ACRS May 2017 Update


ACRS thanks all those who have commented on ACRS proposals to improve ACRS' value to the Australian and New Zealand construction industries. ACRS received responses from many of our stakeholders, including industry associations, professional bodies, designers and certifiers, customers and government and regulatory bodies. The ACRS Executive Committee reviewed these on April 12th, and we are pleased to provide further information below.

  1. Restructuring ACRS’ fees and charges to deliver enhanced services and value to both certificate holders and to certificate users:

    • ACRS will remain a not-for-profit body so it can continue to provide the high levels of expertise and rigour demanded by certificate users at the lowest possible cost of delivery to certificate holders.
    • Changes in market and supply conditions over the past few years, domestically and internationally, mean that ACRS must ensure a more consistent and reliable funding model for the long-term, as well as a flexible and value-based approach to our services to enable ACRS to continue to provide the most valued and trusted steel certification scheme available to industry.
    • ACRS charges have not increased for seven years and the proposed increases to assessment fees will allow full cost recovery to be maintained.
    • However, ACRS proposes to move away from a volume-based levy fee and to adopt the more internationally established and understood model of charging certificate fees for each process certified.
    • The proposed changes have been framed to take account of regulatory and competition requirements.
    • It is further proposed that the fee changes will be phased in over two, or three years, as each certificate holder is affected differently by the change to process certificates instead of charge by tonnages supplied due to their individual circumstances and business structure.
  2. Fine tuning ACRS’ “All products, all locations” rule:
    The longstanding “All products, all locations” rule currently applies to the entire range of materials supplied by the ACRS certified firm to the AS/NZS steel standards certified by ACRS. The proposed change will now permit companies who do not desire to have their entire range of products certified by ACRS to apply for certification by “All product, all locations, by individual Product Class”.

    • It is proposed that ACRS certificates will now be categorised under one of the following Product Classes,
      • Concrete reinforcing steels – AS/NZS4671, AS/NZS4672, AS3600, NZS3109, and AS/NZS5100.5
      • Hot rolled structural steels – AS3597, AS/NZS1594, AS/NZS3678, AS/NZS3679, AS/NZS3679.1 and AS/NZS3679.2
      • Cold formed structural steels - AS/NZS1163
      • Ancillary Products – including rebar couplers, structural bolts, etc
    • The current “All products, all locations” rule for all materials supplied to the Product Classes will remain in place as the default. However, if a certificate holder elects to withdraw from ACRS certification of a specific Product Class then in order to maintain certification they will have to provide evidence, verified by ACRS, of the ongoing separation of materials approved by ACRS from any materials not approved by ACRS, and the avoidance of any use of ACRS branding in relation to materials not covered by ACRS certification.

  3. Chain of Custody scheme (CoC)
    ACRS is developing a “Chain of Custody” scheme, similar in scope and operation to schemes available overseas, following requests to provide purchasers and specifiers with both assurance and transparency of when ACRS Assessed materials are delivered to the final customer.

    • This new, voluntary scheme will be available to applicants who wish to highlight the treatment of ACRS assessed materials through the supply chain prior to delivery to site.
    • ACRS will be undertaking consultation with stakeholders and interested parties as we develop and establish this new service to industry.
  4. Review of ACRS’ governance model and structure
    The ACRS board has agreed in principle that once the new funding model and product group structure is in place, it is intended to move to a new governance structure that allows for a support and consultation tier:

    • A Board of Directors, comprising both independent and nominee directors, drawn from the full range of ACRS stakeholders (e.g. linked industry sectors, Australasian and international commercial industry, Government, etc) and delivering the necessary balance, governance and skills requirements
    • An Advisory Council of nominees from ACRS member companies
  5. Review of options for the future scope of ACRS’ operations

    • Detailed financial modelling and legal review is underway to ensure that various possible ACRS structures to best manage future market scenarios are understood, and planning is in place to enable the ACRS board approve any changes.
    • These reviews also include contingencies taking into to account possible changes to the regulatory and competitive landscape, and to allow for targeted growth and planned development of the ACRS suite of schemes and standards.

During the remainder of the consultation period, scheduled to be complete on 31 May 2017, all stakeholders and certificate holders are invited to contact the ACRS Executive Director directly if they wish to discuss, or to provide comment on the proposed changes.

It is anticipated that the next ACRS Board meeting on May 31st will finalise the first stage of the changes, as well as considering the next stage of the renewal process.

ACRS will make further announcements as we begin implementation in the second half of 2017.

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About ACRS

The Australasian Certification Authority for Reinforcing and Structural Steels (“ACRS”) owns and administers three consumer-oriented, independent, expert, not-for-profit, third-party steel certification schemes: Product Conformity, Product Traceability, and Quality Systems.

Our Contacts

Suite 118, 133 Alexander St
Crows Nest NSW Australia
+61 2 9965 7216
ACRS Member Companies

ACRS member companies support and represent a balanced range of interests, including government, specifiers, builders certifiers and suppliers. ACRS members endorse ACRS certification though their organisations and practice.