SWIP External Briefing – FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions:

Safeworking Services Framework Questions

What is the Safeworking Services Framework?
The Safeworking Services Framework is an internal ARTC document. It sets out the requirements that must be met by organisations who seek to provide safeworking services to operate on the ARTC network.

 

When do the changes to Safeworking Services come into effect?
The Safeworking Services Framework, and associated changes, will come into effect during July 2022.

 

What does my organisation need to do to comply with the changes?
If your organisation provides safeworking services as part of its tendered scope of works, the organisation must be either an approved Safeworking Services Panel Member, or an authorised Self-Performer Organisation (SPO).
Applications for Safeworking Services Panel members have closed, and successful and unsuccessful proponents will be advised during July 2022.
If your organisation is not a panel member, you can apply to be authorised as a SPO. Applications are open year-round, however, you must be registered through Avetta to provide safeworking services to ARTC.

 

How can I register to provide Safeworking Services to ARTC through Avetta?

If an organisation has successfully been awarded work with ARTC, and has an active connection through Avetta, they can apply to become an SPO at any time.If there is no active connection with ARTC through Avetta, they will first need to apply and connect. There are compliance documents to complete and a fee payable to establish the connection. Because of this, organisations may choose to wait to be awarded for works before connecting to ARTC through Avetta. ARTC does not require that organisations pre-qualify as an SPO prior to tendering for works. However, should an organisation be successful in tendering for an agreed scope of works, that includes safeworking, and be unsuccessful in gaining authorisation as an SPO, they will need to source safeworking from an approved panel member to complete their scope of works.

If an organisation, with no active connection to ARTC, wishes to establish a connection outside of an active contract, please apply via Avetta and notify Procurement so that the connection can be accepted. Any queries regarding your Avetta account please contact (Newcastle) 1300 441 433 or (Sydney) 1800 502 142.

 

Can my organisation be a member of the Safeworking Services Panel and an authorised SPO?
Yes. It is possible to meet the requirements to be both a Panel member and an authorised SPO.

 

What if my organisation represents is a joint venture situation? What are the requirements for contributing companies and the created organisation?

The ARTC contracts system considers Joint Ventures (JVs) as separate legal entities with their own ABN and insurances. Contracts are executed with the JV, rather than with individual parties that make up the JV.

Because of this, JVs are required to register and pre-qualify in Avetta with a new account. The JV must provide all the relevant safety documentation unique to the JV which will be audited independently. At the termination of the JV, the Avetta account will need to be deactivated by the JV.

 

SPO’s need to employ safeworkers, but can safeworkers be employed on a casual basis?
ARTC recognises that some Panel members may only contract their workers during periods of peak demand, such as shutdowns, and therefore safeworkers who are employed by a Panel member, can be employed on a contractual or casual basis. However, the same does not apply for SPO’s who must directly employ safeworkers and supplement their workforce during peaks with additional safeworking personnel from the Safeworking Panel.

 

What if my organisation was not selected on the ARTC Safeworking Services Panel? Will there be another opportunity to apply or should we submit an application to become a SPO?

From July 2022, the Panel will operate for a three-year period. ARTC has the option to extend these contracts by a period of up to 2 years (5 years in total). There are no plans to re-tender the Panel prior to the expiry of the existing agreements however, if circumstances change, options may be explored by ARTC to add or remove Panel members.Those organisations who were not successful as Panel members, and wish to provide safeworking services as part of their tendered scope of works, are encouraged to review RLS-SP-001 – Self-Performer Organisations for Safeworking Services Specification and submit an application to be authorised SPO through Avetta.

 

Will organisations which were not selected on the ARTC Safeworking Services Panel be offered support?
Feedback and de-brief sessions will be offered to organisations that have been unsuccessful in becoming a member of the Safeworking Services Panel.

 

How will my organisation service its current contracted works with ARTC whilst becoming compliant with the Safeworking Services Framework?

Implementation of Safeworking Services will be supported by a transition period, from July 2022 to 30 November 2022. During the transition period, organisations may continue to use unauthorised providers of safeworking services whilst either becoming compliant (as an SPO) or source approved safeworkers from the Panel.

From 1 December 2022, all safeworking services must be provided by authorised safeworking service providers – either Panel members, or as an authorised SPO.

 

Can a sub-contractor still provide safeworking services during the transition period?
Yes. The Principal Contractor can use an unauthorised safeworking services provider during the transition period to complete a broader scope of work (e.g., build a bridge, re-railing, vegetation management).

 

If my organisation is selected on the ARTC Safeworking Services Panel for a given area, is there a process to apply for appointment to other areas where a different rule book applies?
For an initial term of three years, panel members are awarded for a given area. ARTC may remove panel members or, under exceptional circumstances, add new members at our discretion.

