construction nsw government guidelines

Is your business in the construction industry and working in New South Wales?

Did you know that the current NSW Government Budget is the largest infrastructure commitment ever by any Australian state government, with a whopping $93 billion capital program over four years from 2019-2020 to 2022-23?

This funding is planned to:

  • Deliver 190 schools;

  • Deliver 40 hospitals;

  • Deliver over 3,500 road and rail projects; and

  • Support water, energy and housing

With the current Covid-19 pandemic, construction is classified as an essential service (which is so great for so many of our clients!), but we’re now hearing of privately-funded construction projects being put on hold due to financing concerns and global economic uncertainty.

If you haven’t previously considered government funded projects, now would be a smart time to look into it. Even outside of the current pandemic-induced economic crisis, a longer term strategy could be to focus on government-funded projects when the economy is slow and then move back into more privately-funded projects when the economy recovers. It makes sense.

Everything you need to know about the new NSW Government Management System Guidelines  *UPDATED 11 January 2021*

To get a piece of the current NSW Government $93 billion infrastructure budget, you first need to pre-qualify to this scheme:

CONTRACTOR PREQUALIFICATION AND BEST PRACTICE ACCREDITATION SCHEME FOR CONSTRUCTION AND RELATED WORK VALUED $1M AND OVER – SCM1461

In order to pre-quality, your business management system needs to meet the following criteria:

For contracts valued from $1M to $9M (Prequalification Scheme for General Construction Works):

Quality Management System (QMS)

  • Current JAS-ANZ Accredited Certification to ISO 9001; and

  • 2 examples of Inspection and Test Plans (ITPs) and evidence of actual implementation.

Work Health and Safety (WHS) Management System

  • Current Accreditation with the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner; or

  • Current JAS-ANZ Accredited Certification to ISO 45001; or

  • Current JAS-ANZ Accredited Certification to AS/NZS 4801. (However, note that AS/NZS 4801 Certifications will no longer be valid after September 2021, when they will be superseded by ISO 45001.); and

  • For 3 separate contracts, evidence of one of the following site-specific WHS documents:

    • third party WHS Audit Report
    • internal WHS Audit Report
    • site Safety Inspection Report.

Environmental Management System

  • Nil

For contracts valued above $9M (Procurement List for General Construction Works):

Quality Management System (QMS)

  • Same as above for projects valued from $1M to $9M

Work Health and Safety (WHS) Management System

  • Same as above for projects valued from $1M to $9M

Environmental Management System

  • Current JAS-ANZ Accredited Certification to ISO 14001; and

  • For 2 separate contracts, evidence of site-specific Environmental Management Plans.

Everything you need to know about the new NSW Government Management System Guidelines  *UPDATED 11 January 2021*

NSW Government Management System Guidelines Update

In December 2019:

  • The NSW Government WHS Management Guidelines were updated from Edition 5 to Edition 6;

  • The NSW Government Quality Management Guidelines1 were updated from Edition 3 to Edition 4; and

  • The NSW Government Environmental Management System Guidelines were updated from Edition 3 to Edition 4.

The key changes to meeting the requirements of Edition 6 of the NSW Government WHS Management Guidelines are:

  • All Contractors will need to hold current JAS-ANZ Accredited Certification to ISO 45001 or AS/NZS 48012; and

  • There will not be an initial desktop “Certification Audit” to the Guidelines. Under Edition 6 the requirements will be:

At Tender Stage Before Work Begins During The Contract
Provide evidence of:

•  JAS-ANZ Accredited Certification to ISO 450013; and

•  Previous satisfactory WHS management performance (to be specified in the tender documentation)

Submit a WHS Management Plan Contractor’s Requirements:

•  If required, update the WHS Management Plan and submit to the relevant government agency

•  Implement the WHS Management Plan

•  Submit monthly WHS management reports

•  Report WHS incidents

•  Periodic audits of the WHS System and Plan

Government Agency’s requirements:

•  Audit the contractor’s implementation of their WHS Management Plan

•  Review the contractor’s WHS management monthly reports

•  Investigate any reported Notifiable WHS Incident

•  Report WHS performance using the Contractor Performance Reporting System


The key changes to meeting the requirements of Edition 4 of the NSW Government Quality Management Guidelines are:

  • All Contractors will need to hold current JAS-ANZ Accredited Certification to ISO 9001; and

  • There will not be an initial desktop “Certification Audit” to the Guidelines. Under Edition 4 any additional auditing requirements will be during the contract implementation and specified within the tender documentation.

The key changes to meeting the requirements of Edition 4 of the NSW Government Environmental Management Guidelines are:

  • All Contractors will need to hold current JAS-ANZ Accredited Certification to ISO 14001; and

  • There will not be an initial desktop “Certification Audit” to the Guidelines. Under Edition 4 any additional auditing requirements will be during the contract implementation and specified within the tender documentation.

But how about my current NSW Government Guidelines certification and tenders requirements?

If your business is already certified to the existing Guidelines (Edition 5 for WHS and Edition 3 for Quality and Environmental), your Certifications remain valid either up to the expiry date noted on your certificate or up to December 2022, whichever occurs first. December 2022 is the end of the three-year transition period from publication of the new Guidelines Editions, which occurred in December 2019.

No new certifications to the previous Edition 5 for WHS or Edition 3 for Quality and Environmental will be recognised after 12 November 2020.

It’s important to note that your organisation cannot be certified to the new:

  • NSW Government WHS Management Guidelines Edition 6;

  • NSW Government Quality Management Guidelines Edition 4; or

  • NSW Government Environmental Management System Guidelines Edition 4.

These are now just guideline documents, which require the relevant ISO or other certifications noted above, plus examples of previous project-specific documentation to be submitted. The exact requirements will be specified in the individual tender or scheme documentation.

Everything you need to know about the new NSW Government Management System Guidelines  *UPDATED 11 January 2021*

We can help you in meeting the requirements of the ISO Standards for Government pre-qualification with the following Consulting services:

  • Gap Analysis, to review what you already have in place, find out where you’re starting from and what’s needed in your business for Certification readiness; and/or

  • Management System Development or Upgrade to help you develop and implement all documented information required for Certification readiness; and/or

  • Meeting the ongoing requirements of maintaining Certification, such as developing management plans, conducting your Internal Audits, and facilitating regular planning and reviews.

To work out the best approach for your business to be on the path to Government pre-qualification, book your FREE strategy session today with one of our Experts.

Alternatively, if you’d prefer to discuss any further details on this topic or have questions, please email us or call us now on 1300 614 007.

1 The NSW Government Quality Management Guidelines are not applicable to pre-qualification for the above scheme, but are for other schemes, so we thought it was still worth mentioning in this article.

2 ISO 45001 replaced AS/NZS 4801. Contractors already Certified to AS/NZS 4801 have until September 2021 to transition to ISO 45001.

3 Accreditation under the Australian Government Building and Construction OHS Accreditation Schedule (Office of the Federal Safety Commission) is deemed to comply in place of ISO 45001 Certification.

About the author

Managing Director at ISO Certification Experts

Erica is a Certified Trainer, Implementer and Auditor for ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001 and ISO 27001, and heads up the day-to-day operations of the business.