The National Compliance Jigsaw

In relation to safety measures routine servicing and performance requirements in commercial buildings, 27 separate Acts and Regulations legislate and enforce mandatory compliance requirements, across Australia. The management of national portfolios proves to be a challenging task. While operational and reporting obligations can similarly be difficult depending on whether an organisation has failed to implement an effective method for managing safety measure compliance, in the national portfolio scene.

Significant differences in terminologies describing the same safety measures need translation to facilitate:

  • Routine Servicing Specifications for Maintenance Contracts (meet minimum standards)
  • Assessment of required Performance and Functional Standards (confirm minimum standards are met)
  • Annual Statutory Reporting (comply with statutory reporting requirements)

CONTEXT EXAMPLE – ROUTINE SERVICING CONTRACTS & STATUTORY REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

NSW- EPAR 2000 Terminology
(Unique to State)
Fire Seals Protecting Openings in Fire Resisting Components of a Building
VIC- BIR 2017 Terminology
(Unique to State)
Fire-protection at service penetrations through elements required to be fire-resisting with
respect to integrity or insulation, or to have a resistance to the incipient spread of fire
AS1851-2012 Terminology
(National Benchmark)
Fire and Smoke Barriers, Walls, Services Penetrations and Control Joints
Generic National  Performance Standard
(National benchmark)
NCC/BCA  Section C3.12, C3.13, C3.15

The intent of all state legislation relating to safety measures, is similar to the two national benchmarks in the Australian Standards (Standards) and National Construction Code (BCA)

  • AS1851-2012, the purpose of which is to effectively demonstrate that the fire systems and equipment installed in the building are achieving the required standard of performance to which they were designed.
  • BCA – Safety measures maintenance refers to those activities that contribute to the safety of the building, including monitoring, reporting, repair, replacement or testing. Therefore, ensuring the safety measures perform to a standard which they were originally required to achieve.

Method

The management of portfolios of buildings and facilities across all states of Australia will seem daunting if a systematic and analytical approach is not taken.  Although the operational issues and legislation may be complex, the approach to establishing a consistent system of analysing and managing compliance is not.  Refer to our simple 2 stream flow chart that sets out an approach that could be used for the management of national portfolios.

Solution

Compliance with the NCC/BCA and current Australian Standards provides the method and structure for requirements relating to installation, operation, routine servicing and functional testing of safety measures.

There are a number of requirements that increase the difficulty of compliance, as well as those requirements that are outliers to the NCC/BCA and Australian Standards:

Using a systematic approach and with the advice of professionals, the matter of piecing together the national compliance jigsaw may be easier than expected, to identify and manage

Get in touch with one of our Safety Measures experts today to ensure you understand your compliance requirements.