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Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013

Federal Road Safety Minister launches RVMAP and raises bar for Recreational Vehicle compliance

Catherine King Fed  Min for Road Safety.
Catherine King Fed Min for
Road Safety.

RVM Australia, the peak body for Australia’s RV manufacturing industry, has set a new benchmark for product compliance with the launch of the RV Manufacturing Accreditation Program (RVMAP).

RVMAP was officially launched in Melbourne today by the Federal Minister for Road Safety, Catherine King, member for Ballarat.

The minister struck a strong core with the big RV industry audience when she remarked on her family involvement at caravan and camping shows since childhood and her personal appreciation of RV's and camping and safety issues which are linked to that background.

RVMAP was a significant positive procative step by the industry, she said.

RVM Australia CEO David Duncan said RVMAP was a crucial step in making RVM Australia a true peak body, and would raise the bar substantially for compliance of Australian RVs.

“RVMAP is a mandatory member accreditation program that is robust and comprehensive, and it captures a greater share of manufactured product than ever before,” he said.

“Its systems and processes will provide greater support to manufacturer members in complying with the law and maintaining comprehensive documentation to verify their compliance.

“It will enhance the already substantial value of the RVM Australia badge as the symbol of a high quality RV, and will help establish a level playing field for all RVs sold in Australia.”
David Duncan explains RVMAP direction
David Duncan explains RVMAP direction

David Duncan said RVMAP’s origins could be traced back to a Strategic Planning Forum in 2011 which led to his appointment and the formation in September 2012 of RVM Australia Ltd.

“An industry-wide Product Compliance Program Review last year led to formation of Development Review and Validation Review Teams from the industry to draft the program framework.

“We had the benefit of inputs from both RV manufacturers and component suppliers, and from government representatives, all of which underpins the strength of the program.”

RVMAP is designed to give RVM Australia members everything they need to keep abreast of

regulations, ensure they are compliant, and document the compliance of every vehicle they build.

David Duncan said it was built on a foundation of communication, education and training, plus the creation of tools such as checklists and the appointment of staff to apply them.

“A key element is the creation of new assessment checklists, but just as importantly, every company will appoint a Compliance Officer and a Designated Vehicle Inspector to run the program.

“Accreditation of a member’s business will confirm the compliance of the member’s products and adherence to the RVM Australia Codes of Practice and Compliance Standards.”

The roll-out of RVMAP has begun with information road shows and recruitment of Compliance Officers and Designated Vehicle Inspectors, and it should be fully operational within 12 months.

“Over the next six months, our technical team will visit every member’s premises to help them implement the program,” David Duncan said.

“Soon after the first of those visits, we will begin the first round of physical vehicle inspections at manufacturer’s premises, to be followed by a second round some six months later.

“At the conclusion of the second inspection the frequency cycle of each Member’s inspections from then on will be determined, and RVMAP will be fully up and running,” he said.
Fed  Min  Catherine King launches RVMAP
Fed Min Catherine King launches RVMAP

Editors Note: The RV Manufacturing Program RVMAP credits proactive members for undertaking /implementing proactive activities as contained in the Proactive Assessment and Desktop Audit Checklists to reduce the frequency of Finished Product Inspections.

The Eight core elements of RVMAP are:

To turn RVMAP into reality, RVM Australia has developed eight core elements to create a program which addresses both current and projected requirements.

1. Communication, Education & Training of Regulatory Standards and Technical Information to members.

RVM Australia members will receive timely information on changes to technical standards to ensure they are fully aware of compliance requirements.

Every Member will nominate a Compliance Officer to disseminate safety and technical bulletins to employees and maintain communication with RVM Australia; and a Technical Inspection Officer who will be responsible for the Finished Product Inspections of each RV built.

RVM Australia will work with Regulatory Bodies to improve the clarity of RV-related design and compliance standards through the development of a plain English “Regulatory Standard Guide”.

Compulsory Technical Briefings will be held at least annually, and the online reference library will be an up-to-date archive of all relevant technical and regulatory material.

2. Effective and Practical Tools

RVMAP will include tools to assist members to uphold safety standards. Enterprises that can demonstrate a track record of effective safety compliance will undergo less frequent Finished Product Inspections.
David Duncan RVM Australias CEO
David Duncan RVM Australias CEO

The Accreditation Process comprises three components: Proactive Assessment; Desktop Audits and Finished Product Inspections (including Witnessing of Inspections).

The frequency of Finished Product Inspections will be based upon statistical rigour, frequency of new vehicle type introductions, total number of vehicles and number of each type produced.

