Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment
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Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment
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What is Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment?

In NSW Heavy Vehicle Driving Instructors perform the training and assessment for most Heavy Vehicle Licence Upgrades. In almost all cases these upgrades are not done by Service NSW, or Transport for NSW. In NSW this work is done by Instructors engaged by an RTO (Registered Training Organisation) that is contracted into the scheme by Transport for NSW.

Apart from holding a Heavy Vehicle Instructors Licence, there are other criteria that Instructors must meet before they can work under the scheme. These instructors must:

  • Meet the fit and Proper Persons guidelines
  • Hold the following units of Competency (or an equivalent superseded unit) TAEASS401 and TAEASS402
  • Hold Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Be inducted into the scheme by their RTO
  • Submit a Criminal Record Check that is less than 12 months old
  • Complete the Online Code of Conduct Training
  • Have Comprehensive and Third Party Property Insurance for their training vehicles

What do Instructors working in the scheme do?

There are two main parts to the HVCBA scheme. Criteria Training and the Assessment. Under the scheme, the training and the assessment must be done by separate assessors. So the instructor that performs the training can't be the one that performs the assessment. All instructors in the scheme are equipped to perform both training and assessment. This process is regulated by Transport for NSW and run by Registered Training Organisations (RTOs).

What Criteria are there in the Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment scheme?

Both the training and assessment revolves around fifteen criteria. The criteria are:

  1. Pre-operational checks
  2. Cabin Drill
  3. Start, Move Off, Shut Down & Secure
  4. Manages Steering
  5. Manages Gears
  6. Manages Brakes
  7. Manages Accelerator
  8. Create/Maintain Crash Avoidance Space (CAS)
  9. Protect Crash Avoidance Space (CAS)
  10. Road rules and Directions
  11. Reverse
  12. Hill Stop/Start
  13. Load Securing
  14. Coupling/Uncoupling
  15. Bus stop procedure.

Depending on the licence class and vehicle that is being used, students must successfully be trained in each of the relevant criteria.

Does a student need to complete all of the HVCBA Criteria?

There are two criteria that are not required under certain circumstances. Rigid licences ( LR, MR, and HR) do not need to complete coupling and uncoupling. Only articulated licences (HC and MC) need to complete this criteria. Only training and assessment performed in a bus requires the completion of the bus stop procedure.

The most common licence upgrade is from a Car Licence to an HR Licence using a truck. A candidate for this must complete Criteria 1 to 13.

How does the Criteria Training work?

The first phase of the process is training. The HVCBA instructor assesses the student’s current skill level at each of the Criteria. Then the Instructor decides what is required to bring the student’s skill up to an acceptable level. Once the student has successfully completed all of the criteria they are eligible for their Final Competency Assessment (FCA).

Every candidate is different and brings a different set of existing skills and experiences into the course. Skilled Instructors need to know how to harness the skills that the candidate already has, and put strategies in place to get them competent at all the skills required.

At the end of the Training Course, when all of the criteria are complete, the instructor completes the documentation and registers the Criteria with Transport for NSW (TfNSW) .

The candidate is then ready for their Final Competency Assessment. (FCA)

How does the Final Competency Assessment work?

Once the Criteria Training is complete the candidate is ready for their Final Competency Assessment. The test must go for at least 45 minutes and is on a route that is approved by TfNSW. The test must be recorded on camera by the assessor. If the candidate is successful then they will be issued with a Certificate of Competency (CoC). This Certificate is not the same as a licence. The candidate is NOT eligible to drive on the new licence class until they have attended Service NSW and had their licence upgraded.

The instructor that is conducting the FCA will have a script that needs to be read out on camera. This includes details about the FCA including the candidate’s name and licence number, the date and time of the Final Competency Assessment and the truck registration and odometer. The instructor will then ask the candidate if they are ready to drive.

At this point the on road components of the Final Competency Assessment will begin.

At the end of the Final Competency Assessment the instructor will give the result to the student and a summary of the errors that the candidate made in the Final Competency Assessment. Once this feedback is complete, the candidate will be given an opportunity to ask questions or make comments. Then the camera will be switched off.

What Criteria are part of the Final Competency Assessment?

Not all of the Criteria are used as part of the Final Competency Assessment.

The pre-departure checks on the vehicle and the cabin drill to ensure the driver knows where the controls are and is comfortable are not part of the assessment. So Criteria 1 and 2 are not part of the FCA.

There is also no Reversing, Load Securing or Coupling/Uncoupling performed as part of the FCA. So Criteria 11, 13, and 14 are not included. .

The FCA covers Criteria 3 - 10, 12, and when the FCA is done in a bus 15.

Where does the HVCBA scheme operate?

The HVCBA scheme operates under Transport for NSW. So it is for licence upgrades that are performed in NSW. Licence holders from other states can use the NSW HVCBA scheme to upgrade their licence. This is because the other states and territories have mutual recognition of licence upgrades. All tests performed in the HVCBA scheme must start and finish in NSW. In some remote areas, the testing route may go into another state and then return to NSW.

If you are interested in getting a heavy vehicle licence or becoming a Driving Instructor in NSW then contact Intertrain today.

1300 222 776


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