NSSCS For Builders

NSSCS for Builders

Australian Standard AS/NZS 5131 and the National Structural Steelwork Compliance Scheme (NSSCS) can be of significant benefit to builders.

The benefits to builders include:

  • avoids the cost of setting up an in-house fabricator quality capability assessment team
  • provides an assessor with intimate knowledge of steelwork fabrication
  • provides the ability for the builder to nominate preferred fabricators for which an assessment can be requested
  • is fit-for-purpose and risk based, therefore cost effective compared to undertaking specific prequalification
  • reduces the cost of rectification and rework, utilising fabricators proven to meet the appropriate requirements of Australian Standards
  • frees up valuable personnel to focus on the project issues they are actually trained for. 

Achieving the quality benchmark

Implementing AS/NZS 5131 and the NSSCS for your project is a straightforward three-step process:

  1. Configure project documentation: ensure the processes and documentation are consistent with the Construction Category for the structure or component being undertaken. AS/NZS 5131 defines the requirements. The NSSS actions these requirements. A specific Compliance Management Plan is recommended by the ASI
  2. Provide project documentation: the documentation required by the Construction Specification and applicable Australian Standards should be planned and available at the appropriate time. An NSSCS certified fabricator will be able to provide much of the applicable documentation defined under AS/NZS 513
  3. Provide ‘Declaration of Compliance’: a DoC is recommended by AS/NZS 5131 for products covered under that Standard. The NSSCS requires it and ASI strongly recommends the DoC as appropriate.

The Compliance Management Plan (CMP)

In today's internationalised procurement environment, the need to specifically address compliance of construction products is demonstrably required. For all but the simplest of projects, the competitive sourcing of compliant construction products cannot be left up to chance in an ad-hoc reactive process. 

Procurement must be planned and specific processes put in place and documented, much like is already done when utilising project management plans, construction management plans, safety management plans, resource management plans and the like.

Today, the ASI believes there is a specific need for a ‘Compliance Management Plan’ (CMP) that the builder/contractor puts in place at initiation of the project. 

The CMP specifies:

  • the processes and documentation required to establish the veracity and traceability of compliant structural steel, bolts and consumables, whether sourced from Australia or internationally
  • the assignment of responsibilities to the various parties necessary to action the requirements of the Construction Specification and Australian Standards in relation to product compliance. Table B3 of AS/NZS 5131 provides a list of responsibilities to be assigned. Many of these will be under the contractual scope of the builder
  • the inspections, testing, auditing and approvals necessary to establish that the requirements of the Construction Specification and Australian Standards have been fulfilled
  • the governance to ensure that the CMP has been actioned. 

The CMP helps demonstrate that the shared responsibility for duty of care under WHS Regulation and the Safe Design of Structures Code of Practice has been actioned, and the necessary steps put in place to support the emerging non-compliant product ‘Chain of Responsibility’ Regulation. 


Download National Structural Steelwork Compliance Scheme: A guide for clients, builders and prime contractors (PDF)

Refer to the 'Good practice steelwork procurement' brochure with summary implementation toolkit here (PDF)