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What is Authorised Engineering Organisation?

Here at Compliance Council, we have forged a great track record in helping multiple organisations of varying sizes and scope achieve AEO status. We follow a tried and tested methodology that allows organisation to achieve their AEO in a prompt manner, and we remove all unnecessary stress and uncertainty in this extensive process.

Commencing in 2013, the Asset Standards Authority (ASA) launched the Authorised Engineering Organisation (AEO) program to support the engineering industry.

With the primary purpose of enhancing engineering governance, AEO is a widely accepted program intended to improve the delegation of responsibility in the private and public sector in delivering and maintaining NSW rail network assets with greater efficiency and safety.

AEOs can be implemented during various stages of the asset life cycle from concept and feasibility, through to design, testing, and construction. Regarding the potential to improve engineering assurance, achieving an AEO status should be considered by organisations that provide engineering services for the Transport for NSW (TfNSW). It positions organisations to strategically compete for work through the TfNSW procurement process.




What is the process for becoming an AEO?

Transport of NSW’s Authorised Engineering Organisation (AEO) program happens to be a lucrative opportunity for all kinds of engineering organisations. It provides them with a constant contract that is fulfilled until their need is fulfilled in the lifecycle of TfNSW’s requirements. Moreover, it is a method of integrating with the public sector and many other engineering organisations in a homogeneous environment that can help build contacts. Furthermore, being an Authorised Engineering Organisation (AEO) for the state of NSW means that you get to service the public without having to be hired specifically through the normal hiring process. One single contract helps you provide public service for a lengthy period of time. In a way, it happens to be free publicity for the services an engineering organisation provides.
 
However, becoming a part of The Transport of NSW (TfNSW) AEO is not a walk in the park. TfNSW has employed a thorough and rigorous screening process that they use to assess an engineering organisation and the merits it offers. All organisations have to go through that specific screening process before they are selected for the AEO Framework. Simply, the organisation looking to become a part of the AEO needs to market itself in such a way, that the committee representing TfNSW becomes aware of their merits and selects them. In conclusion, it is entirely up to the company if they are selected or not since the selection process involves judging what they offer with consideration to what is required. As such, engineering organisations need to meet a certain set of requirements to be included in the AEO framework.
 

The Authorisation Process

The authorisaton process, as mentioned above, happens to be quite thorough and extensive. To make it more efficient and easier to handle, the TfNSW has divided it into three different parts, each serving its own role in the selection process. The stages of the authorisation process for TfNSW AEO happen to be:
 

The Initial Contact

The initial contact stage is basically a meeting between the Assets Strategy Authority (ASA) and the engineering organisation. The ASA is a committee formed by TfNSW that checks the viability of an “asset” and what is has to offer. The asset happens to be a representative word used for the companies that apply to be a part of the AEO Framework. The meeting includes the ASA checking what the respective company has to offer and inform them about the requirements of the AEO as well. Once both parties have come to an understanding, they can move forward. The final part of the Initial Contact stage is both parties discussing and confirming how to move on to the next stage, which happens to be the preparation stage for authorisation.
 

The Preparation

The main part of the authorisation for preparation stage happens to be the scope of the authorisation. The ASA informs the engineering organisation about all the limitations and the boundaries of the AEO and aims to bring the organisation on the same page concerning the authorisation. Furthermore, the organisation is made aware of everything it needs to present during the actual assessment. A list of all the evidences required is made up and a note is given to the organisation that requests them to present all the mentioned evidence in the final stage of the authorisation process, the assessment and audit stage. Without the evidences asked for, the companies will be rejected immediately in the last stage.
 

The Assessment and Audit

At this stage, the engineering organisation will face a thorough assessment of its services and the technologies and tools it uses to work. The initial authorisation is based upon what the company offers, and how it can show its usefulness and strengths to the TfNSW. Hence, the organisation needs to prepare a thorough sales pitch in order to convince the ASA that they happen to be ones for the job. Furthermore, the prospective AEO's will need to justify their claims and their figures with actual evidence that they had been told to bring for this stage. Risk assessments will need to be provided, once again with the support of documented evidence. The engineering organisation needs to show how capable it is when it comes to dealing with risk in their specific level of authorisation. In the end, it’s all about increasing the ASA’s confidence in you.
 
