Understanding the Chain of Responsibility Training Maze
Recent heavy transport operator prosecutions have raised the profile of the so-called “Chain of Responsibility” (CoR) legislation in Australia, coupled with the recent commencement of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, (NHVR) based on Brisbane. The NHVR has been given wide ranging powers to crack down on poor OH&S and risk management practices in the transport and logistics industry.
More information about the NHVR can be found at here: https://www.nhvr.gov.au/safety-accreditation-compliance/chain-of-responsibility
There are many components to CoR compliance for companies to consider, and of course, it’s not just transport companies who need to have proper CoR policies and procedures in place.
This article will focus on one aspect of CoR compliance – training.
With the introduction of the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council accredited courses last year there are now multiple levels and areas of fully accredited courses that can be done, with different target audiences.
Here’s a diagrammatic overview:
The three CoR courses TLFI2092A, TLIF3093A and TLIF4049A are of particular importance.
TLIF2092A is targeted at all frontline staff who could be involved in the “Chain”. The Range Statement from the Training Package of this course lists the following occupations who would be required to complete the 2092 course:
· board of directors
· senior official
· dispatch officer
· person in charge or apparently in charge of a vehicle
· authorised officer
· elected councilor
This course is a general awareness level course and typically would cover competencies including:
· Explain the Chain of Responsibility (or CoR) legislation
· Explain the importance of safe load restraint, appropriate load mass and dimension, and prevention of driver fatigue and speeding
· Identify key responsibilities, requirements and actions for load restraint, load mass and dimension, driver fatigue and driver speeding, and
· Take action if you observe a potential or actual breach of Chain of Responsibility
For transport and logistics related companies, this course would be requisite for pretty well all staff, as can be seen from the list above. For other companies, any personnel involved in consigning, receiving, dispatching, loading, unloading and scheduling freight, would be candidates for this course. In addition, line and senior managers, CEO’s and Directors, should complete the course to be sure of having an adequate understanding of what their responsibilities are, and particularly those of their company as an entity. Note that there are higher level courses for supervisors and senior executives/Directors, see below.
The TLIF3093A course is designed for middle managers and supervisors, and the content is focused around implementing CoR policies and procedures. TLIF4094A is designed for senior execs, CEO’s and Board Directors and is focused on assessing and developing policies and procedures to ensure CoR compliance.
Why Would a CEO or Board Director need to do these courses?
The answer to this is pretty simple! Fines for breaches are up to $50,000 per offence for corporate and $10,000 per offense for individual. In the recent Lennon’s case, investigators laid 200 charges, so it’s pretty easy to calculate how these fines can become massive.
It’s important for Board Directors and CEO’s to understand that they cannot delegate responsibility! The company under their control must be able to demonstrate “reasonable steps” have been taken in order to even having a chance of winning a Court case. In order to demonstrate this, extensive and comprehensive policies, procedures, documentation and training must be in place.
We believe it’s important for relevant companies to undertake the above regimes of training based on these TLISC accredited courses – which can only be delivered by a Registered Training Organisation with these courses on their Scope – rather than just ad hoc in-house training, or non-accredited training from external consultants. Would training of a lesser standard than the fully accredited courses hold up in a “reasonable steps” defense? I’m not a lawyer so I couldn’t comment, but I do know if I was the Director, or CEO, I wouldn’t be taking any chances!
Article by Peter Cutforth
Director, Urban Global
Peter Cutforth is co-Director of Urban Global, including Urban e-Learning a leading national RTO and provider of compliance training both online and face-to-face. Urban’s signature courses include an online White Card course, and a full suite of Chain of Responsibility training courses and CoR compliance implementation services. Urban is an active member of the Australian Logistics Council.