Last month is wrote about becoming compliant and the many traps that businesses faced in doing so. Businesses are subject to poor quality C&E consultants, many consultants that are assisting companies with the implementation of the C&E have no idea what they are doing. We are constantly coming across start up consultants that have little and sometimes zero back ground in transport and even less in C&E. These consultants are then assisting businesses implement a C&E system… hmmm the term “the blind leading the blind” comes to mind. We have seen consultants implement systems in a business that they know nothing about and the business is effectively the “guinea pig” as the consultant learns the ropes. So how would you feel about being the guinea pig for a fledgling C&E implementation company, knowing that if they get it wrong they could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.
C&E implementer check list:
- Check on the company’s background, how long have they been doing C&E implementation and/or training?
- Check on their knowledge of the industry, do they anything about transport?
- Check on their professional indemnity insurance, is it specifically for the transport industry sector they are working in?
Of course not all C&E implementation companies are dodgy. Some are good and some are bad, but how do you tell the difference? Once sure fire way, is to align what you do as a business to a Code of Practice and get yourselves set up to follow that code. In that way you have a measuring stick to determine who is good and who is bad.
So what is a Code of Practice? A Code of Practice is a series of guidelines for an industry sector to follow that aligns specifically with the C&E legislation. A Code of Practice is a pre-set series of standards for an industry to follow. In many ways it saves a business from “re-inventing the wheel” and gives a clear indication to a business that is securing transport services that the transport provider they are using is at a level which will reduce their risk to an acceptable minimum. The benefit of being part of a Code of Practice is that the cost of compliance is often reduced whilst the quality of compliance is increased.
What do you need to do to become part of a Code of Practice? Initially you need to apply to become a signatory to the code and become registered with the Code controller. Then you have a period of time to get your business up to a level of compliance. This can be done independently or with the assistance of a consultant, it’s your choice. However, consultants who are expert in this field, will invariably get the compliance into place quicker and cheaper than can be done internally. Once you feel you are ready for compliance, you request a compliance audit against the Code of Practice, (which is conducted by an external body) and if you get it right then you receive a certificate of compliance under that particular Code of Practice.
Many people ask what is the difference between a “Code of Conduct” and a “Code of Practice?”. Simply put, a Code of Conduct says “it would be nice if you did X” where as a Code of Practice says “thou shalt to X”. This means that a Code of Practice has rigour and standards where a code of practice is a bit wishy washy.
There are many codes being developed specifically for WA. The first WA specific code was signed on the 18th June 2015 and is now fully in place for the Forest Products Industry, this means that all forestry type of work is now covered under a code of practice and ranges from logging, hauling, saw mills, timber producers, woodchip etc. and all ancillary support sectors.
A second current Code of Practice which is a national Code of Practice that has specific modifications to match the WA Legislation is also active. This code covers the refrigerated warehouse and transport sector.
Others in the pipe line are:
- General Freight
- Agri- Business (Agricultural support )
- Agri-bulk (grain)
- OSOM Pilots & Escorts
- General bulk (sands, gravels, ores etc)
So where do I find a Code of Practice for my business? Call or email LATUS on the details below and they will give you details of what is available and when. If you would like to know more about C&E Codes of Practice or any other C&E issue call LATUS on 1300 008 386