Two men (Terry 37 – 40 and Col – mid fifties) are walking along one of Melbourne's city lanes about to go for a coffee … we pick them up mid conversation.
TERRY … and she said to Jack excuse me driver do you stop at the Grand Savoy And Jack said "are you kidding love? That's 5 star!!! Not on my salary!!!"
COL Aggh Jack he's a treasure … good bus driver though
TERRY Yeah he is …. So tell me Col, how did you go with the accreditation?
COL I haven't done it yet, I'm not sure if I need to?
TERRY What do you mean?
COL Well there was something about registration or accreditation, I'm not sure which one I have to do.
TERRY Col are you a sporting club?
COL What? No…
TERRY A scout group?
COL Don't be stupid.. you know I'm not.
TERRY So you own an aged care facility or health organisation?....
COL Nooo I'm just like you. I run some commercial bus services.
TERRY With buses that seat at least 13 passengers?
TERRY Then Col you need to be accredited
The two leave the lane and enter a café. They proceed to back of café and sit down.
COL Oh well, the one thing I do remember is that I have till the end of 2015 so no stress
TERRY Col, let me give you a heads up mate. I've just done mine and the guys at Transport Safety Vic were telling me there could be a fair bit of drama happening by 2015
COL Why's that?
TERRY Could we have two coffees please Cappuccino for me thanks
COL Yes same here thanks … so why drama?
TERRY Well we were all told in 2010 we had till the end of 2015 to get accredited …. correct?
COL Yep, that's right
TERRY Okay, 2010 … 2015 .. that makes us over half way doesn't it?
TERRY Okay, 2010 … 2015 .. that makes us well and truly over half way doesn't it?
TERRY Well, the total amount of people like us who had to be accredited was 800 …. how many companies do you think might have completed the accreditation to date?
COL Well most of them probably, I don't know … 700
TERRY Mate, that's how many haven't done it yet!!
COL You Serious?
TERRY Serious! And you know what that means?
COL Well TSV are going to get pretty busy I guess
TERRY More than that Col, I can't be 100% sure but I'd say that there's a fair chance guys like you and I could miss out altogether
COL You serious?
TERRY Well not me cos I've already been accredited
COL Yeah OK smarty but are you fair dinkum?
TERRY Do the numbers Col, they allowed 5 years for us to apply and we are over half way through, Applications that have been filled out incorrectly and apparently, there have been quite a few of them, have taken up to 3 months to process and only 100 out of 800 have been accredited so far? You are talking major major log jam in 2015
COL I didn't know it was going to take 3 months to process the applications.
TERRY Only the incomplete or incorrect ones. It has all got to do with the quality of the original application was what I was told. The guy at TSV was saying its really important to get the application right the first time
COL And you did?
TERRY Mate … what can I say?
COL I never read the fine print … what happens if we miss out?
TERRY Well no accreditation means no business basically, all government contracts are cancelled and the fines if you keep operating unaccredited are ….. phew!!
COL What do you mean Phew?
TERRY Up to $48 grand for an individual and $240 THOUSAND for an organisation
COL What?? That's outrageous
TERRY Well it's a pretty good reason to make sure you are accredited that's for sure
COL Terry I'm flat out …. you know what its like trying to run a business, we've all got priorities
TERRY Col far be it from me to preach to you, but I'm tipping I'd be making accreditation a pretty major priority! It's going to be bottleneck city in 2015 … why would you want to subject your business to that?
COL But did you read the form, you have to prove competencies in about 50 different areas and there's audit interviews mate I'm just a little old bus operator
TERRY Yeah and so am I
COL So how long did it take for your application to be processed
TERRY Oh mine took just a few days
COL Tez, you and I both know a Rhode Scholar you are not!
TERRY Maybe not mate but I did do a pretty smart thing!
COL Oh yeah? Like what?
TERRY I did the Safety Management Course for bus operators at Monash University
COL What back to school?
TERRY It's a distance learning course Col and I learnt some really good safety processes I have been able to apply to the business straight away ……… but not just that … completing the course was proof to TSV that I had learnt all the competencies they were looking for so no need for statements of competencies or panel interviews or any of that
COL oh ok
TERRY And then I joined Bus Vic which gave me access to one of their education officers who basically held my hand right through the process. Combined with the guidance material I got from TSV and a bit of help from their compliance officers ….. Mate it was a piece of cake. Just do it Col and do it now. I'd hate to be one of those that leave it too late!
COL Yeah I suppose
TERRY You know the best thing? What I have learnt through the accreditation process has given me fantastic peace of mind. I know now that I have all the right policies and procedures in place especially from a safety point of view and its actually taught me how to run a better business
Just do it mate!