Bus Safety Victoria (BSV) has encountered a number of accredited operators that allowed non-accredited operators to run bus services under their accreditation.

When you become an accredited bus operator the qualification is for you only and cannot be used by anyone else.

This is outlined in the Bus Safety Act 2009 (Vic) (BSA) as follows:

Part 4 – Accreditation and registration

Section 39 Accreditation cannot be transferred

  1. An accreditation –
    • (a) Is personal to the accredited bus operator
    • (b) Is not capable of being transferred or assigned to any other person or otherwise dealt with by the accredited bus operator;
    • (c) Does not vest by operation of law in any other person.
  2. A purported transfer, assignment or lease of an accreditation and any other purported dealing with an accreditation by the accredited operator who holds it is of no effect.

Simplified meaning of the above

Section 39 The approval you have been given to run your bus service is for you only

  1. An approval –
    • (a) is for whoever it has been given to
    • (b) cannot be given to someone else to use as proof that a bus service is approved
    • (c) does not legally work under the name of anyone else.
  2. An approval is not valid if someone tries to lend it to someone.

Allowing an unaccredited operator to use your accreditation, either by the vehicle number plates or displaying your AO number whilst in service is giving a false impression to authorities and passengers.

The accreditation provides an assurance that there are safety management and information management systems in place. Giving this ‘tick of approval’ to someone or an organisation that has not met all of the accreditation criteria risks reduced safety standards and increased non-compliance.

BSV enforces the appropriate use of accreditation under the following principles outlined in the BSA:

Part 2 – Principles of bus safety

11 Principle of enforcement

Enforcement of this Act and the regulations should be undertaken for the purpose of –

  • Protecting public safety;
  • Promoting improvement in bus safety;
  • Removing any incentive for unfair commercial advantage that might be derived from contravening the bus safety requirements under this Act or the regulations;
  • Influencing the attitude and behaviour of persons who action may have adverse impacts on bus safety.

In the past, BSV has warned operators who have provided their accreditation to others for use. However, operators who continue to misuse their accreditation may now face enforcement action.