As those in the transport and logistics industry would know, changes to the chain of responsibility provisions in the Heavy Vehicle National Law will commence on 1 October 2018.

That means transport operators have limited time left to be ready.

This week we are up to the eighth in our series of ten tips to help with your last-minute preparations.


Managing subcontractors is an important aspect of CoR compliance. As a transport operator arranging for another party to transport goods on your behalf, you are a 'consignor' under the HVNL.

Before you engage a subcontractor, you should collect evidence from the potential subcontractor to assess whether the subcontractor is complying with its CoR obligations and will continue to do so in the future. Once you have engaged a subcontractor, you should also regularly review the subcontractor's compliance documentation.

If you don't do your homework on your subcontractor, you are unlikely to discharge your primary duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of your transport activities.

The kinds of documents you could consider in determining the suitability of a particular subcontractor include:

  • certificates of currency for relevant insurance policies;
  • accreditations (such as TruckSafe, NHVAS Mass Management, NHVAS Maintenance Management and NHVAS Basic/Advanced Fatigue Management);
  • licences and vehicle registrations;
  • permits and approvals (if necessary for the services being provided); and
  • CoR policies and procedures.

You should also ask your potential subcontractor questions about whether the subcontractor:

  • carries out drug and alcohol testing and medical examinations of drivers;
  • carries out licence/driving history checks and, if so, how frequently;
  • carries out inductions for all drivers and, if so, what those inductions cover;
  • requires drivers to complete vehicle pre-start checks and fitness for duty assessments;
  • has on-board monitoring systems fitted to its vehicles and if the data from these systems is regularly reviewed; and
  • has a history of heavy vehicle offences.

Watch out for tip #9 next week – CoR compliance audits.

© Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers

Cooper Grace Ward is a leading Australian law firm based in Brisbane.

This publication is for information only and is not legal advice. You should obtain advice that is specific to your circumstances and not rely on this publication as legal advice. If there are any issues you would like us to advise you on arising from this publication, please contact Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers.