SWIP External Briefing – FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions:

Safeworking Services Framework


What is the Safeworking Services Framework and when do changes come into effect?
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.

The Safeworking Services Framework, and associated changes, will come into effect during July 2022. A transition period will run till November 30th 2022. From December 1st 2022, only authorised providers will be able to supply safeworking on the ARTC network.


Why is ARTC changing the way safeworking services are provided?
ARTC is implementing changes to improve safeworking practices and help reduce risks associated with train to trackworker interaction and ensure that track workers and worksites are safely protected. The framework will allow ARTC to monitor and improve the effectiveness of our external safeworking services providers.


What are the options for authorised safeworking service providers?
If your organisation provides safeworking services, as part of a broader scope of works, the organisation must be either

  • an approved Safeworking Services Panel Member, or
  • an authorised Self-Performer Organisation (SPO).

The Safeworking Services Panel was announced in July 2022.


What systems are in place to allow ARTC to monitor nominated safeworkers attached to Safeworking Services Panel member and self-performer organisations?
ARTC will monitor safeworking service providers to ensure that safeworkers meet employment status requirements. Panel members can have casual or contracted safeworkers given their robust systems.
Self-performer organisations will need to ensure their safeworkers are employed on a permanent or part-time basis to enable appropriate training and exposure. Safeworkers who work with a self-performer organisation cannot be casual employees.


How do I identify the rule book relevant to my area?
Rule books, and the areas they cover, are available on the ARTC website.

  • NSW covers areas within New South Wales,
  • TA20 covers areas within Victoria
  • COP covers areas in both South Australia and Western Australia, noting that COP also extends into parts of Victoria.


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:

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

However, there is no waiver for private RIMs where the track is signalled or controlled by ARTC.
For further information see the Protocol for Entering the ARTC Rail Corridor. It provides guidance on additional considerations for interface locations with adjoining RIMs (such as UGLRL)


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.


How do Joint Venture organisations comply with Safeworking Services Framework requirements?
Organisations engaged in Joint Ventures (JV) must comply with the ARTC requirement to use authorised providers of safeworking. If the organisations involved in the joint venture are already authorised self-performer organisations, it does not mean that the JV is automatically authorised as a self-performer organisation. The JV must apply to become an authorised self-performer, after first registering as a separate entity and establishing a connection to ARTC through Avetta.


Safeworking Services Panel


How long will the Safeworking Services Panel agreements be in place, and will there be another opportunity to apply?
The Safeworking Services Panel will operate 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 reopen the Panel for tendering prior to the expiry of the existing agreements. However, if circumstances change, ARTC may explore its options to add or remove Panel members.


Is there an opportunity for Safeworking Services Panel members to apply for appointment to other areas where a different rule book applies?
Panel member agreements have been awarded for a given area only. ARTC may remove panel members or, under exceptional circumstances, add new members at our discretion.


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.


What support will be offered to organisations who were unsuccessful in gaining membership on the Safeworking Services Panel?
Feedback sessions will be offered to organisations that have been unsuccessful in becoming a member of the Safeworking Services Panel.
Organisations who were not successful at gaining Panel membership, 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.
Applications to become an authorised Self-Performer Organisation may be submitted through Avetta at any time once a connection to ARTC has been established.


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.
Self-performer Organisations who do not employ enough safeworkers, to meet requirements of their contracted scope of works, will need to source additional resources from the safeworking services panel.


Will members of the Safeworking Services Panel be monitored and audited by ARTC?
ARTC will conduct regular audits and monitor the performance of panel members to ensure compliance with requirements. Our aim is to work collaboratively with all safeworking service providers to ensure that quality standards are maintained, and continual improvement opportunities are achieved.


Are Safeworking Services Panel members required to maintain a ‘green’ status on Avetta?
Panel members are 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.


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 should not 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.


Do Safeworking Services Panel members have key performance indicators (KPIs) to increase the supply of safeworkers?
The Safeworking Services Panel has been established so that it can supply safeworking services to ARTC, its contractors and external parties, across the three rule book areas. ARTC is working with panel members to monitor the number and type of safeworker registrations on the RIW system held by each panel member in accordance with their executed panel agreements.