Beyond risk assessments and details about services, the organisation needs to provide a thorough briefing on the systems and tools they employ. Once more, with evidence. The systems and tools need to be related to all the different departments and services the organisations hosts and offers. Essentially, the information should concern:
  • Systems Engineering
  • Quality Management
  • Competency in Managing Engineering Resources
  • Configuration Management
  • Engineering Management
After authorisation, the organisation will need to undergo and participate in regular surveillance audits in order to show their work. The audits are part of the AEO Framework requirements and checks how all the companies in it are performing. This helps the AEO engineering management go about everything in a smooth manner while also maturing with their work.
 

Applying for AEO

Since AEO presents such a fantastic opportunity for engineering organisations, you can expect the application boxes to be full. Hence, you need to show the ASA how your company is better for the job than the rest. To show that, you need to prepare well for each and every stage of the process. To help you find out about what you need at every single step, you need some help from an AEO Authorisation Consultant like Compliance Council. We will readily be able to inform you about the strengths of your organisation as an asset for the TfNSW and how you need to market it and push it for them to notice. With the help of an AEO Authorisation Consultant, your job becomes easier and you get to focus on the things that will matter, increasing your chances.

WHAT REQUIREMENTS DOES AN ORGANISATION NEED TO MEET TO ACHIEVE AEO STATUS?

The Authorised Engineering Organisations (AEOs) was designed to manage the competence of engineering staffs internally and to also manage the assurance of their engineering services concerning the asset lifecycle of NSW Transport Assets on behalf of TfNSW.
ASA requirements for Authorised Engineering Organisation (AEOs) represent statements of expected activities to be in place in accordance with the expected relevant industry practice as appropriate to the scope of authorisation. Its requirements are grouped into 11 engineering management capabilities as follows:
  1. Engineering management process and planning
  2. Requirements management
  3. Service or solution engineering
  4. Assurance, verification, and validation
  5. Configuration Management
  6. Competency Management
  7. Stakeholder Management
  8. Resources Management
  9. Supplier Management
  10. Performance Measurement and Evaluation
  11. Continual Improvement Management
Adherence to these requirements is examined during the authorisation assessment.
 
Let us highlight each capability to have a full knowledge of each one of them with their possible evidence.
 

ENGINEERING MANAGEMENT PROCESS AND PLANNING

It demonstrates engineering management activities for the systematic execution of those activities that need to be performed to the delivery of services within the sphere of authorisation is compliant with relevant standards whilst satisfying TfNSW needs. The requirement evidence states that Authorised Engineering Organisations (AEOs) shall have perfect plans which demonstrate how they consistently carry out their services in the absence of relevant processes.
 

MANAGEMENT REQUIREMENTS

This requirement shows engineering management activities, revealing, and also analysing and allocating service or solution requirements as well as managing traceability and fulfilment of those requirements through the service delivery cycle. Some of its requirements evidence include:
  • Requirements management plan
  • Requirements database
  • Stakeholder engagement plan
  • Stakeholder register
  • Stakeholder engagement meeting records
  • Stakeholder needs statement
 

SERVICE OR SOLUTION ENGINEERING

It demonstrates engineering management activities and arrangements that support the application of the relevant engineering principles and practices in developing engineering products, services or solutions as appropriate to the scope of authorisation. Broken down into the following management:
  • Interface management
  • Integration Management System
  • System Architecture
  • Sustainability in Design
  • Ram Management
  • Human Factors Integration
  • Electro Magnetic Compatibility
 
Its requirements evidence includes:
  • Interface management plan or process (system) or section in an overall system engineering management plan or engineering management plan
  • Systems integration plan
  • Proof of deployments such as sustainability integration plans, sustainability workshops, or completion of a sustainability tool such as NSW Sustainable Design Guidelines published by TfNSW.
 

ASSURANCE, VERIFICATION, AND VALIDATION

It shows Engineering Management activities and arrangements that support the delivery of the quality engineering product, system or service by providing confidence that relevant processes were followed, requirements are met, and the Final product or service meets its intended purpose. Verification and validation management arrangements should typically be supported by the following evidence/facts:
  • Organisation level verification and validation arrangements
  • Project-level verification and validation arrangements
  • Verification and validation plans
  • Verification and validation processes and procedures
 

CONFIGURATION MANAGEMENT

Next on the list is the Configuration Management, demonstrating the Engineering Management activities and that ensure the integrity of network product or service being delivered and that all changes to assets over the system life cycle are managed across a defined set of baselines, including all related information and records. With documentary evidence that falls broadly into the following:
  • A cohesive documented system
  • Configuration items that are known and recorded
  • Changes to configuration items that are appropriately controlled
 

COMPETENCE MANAGEMENT

This is a type of requirement that demonstrates Engineering Management activities and arrangements that ensure that only engineering staff with the appropriate Know-how, skills are engaged to execute activities defined for a specific job.
An Authorised Engineering Organisation (AEO) should be able to show its ability for knowledge capture, storage, and redeployment that is dew for the organisational scope of authorisation and business model.
With Evidence of the following:
  • Planning to identify, obtain, retain and deploy knowledge, skills and knowledge assets
  • Arrangements to qualify and control it
  • Proof of the knowledge sharing to have been executed within the spheres of the organisation and with the ASA.
 

