What you need to know and how to prepare
The FSC (Federal Safety Commissioner) Accreditation Scheme’s Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) criteria is one of the strictest and most prescriptive in the world.
It is unique because it includes construction-specific WHS Management System requirements and examines hazards that apply to the construction industry with great rigour, based on Australia’s legislation and other requirements.
Our role, with respect to the FSC Accreditation scheme, involves working directly with the FSC and also helping clients achieve, maintain and update their accreditation.
We can provide support in the following areas:
- Assist to obtain, keep and maintain FSC Accreditation
- Perform audits for construction companies and federal projects directly for the FSC
Note: We treat any conflict of interest very seriously and will only provide accreditation assistance to companies which we have not audited. Similary, any assistance we give a client rules us out as a future auditor of their projects.
Getting your Accreditation
Gaining – Maintaining – Updating
Whether you need to gain, maintain or update your FSC Accreditation, the process is essentially the same and goes through the 3 steps outlined. The amount of time, energy and resources is the part that changes depending on your situation.
This is where we come in –
To help you keep business as usual, and make sure that everything FSC related is dealt with in a planned and programmed manner.
Here are some further details on our services for which you might find beneficial
FSC Accreditation Help
GCG routinely helps organisations of different sizes to gain FSC Accreditation. This process can be expediated even further now that the FSC prerequisite to hold an accreditation to AS4801 has been removed.
We see a variety of clients that need assistance with gaining accreditation. Some come to us with a rudimentary WHS Management System, while others have complex systems which already have other accreditations. Oftentimes we will be contacted directly after an audit, as a client may have received an overwhelming number of Corrective Action Reports (CARs) and would like us to assist in the response.
FSC System Maintenance
FSC System Maintenance audits may take less time on site, but the outcomes can still be costly if you’re not prepared. We assist to make sure that you are prepared for your FSC audit, which includes preparation of your system, contractors and your site.
The most important aspect of this process includes a check to make sure that your organisation is doing everything the system is requiring you to do on site. As part of audit assistance projects, we make sure we are around to assist with closing out of the FSC CARs that were found during the audit.
FSC System Reaccreditation Check-Up
If your FSC Accreditation underpins your business, then you fully appreciate the importance of getting through a reaccreditation audit successfully. Our intricate knowledge of the FSC Audit criteria and the underpinning Hazard Identification Risk Assessment and Control (HIRAC) process helps us to work with you to update your system for the years to come. The by-product of this, of course, is passing the FSC audit with flying colours.
Should you perform well (i.e. good audit results, compliant reporting, no serious incidents, timely close-out of CARs etc.) within the accreditation scheme, you may be considered a ‘low risk’ of non-compliance – this could mean that your accreditation will last up to 6 years, instead of the standard 3 years.
Reaccreditation audits come in many forms:
- 2-day audit – covering all of the system criteria and 2 hazard (H) criteria + your currently open CARs
- 1-day audit – covering a selection of system criteria and 2 hazard (H) criteria + your currently open CARs
FSC Auditing Experience
GCG has completed many audits over the past 8 years in Australia and overseas.
We treat the quality of our work very seriously, as such have a strict on-boarding process and internal processes for managing these projects.
Our auditors are degree-qualified WHS professionals that have over 15 years of experience in auditing.
Of these auditors, we have two highly qualified Federal Safety Officers (FSOs) appointed by the Office of Federal Safety Commission (OFSC) under the Fair Work (Building Industry) Act 2012, who possess the authority to undertake audits based on the criteria set for the accreditation.
This experience and accreditation give us unique insight as to what to expect and how to prepare for your audits. These FSC auditors are supported by the GCG consulting team across Australia.
Our FSC Auditors and Consultants
Brett Jones has a strong history working with the FSC. Along with completing many international FSC audits, he has assisted the FSC directly in the update and development of the FSC audit criteria. Brett is a candid professional who has the ability to balance compliance vs practical application and isn’t afraid to have some fun along the way.
Craig Hutton brings a wealth of practical experience to his FSC audits thanks to his trade and regulator based background.
Hutto loves to help out and enjoys finding a system fix that will not only meet the FSC criteria, but one that will be appreciated when it boils down to doing the work on site.
Brett & Craig both hold:
- Tertiary qualifications in OHS
- Certification as Principal OHS Auditors (Exemplar Global)
- Federal Safety Officer Licences
A Bit of Background on the Federal Safety Commission
The OFSC was born in 2005, based on a specific recommendation made by the formal public inquiry into the building and construction industry. The Scheme’s strict criteria require builders and construction companies to meet certain standards within their WHS Management Systems – and to implement the requirements of these throughout the lifecycle of a project.
“There needs to be an attitudinal change to safety. This change must come from all participants – governments, clients, contractors, subcontractors, unions and workers. The new paradigm must be that projects are completed safely, on time and within budget rather than just on time and within budget.”
– Royal Commissioner, The Honourable Terence Rhoderic Hudson Cole RFD QC
Specific recommendations were practically introduced through the formation of the FSC and its accreditation scheme. The FSC applies the scheme and its criteria to any work directly or indirectly funded by the Australian Government at certain financial brackets.
For more info relating to direct and indirect funding under the FSC Accreditation, visit the FSC website here