From time to time, a change is to be made to an accredited rail transport operator (RTO)'s operations and on these occasions, ONRSR must be notified.
ONRSR must be informed of certain operational changes that fall within the changes described in Regulation 9 of the Rail Safety National Law National Regulations 2012 and are within the scope of the rail transport operator’s accredited railway operations, as specified in their notice of accreditation. This helps ONRSR to better monitor railway operations and is one aspect of regulating management of change.
If a Notification of Change is required but the notification period set out in Regulation 9 cannot be achieved, the RTO should contact ONRSR immediately once they become aware that the notification time will not be met.
It should be noted that a change in the Australian Company Number (ACN) constitutes a change of ownership (sale or transfer) of the RTO. In this circumstance, the new owner is required to submit an application for accreditation to ONRSR.
A Notification of Change is to be submitted via the ONRSR Portal.
Once entered into the ONRSR Portal, the RTO is provided with acknowledgement of receipt, which then initiates an initial review of the change by ONRSR rail safety officers.
An RTO that is required to notify ONRSR as per a condition and / or restriction which is imposed on its notice should do so by using the Notifying as per a Condition and / or Restriction of Accreditation, Registration or Exemption Form.
ONRSR does not approve or reject these changes but they will examine the extent of the change, the likely impact on, or change to, the risks being managed by the RTO and may seek additional information regarding the management of the change, including requesting relevant risk assessments or change management plans.
By granting accreditation to a rail transport operator, the Regulator has been satisfied the operator has the competence and capacity to manage the risks, implement controls and manage changes associated with the railway operations for which it is accredited.
If the proposed change is outside the scope or nature of the accreditation, the RTO will be informed and will be required to submit a Variation of Accreditation.
On expiration of the notification period under Regulation 9 or at the time the RTO has advised the change will take effect, whichever is later, the RTO may implement the change as planned without further advice or acknowledgement from ONRSR. However, ONRSR may still request information or undertake an audit or inspection at any time post the implementation of the change as part of its compliance and enforcement activities.
RTOs are expected to follow the change management processes of their safety management system in relation to any notified change.