How will KPIs be measured to maintain quality of safeworkers?
Both Safeworking Services Panel members and self-performer organisations will be regularly audited to ensure KPIs in the agreements between panel members and ARTC are met. These address both quality and quantity of safeworkers provided.
Safeworking Services Panel members and authorised self-performer organisations must complete  RLS-FM-014 Safeworker Score Card to assess the suitability of the nominated safeworker for the relevant worksite.


Self-Performer Organisations (SPO)


What is an authorised self-performer organisation?
An authorised SPO is one that has met the requirements outlined in RLS-SP-001 – Self-Performer Organisations for Safeworking Services Specification. The main distinction between a Panel member, and SPO, is that an SPO must employ safeworking personnel.
Self-performer organisations maintain their authorisation, provided required criteria and quality standards are maintained, for a period of 3 years from the date of their authorisation.


What does an organisation need to demonstrate to become an authorised self-performer organisation?
Organisations interested in applying to become an SPO must:

If an organisation meets these three criteria, they are encouraged to apply through Avetta. Once authorised, they must continue to meet ongoing requirements and quality standards to maintain authorisation.


How does an organisation submit an SPO application through Avetta?
Applications to become an authorised self-performer organisation can be made at any time once an organisation has established a connection to ARTC through Avetta.

If an organisation has an active connection to ARTC through Avetta, they can apply to gain authorisation as an SPO at any time.

If an organisation has no active connection to ARTC through Avetta, this must be established. There are compliance documents to complete, and a fee is payable to establish the connection. It is therefore accepted that organisations may choose to wait to be awarded contracts for works, before establishing a connection to ARTC through Avetta.

ARTC does not require that organisations obtain SPO authorisation prior to tendering for works. However, should an organisation be successfully awarded a contract that includes safeworking, and be unsuccessful in gaining SPO authorisation, 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. 


What if an organisation is unsuccessful in gaining authorisation as a self-performer organisation after making an application? Can they resubmit?
ARTC will provide feedback to those who have been unsuccessful with their self-performer organisation applications. Unsuccessful applicants can update and resubmit their application if they choose to do so.


Will an authorised self-performer organisation be monitored and audited by ARTC?
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


Why is ARTC insistent that self-performer organisations require safewokers be employed, and does that guarantee ongoing work?
Self-performer organisations have been authorised on their ability to provide safeworking, within a broader scope of works, using existing employed resources. They do not have a core competence in safeworking and therefore do not actively source, train and develop large numbers of safeworkers.

ARTC does not guarantee work for either the Safeworking Services Panel members or self-performer organisations.


SPO’s need to employ safeworkers, can this be on a casual basis?
SPO’s must directly employ safeworkers and supplement their workforce during peaks with additional safeworking personnel from the Safeworking Panel.


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. In this instance, safeworking would be provided as a broader scope or works/services.


How do I add a new Protection Officer to my list of protection officers as an SPO?
Authorised SPO’s can add a new safe worker by providing an updated statutory declaration. Please email SPO@artc.com.au and the team will review the request.


Safeworker Assurance


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. If your organisation has been asked to provide a statutory declaration for safeworkers, the required response date will be included in ARTC’s request email.


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.


If a self-performer organisation’s safeworker upgrades their qualifications, will they be able to use their new qualifications to address their employer’s needs?
Yes. In this instance, the safeworker can use their new qualifications to address their employer’s needs.


How do safeworkers, who wish to work casually, continue to work on ARTC projects?
In this instance, the safeworker would need to establish a relationship with a Safeworking Services Panel member. Only Safeworking Services Panel members can use casuals to provide safeworking services. If an authorised self-performer organisation (SPO) needs to engage additional safeworkers (over and above those they employ) they must obtain these services from a member of the Safeworking Services Panel. It is possible for an SPO to contract a specific safeworker from a panel member if required.


Why are Safeworking Services Panel members able to use casual or contracted safeworkers while self-performer organisations cannot?
Safeworking Services Panel members have a core competence in safeworking and frequently source, train and develop large numbers of safeworkers. Self-performer organisations have been authorised on their ability to provide safeworking, within a wider scope of works, using existing employed resources. They do not have a core competence in safeworking and therefore do not actively source, train and develop large numbers of safeworkers.


