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24 November 2020
Authorised Engineering Organisation

How a Consultant Can Help with Achieving AEO Status

 

Firms with Authorised Engineering Organisation (AEO) status can take advantage of the notable surge in NSW rail work, whether they work as Principal Contractor, Design Consultant or Subcontractor. AEO status recognises that an organisation has an acceptable level of confidence in its capability to perform an assured delivery of services to TfNSW.

Achieving AEO status can take your company to the next level, but it’s challenging to achieve. Fortunately, a partner like Compliance Council can help you work through the lengthy application process while you stay focused on running your business.

 

AEO long video

 

 

Let’s walk through the AEO accreditation process so you can see what’s involved and how a consultant can help.

 

Stage 1. Initial Meeting

The first step is a meeting between the Assets Standards Authority (ASA) and your company. TfNSW forms the ASA committee to assess the viability of an “asset” (that’s you). At this meeting, the ASA officer will see what you have to offer and explain the requirements of the AEO.

 

Stage 2. Preliminary review

This involves:

 

Preliminary Review 

The ASA requires the completion of several documents: the Engineering Services Matrix, Scope Assessment Forms and Systems Assessment form. Your consultant will help you with the completion of these documents; they’ll be submitted to your ASA Authorisation Facilitator.

 

Submitting the Evidence

The ASA will review your documents and send feedback. 

 

Qualified for an Assessment

At this point, the TfNSW website will list your company as an “Organisation Qualified for Assessment.” Essentially, you’re added to a pool of companies waiting for assessment. Depending on TfNSW resources and your priority rating, you could wait up to three months or more.

 

Stage 3. Assessment

The assessment stage is divided into two steps 

 

Assessment

Your organisation will prepare a thorough sales pitch to convince the ASA you’re cut out for the job. This is the time to bring out your documented evidence. That could include:

  • Risk assessments
  • Details about services
  • Briefings on systems and tools.

Your documentation should cover Systems Engineering, Quality Management, Configuration Management, Competency in Managing Engineering Resources and Engineering Management. Your consultant will help you to prepare the documentation and make sure you’ve covered all your bases.

 

Finalisation

After your company is authorised (congratulations!), you’ll need to participate in regular surveillance audits to review your performance. You can rely on your consultant to assist with these audits if you wish.

 

Managing the Schedule

If all goes well and you stay on top of deadlines, the entire process takes about twelve months. Your consultant will help you stay on track, even when schedules are busy with your business. 

 

Tips for a Successful Application

Our consultants have taken other engineering firms through the process, and they can keep you focused on the information and strategies to get you where you want to go. The following are some helpful tips for your AEO application.

 

Have a Rational Engineering Services Matrix

It’s unreasonable for a new AEO to select many sub-disciplines in the Engineering Services Matrix. Just focus on the sub-disciplines for which you can demonstrate in-house capability.

 

Split Evidence into Documented System and Deployed System

Use a consistent naming convention for documented system and deployed system in the TfNSW document titled T MU MD 00009 SP AEO Authorisation Model.

 

Assign Accurate Maturity Ratings

Read the maturity level carefully, and rate yourself honestly. You might feel better when you assign yourself a 4 or 5 for most items, but you must have evidence to back this up.

 

Conclusion

Achieving AEO status isn’t an easy endeavour. You’ll need to allocate resources to the process itself, but you will also probably need to address the gaps in your organisation’s capabilities. Having an experienced consultant on your side will help you to work through issues and stay on task.

 

Talk with us about the process of achieving AEO status. We’ll get in touch with you to discuss your requirements further and then prepare a proposal based on your needs.