Mentioned in the Australasian Certification Authority for Reinforcing and Structural Steels March 2017 Update, the ACRS Board meeting on 28th February considered a number of proposals to improve ACRS’ efficiency and effectiveness.
It was agreed that stakeholders and certificate holders should be given until the end of March to discuss and comment on these important proposals for restructuring our offerings, and we are pleased to provide further information below.
1. Restructuring ACRS’ fees and charges to deliver enhanced services and value
To both certificate holders and to certificate users:
- ACRS is currently funded through assessment charges plus a levy on tonnage of materials supplied to AS/NZS Standards.
- The new proposal rebalances the assessment fees to cover assessment costs more directly, whilst the tonnage levy is to be replaced by a certificate fee for each process on each site certified for each certificate holder.
- The effect on ACRS certificate holders is a better balance across certification activity.
2. Fine tuning ACRS’ “All products, all locations” rule
The longstanding “all products, all locations” rule currently applies to the entire range of materials supplied to AS/NZS steel standards by the ACRS certified firm. The change will now permit “all product, all locations, by individual product class” for companies who do not desire to have their entire range of products certified.
- ACRS certificates will now be categorised under one of the following three Product Classes:
- Concrete reinforcing steels – AS/NZS4671, AS/NZS4672, AS3600, NZS3109, AS5100.5 and rebar couplers (coming soon)
- Hot rolled structural steels – AS3597, AS/NZS1594, AS/NZS3678, AS/NZS3679, AS/NZS3679.1 and AS/NZS3679.2, plus AS/NZS 1252 (under development)
- Certificate holders that supply materials to more than one Product Class will be able to choose whether:
- They wish to be certified for all three Product Classes, or
- Certificate holders will be able to choose to be certified for only 1, or 2 of the three Product Classes.
The current “all products, all locations” rule for all materials supplied to the three product classes stays in place as the default.
However, if a certificate holder elects to withdraw from ACRS certification of a specific product class, then they will have to give evidence, verified by ACRS, of the ongoing separation of materials approved by ACRS from any materials not approved by ACRS, and the avoidance of any use of ACRS branding in relation to materials not covered by ACRS certification.
3. Review of ACRS’ governance model and structure
The ACRS board has agreed in principle that once the new funding model and product group structure is in place, it is intended to move to a new two-tier governance structure:
- An Advisory Council of stakeholders
- A board of directors, comprising both directors drawn from a range of relevant interests (such as government, commercial, and industry) and independent directors
4. Review of options for the future scope of ACRS’ operations
- Financial and legal modelling is underway to ensure that various possible ACRS structures to best manage future market scenarios are understood, and planning is in place to enable the board to set the parameters for the next two years.
- Modelling is covering the current ACRS scope including the changes listed above. This modelling also includes contingencies that take into to account possible changes to the regulatory and competitive landscape, and to allow for targeted growth and planned development opportunities.
- These differing models for possible ACRS levels of activity will enable the board to decide the levels of expenditure and personnel to budget and plan for.
All stakeholders and certificate holders are therefore invited to contact the ACRS Executive Director directly if they wish to discuss, or to provide comment on the proposed changes, and so they can ensure their comments are reviewed by the ACRS Executive committee at its meeting on April 12th.
It is anticipated that the next ACRS Board meeting on May 31st will finalise the first stage of the changes, as well as considering the next stage of the renewal process.
ACRS is continuing to develop its scheme renewal program and we look forward to communicating further with all our stakeholders as we begin implementation.