workforce is compliant and work-ready.

Quick tips to help your business with maintaining FSC accreditation

Companies should exercise due diligence by:

  • developing, implementing and maintaining a company tailored safety management system.
  • ensure copies/ records of all applicable documents are maintained using a safety management software for record management
  • keeping up to date with relevant legislation and industry standards
  • undertake regular audits to ensure that sites are safe from any physical or psychological hazards
  • ensure that further inductions and training regarding any changes in the workplace and tasks, are provided when necessary
  • ensuring continuous consultation Following the above guidelines (and documenting the processes, to provide proof of compliance) will help to ensure your company has taken the adequate steps to meet the applicable obligations under relevant legislation.
For Enterprise Organisations:

Get in touch with our in-house compliance & safety team to learn about how Comply Flow can help your organisation better manage FSC accreditation, and streamline compliance management across your operations. Our system offers real-time compliance visibility over every site and project, at the supplier (company) level, for workers and for each item of plant and equipment.

For Contractors / Suppliers:

If you’re a builder or construction company (or any other type of supplier) looking for an easy way to manage and share company docs, tickets, qualifications and competencies then our online HR Document Management system makes this a breeze.

Are you a Supplier? Get started in 5 simple steps
  1. Create a Free Account for your Company
  2. Add your Workers to the account
  3. Assign Document Requirements to your workforce
  4. Upload Documents
  5. Share these Workers with your Clients

If you need a hand getting started our friendly support can help step you through the process via live chat.

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