How much does it cost to become an Authorised Engineering Organisation?

consultants cost for obtaining AEO standard Edara System
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Achieving Authorised Engineering Organisation (AEO) status is a laborious and lengthy endeavour that requires a minimum of 12 months from the moment of initial application to be completed. That is providing your organisation passes each one of the 5 stages on the first attempt, which is near impossible for anyone undertaking this process for the first time.

Why do we need specialised consultants for obtaining AEO standard?

Many organisations who attempt to have it done in-house end up giving up after the second year, once they come to terms with the high-level of expertise required to satisfy Asset Standards Authority (ASA) standards. Others, end up having to hire the services of specialised industry consultants as soon as the going gets tough.

cost of AEO

Although this approach is better than the previous one, based on our years of experience obtaining AEO status for dozens of organisations, we believe that the best way to go about becoming AEO authorised for organisations is to get real professionals to do it, from the very beginning, to avoid wasting time, compromising on productivity, and unnecessarily mobilising valuable company resources. Before continuing to read the article, we suggest you read the article What is AEO standard?  for more information.

So, what are the costs associated with hiring the services of a consultancy? In this article, we will break down the various steps associated with getting AEO authorised and provide ballpark figures of what to expect in terms of costs when resorting to specialised industry consultants. Because no two organisations are the same, there is no ‘one size fits all’ price when it comes to costing AEO consulting fees, and several elements come into play, such as the scope of the authorisation sought, the size of the applicant organisation, its current capabilities to deliver safe and fit-for-purpose assets etc. Stay tuned with us in Edarasystems.

AEO's cost

How much does AEO consulting fees costs?

Typically, specialised industry consultant fees will be structured as follows:

1) AEO Consulting fees cost in Australia will be in the range of 21,000$ to 45,000$

Consulting fees constitute roughly 90% of the total cost and concern the lion’s share of the work required to obtain your AEO status. They are made up of the following:

Costs of paperwork for AEO standard in Australia

Writing systems documentation, self-assessment form, scoping forms, and all other associated “paperwork” costs will be in the range of 7,000$ to 15,000$. This step consists of taking a deep dive into your organisation’s inner workings to identify and assess the various processes, environmental impacts and risks, mitigation measures, configuration items controls, training requirements of AEO, as well as the accountabilities and responsibilities associated with its engineering work activities to ensure the creation and maintenance of a management system that complies with ASA standard requirements while capturing the essence of your organisation’s operation.

Do we need AEO consultants?

This process results in a suite of over 100 documents, forms and procedures for interface management, configuration management, systems engineering, RAMs, training management, quality assurance, safety assurance etc. Documents are built in such a way that they are companywide but also include guidance, procedures, tools and templates for the development of project specific arrangements.

AEO Consulting fees cost

Once all paperwork has been finalised, the management system will be implemented and set on a course of continual improvement, in alignment with organisational goals, and in full complia1nce with ISO 9001 Quality Management System requirements, as prescribed by Transport for NSW (TfNSW)’s ASA.

2) Generating Evidence for audit AEO [$7,000-$15,000]

The next step consists of completing the AEO application, scope and systems assessment forms and all other AEO application paperwork. Evidence of conformity is documented process-compliance information that is collected as material proof to demonstrate to the auditor that the processes in place are actually being utilised. Auditors consider this as objective evidence and use it to investigate and determine your compliance efforts. Audit evidence can include registers, system logs, process documents as well as company correspondence.

Generating audit evidence involves generating and compiling day-to-day evidence paperwork and implementation evidence. This requires demonstrating genuine organisation and project level processes that address the AEO framework requirements with sufficient evidence of your organisation delivering similar work previously.

3) Cost of attending Audit for AEO standard [$7,000-$15,000]

This where all the hard work from the previous steps bears its fruit. A senior consultant will engage, communicate, and liaise on a regular basis with a TfNSW ASA facilitator regarding the application and assessment, and to go over specifics concerning the audit.

On the day of the audit, the same senior consultant will be present to answer all technical AEO questions professionally and correctly, and present the right evidence to the auditor as per AEO clause requirements.

Staff Training cost for AEO standard

Following the audit, the auditor will prepare a report detailing their findings, and will make a recommendation to grant your organisation AEO status as per the scope nominated on the scoping matrix.

4) AEO Staff Training [$3,000-$10,000]

Because a consultant leaves after their work is done, it is imperative to ensure all relevant staff members have a firm understanding of the implemented management system to ensure its sustainability over time. Which is why, a consultant’s job is incomplete if the employees taking over, have not been trained and coached effectively. Therefore, consultants spend sufficient time to ensure management and personnel clearly understand the systems and are aware of their respective accountabilities and responsibilities. Staff training needs can vary anywhere from a few days to several weeks of even months depending on the size and scope of the organisation.

We hope that you find our content helpful. If you still have any questions after reading this article, or if you are looking to hire Edara Systems for your AEO and would like a quote tailored for your organisation, speak to a member of our dedicated team by emailing us at info@edarasystems.com.au or give us a call for an appointment on (02) 8091 5777 / 0423 083 996.