While penalties and operator suspensions are usually associated with compliance activities, sometimes the Bus Safety Victoria (BSV) audit program provides the basis for the decision to suspend accreditation.
This happened recently to a tour and charter operator who had failed to take advantage of several opportunities to address identified issues.
The audit process is intended to confirm that:
- the MIS/MMS is appropriate for the operations being provided
- the Responsible Person has an appropriate understanding of the MIS/MMS
- the risk register is appropriate for the operations being provided
- the Responsible Person has an appropriate oversight of the drivers, buses and record keeping requirements.
When an operator fails to meet any of the four criteria, they are given the opportunity to work with the auditor to remedy the issue(s) as soon as possible.
In this case, even after working with BSV, the operator’s Responsible Person did not have an appropriate oversight of the drivers, buses and record keeping requirements and had little or no understanding of the MIS and MMS. The suspension remained in place until the operator proved they had the competency and capacity to continue being an accredited bus operator.
As a regulator it is our job to provide an assurance to the Victorian community that every accredited bus meets certain safety standards. The audit process ensures an even playing field for all operators. Some implement safety standards well above the set minimum standards, and BSV encourages that!