Safe railways for Australia

Accreditation


The purpose of accreditation by the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) is to demonstrate that a Rail Transport Operator (RTO) has the competence and capacity to manage safety risks associated with its railway operations by implementing its safety management system and to safely manage changes to its operations. Information surrounding the administration of applications can be found below.

New Accreditation

The Rail Safety National Law (RSNL) requires that a Rail Transport Operator (RTO) must apply for and be granted accreditation before commencing railway operations.

An RTO intending to seek accreditation is encouraged to first contact ONRSR to discuss requirements using the Initiate interest to apply for Accreditation form prior to lodging a formal application. An ONRSR representative will be in touch to discuss the nature and scope of operations within three (3) business days.

Variation of Accreditation

An accredited RTO proposing changes to their operations may be required to submit a variation to their accreditation. An RTO intending to apply for a Variation of Accreditation is encouraged to first contact ONRSR early in the process to clarify requirements using the Initiate interest to apply for Variation of Accreditation form prior to lodging a formal application. An ONRSR representative will be in touch to discuss the nature and scope of operations within three (3) business days.

An accredited RTO proposing changes to the conditions or restrictions of their accreditation is required to follow the above process for variations of accreditations.

Notifying ONRSR of changes

A Notification of Change is required when a proposed change is within the scope and nature of an RTOs permitted railway operations, as specified in the Notice of Accreditation. Regulation 9 of the Rail Safety National Law National Regulations 2012 details the types of changes that require a Notification of Change. Notifications of Change can be submitted via the ONRSR Portal, which is also accessed via the ONRSR homepage.

If the proposed change is outside the scope of nature of the accreditation then the RTO is required to submit the Initiate interest to apply for Variation of Accreditation form.

Exemption

An RTO may apply to ONRSR for an exemption relating to a specified railway operation, either current or proposed. An RTO intending to apply for an exemption is encouraged to first contact ONRSR early in the process using the Initiate interest to apply for Exemption form prior to lodging a formal application. An ONRSR representative will be in touch to discuss the nature and scope of the exemption within three (3) business days.

An RTO intending to vary their current exemption can initiate the process by contacting ONRSR to discuss the intended changes to railway operations and exemption requirements using the Initiate interest to apply for Variation of Exemption form.

Time for assessment of applications

RTOs who formally lodge an application with ONRSR should allow at least (6) months for ONRSR to assess the application. The complexity and quality of information supplied in support of an application may, in some circumstances mean that the assessment can be undertaken in a quicker timeframe, or longer timeframe if additional information is requested for assessment.

Surrender

An accredited RTO may provide notice of intention to Surrender their accreditation. To do so, the RTO must inform ONRSR in writing of the details related to the cessation of rail operations.


For legal requirements surrounding accreditation refer the Rail Safety National Law (RSNL) and Rail Safety National Law National Regulations 2012.

For information surrounding ONRSR’s key functions and powers under the RSNL, refer The ONRSR Way.

For information surrounding major projects and accreditation or variation requirements, refer the Major Projects Guideline.

For assistance or all other enquiries relating to accreditation, please contact operations@onrsr.com.au or phone 08 8406 1500.

Last updated: 20 July 2020