 

How will we know who is working for an authorised safeworking services provider?

Employed resources for a self-performer will be required to be updated on the Rail Industry Worker(RIW) system. Safeworkers will be required to be employed by an organisation that is either designated as their primary or secondary organisation on their RIW card.

ARTC will maintain a record of who is working for our authorised providers as part of the audit process for both Panel members and SPO’s.

 

Are safeworking roles, such as TVO, required to be sourced from the panel?
Yes. The requirement to use an authorised provider of safeworking services applies to all rules area books and roles contained in ARTC’s safeworking matrix.

 

Are there any additional considerations for interface locations with an adjoining RIM, such as UGLRL?
RLS-PR-003 Protocols for Entering the Rail Corridor provides guidance and is referenced in all interface agreements.

 

How does the Safeworking Services Framework apply to an organisation?
It applies to all external organisations that provide safeworking services to ARTC, its contractors or third parties.

 

Why is ARTC changing the way safeworking services are provided?
ARTC has developed a new framework which will improve safeworking practices and help reduce train to trackworker risk and ensure that track workers and worksites are safely protected. The framework will allow ARTC to monitor the effectiveness of our external safeworking services providers and identify continuous improvement opportunities.

 

What organisations will be authorised to provide safeworking services on the ARTC rail network?
From July to 1 December 2022, ARTC will progressively transition so that all external safeworking services are provided by authorised providers (e.g., members of the Safeworking Services Panel or authorised self-performer organisations).

 

What happens if an organisation is not authorised by ARTC to provide safeworking services?

The transition period to implement the new Safeworking Services Framework runs to 30 November 2022. During this time, ARTC, its contractors and third parties can continue to use unauthorised providers of safeworking services.

From 1 December 2022, all externally provided safeworking services must be provided by authorised provider (e.g., member of ARTC’s Safeworking Services Panel or authorised self-performer organisation).

 

Does the Safeworking Services Framework apply to all rules area books, safeworking roles and NIB locations on ARTC’s rail network?

Yes, noting there are exclusions for:

  • ARTC employed safeworkers; and
  • Safeworkers employed or engaged by an accredited RIM or RSO operating under their own accreditation on the ARTC network.

For further information see the Protocol for Entering the ARTC Rail Corridor.

 

What should an organisation do during a closedown or planned maintenance when safeworking is often required for specific dates?

From July to 30 November 2022, unauthorised providers of safeworking services can continue to be used.

From 1 December 2022, the organisation must ensure that safeworking services are provided by an authorised provider of safeworking services (e.g., a panel member or an authorised self-performer organisation).

 

Some smaller organisations may partner with larger organisations and submit tendered works under a joint venture situation. How do I advise my JVs on how to comply with safeworking requirements?

There are instances where Joint Ventures will provide works to ARTC. Joint ventures must comply with the requirement to use authorised providers of safeworking services from 1 December 2022.

If a Joint Venture wants to submit an application to become an authorised self-performer organisation, the joint venture must create an Avetta account (as per ARTC’s existing requirements) before applying to become an authorised self-performer organisation. This is regardless of whether any, or all, of the organisations that make up the joint venture are already authorised self-performer organisations.

If both organisations involved in the joint venture are already authorised self-performer organisations, it does not mean that the joint venture is automatically authorised as a self-performer organisation.

 

Self-Performer Organisation (SPO) Questions and Answers

 

What is an authorised self-performer organisation?
A self-performer organisation must employ safeworking personnel. This employment must be on a permanent full-time or permanent part-time basis. The safeworker must have the self-performer organisation listed as their primary registration on the RIW system.

 

When can an organisation apply to become a self-performer organisation?
Applications to become an authorised self-performer organisation can be made at any time in Avetta once an organisation is connected to ARTC in Avetta. The self-performer organisation application questions are always available within Avetta. Any questions with regards to Avetta should be referred to the Supplier Risk Monitoring team at the following email address: ARTCContractors@ARTC.com.au

 

Will I need an extra Avetta account to become an authorised self-performer organisation?

No. Organisations that already have an Avetta account with ARTC will not need an additional Avetta account. These organisations can use their existing ARTC Avetta account to make an application to become an authorised self-performer organisation.

Joint Ventures will require a separate Avetta account to be established specifically for the Joint Venture as per ARTCs existing requirements. The Joint Venture will need to apply to become an authorised self-performer organisation in its own right, regardless of whether any or all the organisations making up the Joint Venture are already approved as authorised self-performer organisation(s).

For any queries regarding Avetta, please contact 1300 441 433 (Newcastle) or 1800 502 142 (Sydney).

 

What does an organisation need to demonstrate to become an authorised self-performer organisation?