Manufacturers of Motorised RVs will gain credits through RVCS certification, whereby production facilities are registered, approval is given for each model, and inspections ensure products meet design standards.

3. Assessment

RVMAP includes checklists for RVs and components, provision for Self Certification, and frequency of Finished Product Inspections based on the level of proactive measures and management systems.

Audits will generally be performed on a random basis, at a frequency depending on the risk profile of the Member by the gaining of Accreditation Credits for proactive compliance activities.

Finished Product Inspections will be conducted on-site on finished vehicles in the presence of the Compliance Officer or Designated Vehicle Inspector so education on compliance issues can be provided. Within two weeks of a successful Audit, members will receive an RVM Australia Accreditation Certificate.

For every vehicle produced, the manufacturer must hold a self-completed checklist, at least meeting RVM Australia Finished Product Inspection Checklist requirements, with photographs of the VIN plates

4. Documentation to reduce member’s risk of non-compliance

RVM Australia will maintain records of Member compliance, a library of technical information and data for Member reference that makes RVM Australia the one-stop shop for compliance resources.

The onus will be on Members to demonstrate they have complied with safety standards and requirements.

To identify emerging trends and problems relating to safety and compliance, RVM Australia will produce a monthly summary of technical issues and encourage the use of electronic records for greater efficiency.

RVM Australia will communicate regularly with regulatory authorities to ensure they are aware of the extent and effectiveness of the system and of trends that emerge from the Accreditation process.

5. Meaningful Accreditation

Accreditation will be granted to Members who meet the required technical standard, and there will be a process for non-compliance of Members to be addressed through education, escalation and discipline.

RVM Australia Accreditation Certificates will expire two months after the next scheduled Inspection. Manufacturers who produce ISO or RVCS documentation will be granted Accreditation Credits.

In any case of a failure to comply with requirements, RVM Australia will require the Member to

notify the relevant government authorities, and may apply sanctions depending on the seriousness of the compliance failure, starting with a warning and demand to rectify failures, and including more serious penalties.

As a last resort, Members may be expelled by the RVM Australia Board, temporarily or permanently.

6. Continuous improvement of Compliance Program through Governance

The RVM Australia Board will subject RVMAP to appropriate governance and oversight, and conduct regular reviews of the effectiveness of the program

This review and improvement process is built into the on-going operation of RVMAP and will reflect changes in the commercial and regulatory environments.

7. Represent the industry in developing Regulatory Standards

RVM Australia will actively engage with the development of new Regulatory Standards as they apply to the industry, and become a clear industry voice in developing and implementing such standards.

RVM Australia will work with regulatory authorities to develop safety standards with particular

focus on harmonising state and federal regulations; encouraging higher industry standards; identifying

potential national issues for action by RVM Australia; and working with government on priority


When authorities request industry input on a proposed change, RVM Australia will survey Members

and appoint a panel of experts to recommend action based on Member inputs and their own expertise.

RVM Australia will identify regulatory issues by assessing audit results and conferring with members.

8. Assessing compliance of supplied components

Since RVM Australia manufacturers are assemblers, and much componentry is third-party supplied, the Accreditation process will verify the compliance of vendor and sub-contractor supplied materials.

RVM Australia will identify key vehicle elements covered by Regulatory Standards, and confirm that these are purchased against and meet the relevant standards, based initially on a review of the member’s purchasing system and records (rather than intruding on the supplier/subcontractor).

RVM Australia will provide members with all Regulatory Standards for components such as chassis and couplings, and manufacturers will be responsible for purchasing product that meets the standards.

The manufacturer will be responsible for holding copies of test certificates from all suppliers of components required by Regulatory Standards in readiness for provision during Desktop Audits.

The roll-out of RVMAP has already begun, and is intended to be complete by April 2014.

The information road show began in Melbourne, with Sydney and Brisbane to follow, and is mainly to give business owners and managers a broad understanding of RVMAP, ahead of its implementation.

Also under way are members’ nominations of their in-house Compliance Officers and Technical Vehicle Inspectors who will be vital to RVMAP.

Next, RVM Australia technical advisers will visit each member to work with the Compliance Officer and Technical Vehicle Inspector to implement the RVMAP processes and record-keeping systems.

The first round of physical vehicle inspections at manufacturer’s premises will begin within the next month, to be followed by a second round some six months later.

At the conclusion of the second inspection the frequency cycle of each member’s inspections from then on will be determined and RVMAP will be fully established.

For more information
contact: Garth Morrison
Editor Go See Australia and Go See New Zealand Directory

Caravan Industry Australia (Victorian Trades Division)
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