How can I retain my status as a safeworker (TFPC) for ARTC if I’m a safeworker working for a Principal Contractor who is not an SPO?
To continue working as a safeworker on ARTC’s rail network, you must hold a primary or secondary registration with a panel member or be employed by a SPO (full or part time).

If the Principal Contractor (PC) is not an authorised SPO, they are required to obtain safeworkers from members of the Safeworking Services Panel to provide safeworking services for the contract they have with ARTC.

If the PC wishes to become an authorised SPO, they must initially ‘opt in’ via Avetta and then complete the application. Applications are assessed by ARTC with applicants being advised if they have been successful or unsuccessful, usually within 4 weeks.


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 which can be found here


What happens for safeworkers who are not connected to either a Safeworking Services Panel member or self-performer organisation once the transition period ends on 30 November 2022?
From 1 December 2022, Safeworkers will need to establish a relationship with one or more of these organisations if they wish to continue to be an active safeworker on ARTC’s network.


Non-Technical Skills Program


What is the Non-Technical Skills (NTS) Program and why is it required as part of safeworking?
The NTS program is part of ARTC’s Safe Work Improvement Program. It is aimed at increasing the soft skills (i.e. communication, team building) of those who work on our network. The primary aim is to give participants the confidence and competence to communicate effectively with their team.

The training is a requirement for both ARTC employees and both safeworking service panel members and safeworkers employed by self-performer organisations.


Does every Protection Officer, providing safeworking to ARTC, need to do the NTS training or can it just be the management?
Moving forward anybody that holds a valid current PO/TFPC/TW role and works on the ARTC network, will need to complete the Non-Technical Skills training. It will be a mandatory component of every role.


Will there be a cost to complete the Non-Technical Skills Program?
The cost of the course may vary depending on the registered training organisation (RTO) and the number of participants involved.


How do I book training with an approved Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) to facilitate Non-Technical (NTS) Training from 1st Dec 2022?
The course can be booked now with an approved provider. Sessions are not available to the public, or publicly listed. Please contact an approved RTO to book a session.

RTO Name and Code Email Address Phone Number
Accell (RTO #32213) enquiries@accell.com.au 07 5445 7998
CERT Training (RTO #51333) bookings@certrail.com 1300 042 378
GoTrain (RTO #20812) enquiries@gotrain.com.au 1300 698 158
Swetha International (RTO #41233) info@swetha.com.au 02 8322 9940
The Instruction Company (RTO #20928) office@ticrail.com.au 1300 036 390


Undertaking Safeworking


When undertaking work that requires safeworking services, does an organisation need to engage a safeworking services provider to develop worksite protection plans and obtain approvals from ARTC prior to going to site?
It is up to the ARTC manager to determine who completes the worksite protection plan (WPP) – either the contractor or an ARTC employee, and whether that is included as part of the scope of work for pre-submitting a WPP for the Corridor Access Authority (CAA) process. Most of the time it will be part of the engagement.


Where can I get further information on Corridor Access Management and Corridor Access Approvals required with developed Worksite Protection Plans?


When referring to Third Parties, does ARTC mean External Parties or Third parties like subcontractors to the Principle contractor?
The reference to external parties includes any party that wishes to supply services on the ARTC network. For example, Telstra, who might need to access our rail corridor to maintain one of their assets. It is recommended that external or third parties establish contracts with panel members to ensure authorised safeworking.


What if the Safeworking Panel can’t supply a PO for an external company?
Please contact the relevant ARTC Project Manager to raise the issue. If required issues can be escalated with the panel members by contract delivery team.


How do Safeworking Services Panel members support TVO/TMO movements around the network? What is ARTC’s plan to support machine movements on the other RIMs?
Safeworkers operating under their own accreditation for transfer of track machines do not need to be from the panel. However, once they enter a worksite under ARTC’s accreditation, they must be from the panel.


What should an organisation do to prepare for a closedown or planned maintenance?
ARTC encourages organisations, who require safeworking but are not authorised SPOs, to engage with panel members as soon as practically possible.

Doing so may avoid delays or the possibility of cancelled works, consider lead times on arranging safeworkers or allowing panel members the ability to onboard and train the required resources.

Go to top