What is the process for becoming an Authorised Engineering Organisation (AEO)?
The Authorised Engineering Organisation (AEO) authorisation is Transport of NSW’s (TfNSW) attempt at creating an ecosystem where the public and private sectors can combine forces, mutually benefit from each other, and raise the bar for engineering industry standards. The government is the biggest spender when it comes to infrastructure.
Therefore, many engineering organisations are seeking AEO authorisation because they understand what a profitable opportunity it presents, since the government will never run out of transport contracts. Furthermore, being authorised means being contracted by the public sector without having to through the standard hiring channels.
Why should we have AEO certification?
Unfortunately, obtaining this authorisation is no mean feat when you consider the exhaustive and rigorous screening process used for assessing AEO applicants and the merits they offer. All applicant organisations must go through this rigorous process and are required to convince the TfNSW committee of the added value their organisation brings to the table.
When considering obtaining AEO authorisation, organisations should keep in mind that the selection process is almost entirely based on the requirements and whether they are able to fulfill those requirements.
As previously stated, the AEO authorisation process is no walk in the park. To facilitate this arduous process, TfNSW has broken it down into three separate sections, each fulfilling a specific purpose within the selection process. Organisations seeking authorisation should familiarise themselves with the authorisation process as much as possible to ensure they are setup for success. To help you do that, we have broken it down for you below.
The AEO authorisation process administered by TfNSW consists of three parts as follows:
Initial contact of AEO standard
The first contact takes place in the form of a meeting between the Asset Standards Authority (ASA), a committee created by TfNSW, and the “asset”, to establish if it is viable and worthy of their consideration. AEO authorisation applicants are referred to as “assets” by the ASA and TfNSW. The meeting revolves around the asset sharing what they have to offer and the ASA going through the requirements and their expectations. Once both parties come to an agreement, they decide on how to best proceed to move forward with the following stage.
Getting ready for authorisation process of AEO
The most important step in the AEO authorisation process is the preparation phase where the scope of the authorisation is delimited. The ASA starts by informing the engineering organisation of the benefits and limitations of AEOs with the expectation that the organisation seeking authorisation will align itself with authorisation requirements. Following that, the organisation is informed of what it needs to produce during the actual assessment.
They will receive a comprehensive list of all evidence they need to present during the last stage of the process which consists of an assessment and an audit. Failure to produce the requested evidence during the final stage will result in immediate rejection of your application.
What assessment and audit stage do we need?
During this stage, the organisation seeking AEO authorisation will undergo a meticulous assessment in terms of the services it provides and the tools and technology it requires to do so. Initial authorisation is centred around the strengths of the applicant organisation and how TfNSW can best utilise those strengths in the fulfillment of its mission. This is why the applicant must prepare a detailed report to persuade the ASA that they are a good fit for the job.
In addition, AEO applicants will be required to produce evidence that supports their claims and corroborates the figures presented. Since this stage is all about instilling ASA’s confidence in your organisation’s capabilities, you will need to demonstrate how it deals with the level of risk anticipated by the ASA. Further to that, applicants are expected to provide detailed information on the systems and tools they utilise across all departments and services along with all accompanying relevant evidence. To further illustrate, this information should specifically concern:
- Systems engineering
- Competency in managing engineering resources
- Quality management
- Engineering management
- Configuration management
Getting authorised, the last step for AEO standard
Due to the lucrative nature of this highly sought authorisation, there is a long line of applicants patiently waiting for their turn. This means that the ASA can afford to be extra selective in their selection process and that only the best of the best will be chosen. Applicants are advised not to take this process lightly and be thoroughly prepared for each one of the 3 stages.
If you have reviewed the requirements and are overwhelmed by the intricacy of the authorisation process, do not panic! An Edara Systems AEO authorisation consultant can help guide you through every step of the way. We will conduct a free gap analysis on your existing systems and measure them against the AEO requirements to identify what is standing between you and becoming AEO authorised. With the help of one of our consultants, you can focus on growing your business, while we do all the work.