STAKEHOLDER MANAGEMENT

As the name implies that the Engineering Management activities and arrangements to establish and to also maintain the stakeholder’s involvement in the work within the scope of authorisation.
With typical evidence that could be:
  • Various organisational processes
  • Plans that goes in line with stakeholder management
  • Records of relevant activities such as minutes of meetings
 

RESOURCES MANAGEMENT

A type of requirement that demonstrates arrangements that ensure that all tangible and non-tangible resources are in place (which will later be used to support the engineering service provision within the scope of authorisation).
Possible evidence for the type of requirement would include the following:
  • Engineering intranet home page with links to standards
  • Links to TfNSW and ASA standards
  • Standards change briefing notes or emails
 

SUPPLIER MANAGEMENT

This type of requirement demonstrates arrangements that allow management of acquisitions from both internal and external suppliers as necessary for the scope of permitted services.
Evidence of process execution that covers the scope of authorisation (disciplines and lifecycle phases) as suitable are important, therefore are required.
 

PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION

A type of Engineering Management that shows an arrangement supporting the consistent, repeatable service and/or product delivery by providing objective quantitative information on the organisational processes performance and quality of the particular product or services.
Evidence of this means that Authorised Engineering Organisations (AEOs) are expected to demonstrate the following:
  • The relevance of the selected performance framework to business objectives
  • The recreational behind the adopted measurement baselines
  • Measurement models and methods being used
 

CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENT MANAGEMENT

It ensures sustainable and growing organisational efficiency and effectiveness by the deployment of measurable improvements.
Evidence that includes the following:
  • Systematic identification
  • Objective evaluation of business needs and best industry practices
  • Prioritisation using established criteria or process as suitable
When these requirements are met, then one is then allowed to provide engineering services in relation to the asset lifecycle of NSW Transport Assets on behalf of TfNSW.

Industries affiliated with this standard

Achieving the AEO status is applicable across companies in the engineering and transport sector.

Frequently Asked Questions

What industries do you work with?

As a leading provider of consultancy services we cover a wide range of disciplines including safety compliance, quality compliance and environmental compliance across high-risk industries.

We work with high risk industries including construction, manufacturing, aviation, professional services, healthcare, and transport.

What can all these management systems do for my business?

Management Systems alone won’t add any value to your business or your staff. Although, if a Management System is designed to fit into the existing operations of the business, and with input from the expected staff who will be using the system, then you will start seeing improvement.

Depending on the type of Management System and what standards it is designed to comply with, you can expect the following improvements:

  • Less instances of the organisation quoting/tendering for a project/client that they cannot actually provide the product or service for
  • Better responses to customer complaints
  • A mechanism for identifying issues and then systematically fixing them and preventing them from occurring again
  • If certified, recognition from your customers for achieving certification and increased confidence from prospective customers

These are some of the benefits of a Management System although there are many more that an organisation can achieve if it adopts the system into its core operations.

What is Third Party Certification and who does it?
Third Party Certification is the process of having your Management System audited by an independent third party. This type of auditing is typically used by Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) who are regulated by a government organisation known as JAS-ANZ. These CABs can issue registered certificates of compliance to various standards such as ISO 9001, AS 4801, and ISO 14001.
Is the process fixed at the duration of eight weeks?
The Eight Week Process is our preferred methodology for most Management System projects although this can vary depending on the standards involved and internal deadlines.
Are there any hidden costs?
Unlike many competitors who operate by a time and materials model, we operate by a fixed-fee model. We provide clients with proposals that outline the methodology for the project, the deliverables, and the total cost.
Is the initial consultation obligation free?
Yes, the initial consultation meeting with you to gauge what certification would be suitable for the business and also get an understanding of how the business works is free so that we can provide an accurate proposal.

Executive Team

Matthew Allport
Matthew Allport
Director
Jason O’Grady
Jason O’Grady
General Manager

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