NSSCS For Building Certifiers

NSSCS for Building Certifiers

The National Structural Steelwork Compliance Scheme (NSSCS) and Australian Standard AS/NZS 5131 provide a number of benefits to building certifiers.

The benefits to building certifiers of AS/NZS 5131 and the National Structural Steelwork Compliance Scheme (NSSCS) include the following:

  • Provides an expedient, cost-effective tool for minimising risk in the certification process
  • Provides greater likelihood of the project delivering compliant outcomes

    • Enables and complements a risk-based approach to project certification
  • Helps to manage risk for the project and your duty of care under the Workplace Health and Safety Act and the ‘Safe Design of Structures’ Code of Practice.

Achieving the quality benchmark

To maximise the likelihood of achieving compliant project outcomes, the building certifier needs to be involved with the project stakeholders early in the process as checking outcomes after the fact will invariably increase the likelihood of non-compliant outcomes, which are difficult and costly to rectify.

The ASI recommends the following process:

  1. Project stakeholder awareness: engage at project commencement with the stakeholders, explaining the risk-based approach described below will be implemented. Encourage appropriate measures are put in place by the supply chain to ensure project certification is straightforward. 
  2. Project risk assessment: undertake a risk assessment of the project regarding likelihood of compliant outcomes. A suggested risk assessment format is outlined below.
  3. Sufficient inspection schedule: based on the risk assessment, implement a sufficient inspection schedule that is a fit-for-purpose response to the outcomes of the risk assessment of the project.

A risk-based approach to establishing a 'sufficient inspection schedule'

A primary mechanism for ensuring compliance is the implementation of an inspection schedule that is responsive to the type of structure (Building Class 1 to 10 in the NCC) and project specific requirements. It is generally recognised that a risk-based approach allows building surveyors to take an overall view of the safety requirements of the building and establish a responsive inspection schedule.

The use of a risk-based approach to developing and implementing a ‘sufficient inspection schedule’ for building surveyors can be achieved through a risk matrix that assigns the steelwork structure a rating based on certain criteria. The risk rating assists the building certifier in determining an inspection schedule, including the type and frequency of inspections required, commensurate with other factors that will determine the application of inspectorial resources.

The recommended risk matrix outlined below assesses the project as belonging to one of three risk categories: ‘low’, ‘medium’ and ‘high’. The assessment of the risk matrix and establishing a sufficient inspection schedule is outlined in the ASI publication Good practice steelwork procurement – Guidance for Building Surveyors (PDF).