What is NSW Accreditation?
Accreditation is a bus and coach operator licence called BOAS (Bus Operator Accreditation Scheme) and is obtained through Roads & Maritime Services. A course is held at a NSW University and it requires applicants to first meet the common core standards for Public Passenger Bus Services.
Accreditation is for an operator that runs a public passenger transport service that carries passengers in minibuses, standard buses or coaches for a fare which are for the following services;
- long distance service
- tourist service
- charter service
To be accredited, the person or company must be;
- be of good repute, supplied by two character references (two individuals who have known you for more than two years)
- be fit and proper for the purpose of accreditation
- demonstrate that you possess the necessary knowledge and level of competency to operate a bus service
- be financially viable to operate a passenger bus service, demonstrated via a credit report from an accountant
- have a current Criminal History Check
- have access to adequate maintenance facilities for the vehicles
- have written approval from the applicable local council
Some of these above points are usually enough to prevent the shifty from gaining such an important title. Under the Passenger Transport Act 1990, all operators ofpublic passenger bus services must be accredited to be able to provide services legally in NSW.
An operator is independently audited thoroughly by certified auditors and reported back to RMS. There have been many times that operators have had their accreditation stripped due to poor accreditation standards.
Why is it Important?
It is extremely important that you use an accredited company as this means that all their buses and coaches are accredited to carry passengers, use bus lanes, have all safety and compliance signage on board, are maintained to manufactures’ standards, use genuine parts, serviced every 6 months or 10,000kms (whatever comes first), have insurance, display the accreditation on the side of the bus, have VMD’s (Vehicle Monitoring Devices) and are inspected by RMS under the HVIS (Heavy Vehicle Inspection Scheme) every 6 months (also known as “going over the pits” with a thorough defect inspection on every part of the bus.
The standard also includes a concise SMS Handbook (Safety Management System) and Registers of risk, compliance, complaints, fleet, drivers, medicals, inspections, accidents, insurance, maintenance and many more.
There are many non-accredited businesses online with websites claiming to be a bus company but are in fact not, just a middleman looking to take a cut and pass off the job to the cheapest “man with a bus” which is not only deception but as these companies are not accredited which means they have no idea of the industry and its legality. All of these fake operators are super easy to spot. They claim to operate in every state and territory in Australia and 99% of the time not even in Sydney. No operator is accredited in every state and territory in Australia. They may use the term “accredited” on their websites but this term is a sly tactic to gain trust as the accreditation they claim is a paid membership to some non-certified tourism website and not an actual accreditation which is not only deceitful but illegal.
Don’t risk it. Go with accredited companies every time.