Organisations interested in applying to become an SPO must:

Once authorised, they must continue to meet the requirements of RLS-SP-001 – Self-Performer Organisations for Safeworking Services Specification

 

Does an organisation need to be a certain size to become an authorised self-performer organisation?
An organisation does not need to meet a minimum size, or headcount requirement, to become an authorised SPO. Please refer to the SPO specifications document: RLS-SP-001 – Self-Performer Organisations for Safeworking Services Specification

 

What is the length of time an organisation can be an authorised self-performer organisation?
Self-performer organisation authorisations will last for a period of three years.

 

Will an authorised self-performer organisation be monitored and audited by ARTC?
Yes. ARTC will conduct assurance audits and monitor self-performer organisations to ensure compliance with minimum standards. Documents required to support these audits are listed in the specifications document: RLS-SP-001 – Self-Performer Organisations for Safeworking Services Specification

 

Can authorised self-performer organisations provide safeworking services to other organisations?

No, not unless the self-performer organisation is also an approved member of the Safeworking Services Panel.

Authorised self-performer organisations can only use their safeworking employees on contracts they hold with ARTC, for tendered works that include safeworking services.

 

Can an organisation become an authorised self-performer organisation if it only provides safeworking services?
No. Authorised self-performer organisations can provide safeworking services on contracts they hold with ARTC. The scope or works/services must include other works/services, in addition to the provision of safeworking services.

 

What should an authorised self-performer organisation do if they need additional safeworking resources, over and above those they employ?
If a self-performer organisation requires additional safeworkers to support their employed resources, these resources must be obtained from a member of ARTC’s Safeworking Services Panel.

 

Safeworking Services Panel Questions and Answers

 

How will ARTC assess value for money and risk from using the safeworking services panel?
Panel agreements incorporate a maximum rate structure which includes all costs required to provide safeworking services with a separate day rate for the living away from home allowance (LAHA or LAFHA) (for use when required).
ARTC will issue engagement requests (RFQs) for services to panel members. For each engagement request, panel members will be able to offer lower rates based on the specifics of each engagement request. The expectation is for ARTC buyers to review the quoted rates, as panel members shouldn’t be quoting the maximum rates for simple engagements. When quoting, panel members are also required to submit details of the nominated safeworker(s), including completing a safeworker scorecard that demonstrates the suitability and risks associated with the nominated safeworker(s).
This information will help each ARTC buyer with their assessment of value for money and risk.

 

My organisation is a member of ARTC’s Safeworking Services Panel, as such, are we required to maintain a ‘green’ status on Avetta?
Yes, your organisation is required to maintain a ‘green’ status on Avetta. Panel members with an Avetta status of amber or red will not receive Engagement Requests or Engagement Orders.

 

Who is expected to use the Safeworking Services Panel?
ARTC, its contractors and external parties who require safeworking services will be required to utilise the safeworking services panel or be an authorised self-performer organisation.

 

Will a member of the Safeworking Services Panel be monitored and audited by ARTC?
Yes. ARTC will conduct audits and monitor the performance of panel members to ensure compliance with minimum standards.

 

Can organisations that aren’t on the Safeworking Services Panel provide safeworking services on ARTC’s network?
Authorised self-performer organisations (SPO), who comply with ARTC’s requirements, have the option to use the safeworkers they employ to provide safeworking services on contracts they hold with ARTC.
Authorised SPOs that need to obtain additional safeworkers (over and above those they employ) will need to obtain the safeworking services from a member of ARTC’s Safeworking Services Panel.
This also applies where an SPO elects not to use their employed safeworking resources. Authorised SPOs can only subcontract safeworking services from a member of ARTC’s Safeworking Services panel.

 

How many RIW registrations will a safeworker be able to hold?
A safeworker can hold a maximum of one primary registration and one secondary registration. However, the worker can change their registrations at any time through the RIW system.

 

What support will be available for organisations to better understand how to use the Safeworking Services Panel?
Visit the ARTC website to find out more about the panel members that have been appointed for each Rules Area Book.
Contractors need to use their own procurement processes to obtain quotations and to engage a member of ARTC’s Safeworking Services Panel to provide safeworking services.
If you are a contractor, or an external party, and you require individualised support to understand more about ARTC’s Safeworking Services Panel and/or the framework for the provision of safeworking services, please contact the SWIP Project Team at SWIP@artc.com.au.
Alternatively, we will be hosting regular briefing sessions. If you would like to be invited to these sessions, please email swip@artc.com.au.

 

Does my organisation need to be a Safeworking Services Panel member to provide adjacent line protection?
Organisations do not need to be a member of ARTC’s Safeworking Services Panel to provide adjacent line protection where the works are for or on behalf of an adjacent RIM while working under their RIM accreditation. This is in accordance with the specification in RLS-PR-003 Protocols for Entering the Rail Corridor.

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