FSC certification standards

Who needs FSC accreditation?

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FSC certification ensures that products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits. This Edarasystems article will discuss the common queries related to Federal Safety Commission (FSC) accreditation and its role in delivering Commonwealth-funded construction projects. At the end of this blog post, you will understand Who needs FSC accreditation?. Keep reading if you are curious to find the answer.

What is FSC accreditation?

Before talking about Who needs FSC accreditation?, Let’s see what FSC accreditation is. When your organisation becomes accredited under the Work Health and Safety (WHS) accreditation scheme, or what is more commonly referred to as simply the scheme, it means that you are now in a position to qualify for tenders involving the Australian government. The significance of qualifying under the scheme is that it shows your potential clients and industry peers that you have the best workplace health and safety systems at your site. In other words, it increases stakeholder confidence in your ability to operate as per industry-specific best practises and maintain the safety, well-being, and health of your work site. This is what FSC accreditation does to an organisation.

FSC accreditation in construction industry

What are the benefits of FSC accreditation?

The following are the key benefits of FSC accreditation:

  • Improved work health and safety performance in your work site leads to reduced risk and reduced workplace-related illnesses or injuries.
  • Significant reduction in worker compensation premiums as insurance companies recognise the fact that you are operating by utilising industry-specific best practises for occupational health and safety.
  • As the organisation builds its organisational capability around work, health and safety, the positive impacts continue to flow on business and project management, helping the parent organisation complete tasks within budget and within time.
  • Brand credibility and reputation are boosted by FSC accreditation as it demonstrates the organisation’s capability and commitment to work, health and safety.

Just as FSC accreditation, ISO 14001 is a beneficial certification for most of the companies in the construction industry.

Who needs FSC accreditation?

Any organisation that wishes to participate in government tenders put forward by the Australian government needs the FSC accreditation to qualify and to demonstrate its commitment to occupational health and safety. To be accredited, organisations, contractors and builders must have a robust safety management system in place and demonstrate that they are adhering to the best practises, implementing them and following them on-site. Obtaining an ISO 45001 certification is required to become FSC certified.

FSC certification standards

When do you need FSC accreditation?

You should acquire FSC accreditation after successfully adhering to, implementing and improving your workplace health and safety practices on site. Additionally, if you feel ready to work with government agencies, you should apply for accreditation. Remember, funding should not be an issue if your aspiration is to work with government agencies, as the federal government can fund building projects in two main ways, either directly through an Australian government agency or indirectly by contributing to the project’s total value. When the government contributes indirectly to a project’s total value, either do it through a funding agreement, grant or program.

A head contractor is an entity that manages building site operations and must be FSC accredited to undertake building work that meets the threshold of the scheme. Generally, the principal contractor appoints the head contractor. Companies who want to prove their quality, should obtain ISO 9001 certification.

What are the scheme thresholds?

A scheme threshold is the minimum amount of value that your project needs to be estimated at to achieve funding. As mentioned above, the government either directly or indirectly funds a project. Suppose the government is directly funding the project. In that case, the value of your project must be $4 million or above, and the additional requirement is that the head contractor needs to be accredited under the scheme. Similarly, if you are getting indirect funding, your building work should be estimated at approximately 4 million, including the GST.

Additionally, for indirect funding, you need the following:

  • The entire value of the Australian government’s contribution to the project surpassed $6 million, inclusive of GST. Alternatively, this amount should represent at least 50% of the total construction project.
  • The contribution of the Australian government should estimate at $10 million, inclusive of GST, regardless of the proportion of funding you have received from the government.

In addition to these conditions, the head contractor needs to have FSC accreditation. Also, obtaining an ISO 27001 certification will help companies information security. This certification is so useful for IT related organisations.

ISO 27001; Information Security

What are the steps to become an FSC accredited company?

Companies that wish to get FSC accredited must begin by officially applying to the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner (OFSC). To qualify for the application, you must have an Australian Business Number (ABN) or an Australian Company Number (ACN). In fact, your subsequent accreditation is based on your ABN or ACN.

Additionally, you need to select and nominate three of your most suitable projects for accreditation. The OFSC will evaluate your supplied documentation and check whether you meet the minimum requirements. After going through your documentation, you will be scheduled for an “accreditation audit”, which will be conducted by a Federal Safety Officer (FSO).

The audit performed by the FSO will be two days long, and you will receive a customised audit report that includes all your Non-Conformance Reports (NCR). Remember, these NCR would be issued by the OFSC and are deemed final. In the majority of cases, if you successfully meet the FSC criteria and they are no NCR, you will be granted FSC accreditation. If there are any NCR raised, you will be given a period of time to eliminate these issues and to reapply.

FSC certification standards obtaining steps in Australia

Get FSC certified with Edara Systems consultants

In this article we have answered to “Who needs FSC accreditation?”, as a common question for a lot of companies. Acquiring the FSC accreditation helps demonstrate your improved work health and safety performance, allowing you to qualify for any tenders by the Australian government. If you need help getting FSC certified, contact Edara Systems expert consultants.

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