Methods of demonstrating competence

This page sets out the three ways an applicant for bus operator accreditation may demonstrate that they have the competence to operate a commercial bus service or local bus service safely.

1 - Complete the Safety Management Course

The approved training course is the Safety Management Course (SMC) for bus operators provided by the Institute of Transport Studies, Monash University, through distance learning. The SMC consists of two subjects:

  1. Introduction to Bus and Coach Safety
  2. Safety Risk Management for Bus and Coach Operations.

Enrolment and full course details are available from the Monash University website. Evidence of successful completion of the SMC is considered as satisfactory demonstration of competence. Bus Safety Victoria reserves the right to amend this at any time.

2 - Statement of competence and evidence

As an alternative to undertaking the SMC, an applicant for bus operator accreditation may provide a statement of competence and supporting evidence which shows they have sufficient knowledge and understanding of these specific matters:

  • The components of the total regulatory framework for the safety management of bus operations in Victoria. 
  • The new definitions for bus, bus services and qualifications for bus operations, principles of bus safety, bus safety duties and the rules that govern entry and stay in bus operations in Victoria. 
  • The laws relating to employee fitness for bus operations including those in respect of medical fitness and drug, alcohol and fatigue management. 
  • The rules stemming from various laws relating to vehicle fitness for bus operations including those in respect of standards and maintenance. 
  • How to anticipate and act appropriately when confronted by safety challenges in everyday bus operations. 
  • How to deal responsibly with infrastructure challenges to safe bus operations. 
  • Measures for addressing corporate governance matters that may impede safe operations. 
  • The compliance systems required for safe bus operations including Maintenance Management System (MMS) and Management Information System (MIS) and their implementation in one's business. 
  • The difficulties in accepting and/or introducing a new culture of risk management to one's business and methods for achieving this. 
  • The risk management principles and guidelines and the principle of 'so far as is reasonably practicable' (SFAIRP)
  • The principles of developing a safety policy for bus operations and the steps to be taken in implementing it. 
  • The principles of risk identification, analysis and evaluation as they relate to bus safety risk management. 
  • The options available for treating risk and the need for implementing treatment plans. 
  • The requirement to understand the rules for identifying and acting appropriately when confronted by safety risk in day-to-day operations. 
  • The recording and reporting of safety risk management in the organisation with emphasis on the role of the safety risk register. 
  • The importance of monitoring and review and the key role it plays in verifying that risk management procedures and processes have been implemented, are extant and are effective. 
  • The process of continuous improvement. 
  • Incident reporting requirements
  • Bus incident investigation requirements and practices.

They may also provide a statement of competence and supporting evidence which shows they have adequate skills in the following matters:

  • Applying the laws relating to employee fitness for bus operations including those in respect of medical fitness and drug, alcohol and fatigue management. 
  • Applying the laws relating to vehicle fitness for bus operations including those in respect of standards and maintenance. 
  • Applying the rules for anticipating and acting appropriately when confronted by safety challenges in everyday bus operations. 
  • Dealing responsibly with infrastructure challenges to safe bus operations. 
  • Addressing corporate governance issues that may impede safe operations. 
  • Implementing the requirements of MIS and MMS for bus operations and drug and alcohol management in bus operations. 
  • Managing change to bring about a new culture of safety risk management in the business. 
  • Preparing and implementing a safety policy appropriate to the bus operation. 
  • Undertaking the processes of risk identification, analysis and evaluation of hazards and risk in a bus operation environment. 
  • Undertaking the process of risk treatment and the implementation of associated treatment plans. 
  • Recording and reporting on safety risk management and to establish and manage an safety risk register. 
  • Monitoring and reviewing safety risks to ensure that the safety risk management process remains functional and relevant. 
  • Conducting a process of continuous improvement with the objective of identifying areas for improvement including relevant safety risk management documentation and data. 
  • Managing incident reporting requirements. 
  • Conducting bus incident investigations and producing investigation reports.

3 - Sufficient other information and evidence

An applicant must provide sufficient evidence of the following to demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to operate the proposed bus service of the same scale and complexity as the proposed bus service:

  • Detailed description of the type, scale and key features of the proposed commercial bus service or local bus service. 
  • The geographical area of proposed bus service. 
  • The types and carrying capacity of the buses proposed to be used for the bus service. 
  • The experience, knowledge and skills in bus operations, taking into account the management of associated risks and applicable legislation, of the key personnel who will be responsible for the safety of the proposed bus service. In particular the development, management and maintenance of the operator's Maintenance Management System (MMS) and Management Information System (MIS).
  • The experience, knowledge and skills of the key personnel who will be responsible for incident management including the reporting and investigation of bus incidents. 
  • The operator's organisational structure, job descriptions of key management positions, details of training programs and professional development programs. 
  • Certified copies of relevant course certificates and a description of the course curriculum.

Applicants for accreditation who are considering method three are strongly recommended to contact us prior to submitting their application to clarify the scope and content of the information and evidence they will be required to submit with their application.

We will assess this evidence on a case-by-case basis.

Image illustrating an operator demonstrating competence