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NSW Road Maintenance Council Contracts (RMCC) and National Prequalification for Civil (Road and Bridge) Construction Contracts

December 2017

Feedback from Road Maintenance Council Contracts (RMCC) stakeholders suggests that future engagement models for council road maintenance contracts will require individual councils to be prequalified under the National Prequalification System for Civil (Road and Bridge) Construction Contracts.

This should come as no surprise to the industry given that continuous improvement has always been pivotal to the RMCC.  It is evident that the objectives of the National Prequalification System relative to the RMCC would be to minimise risks associated with maintaining and constructing roads and structures for RMS, whilst promoting best practice in the road and bridge industry.

It is not known if Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) is willing or able to insist with prequalification as a prerequisite to councils undertaking RMS work or whether it would be on a ‘restricted’ or ‘conditional’ basis. It would appear to be a risk for councils to not seek prequalification, particularly if they are dependent upon the RMCC arrangements to reduce overheads and management costs.

What does Prequalification in NSW involve?

The prequalification involves an assessment of the entity’s capacity to undertake Roads and Maritime contracts of varying risk, technical and financial complexity, focussing on;

  • organisational structure
  • stability of organisation
  • senior management
  • general performance
  • third party certified management systems in the areas of quality management occupational health and safety management and environmental management (or an independently audited system that meets the requirements of a checklist provided by RMS)

Why pursue Prequalification?

While organisational structure, stability, senior management and general performance might not to be scrutinised, sound management systems and a council’s compliance may be vulnerable when tested in practice.

To gain the greatest advantage for your council in terms of efficiency, professionalism and compliance with integrated management system requirements, prequalification should be approached as an opportunity for business improvement across all operational areas and the departments that support operations.

Prequalification shouldn’t simply be a matter of client compliance.  The business principles needed to support prequalification need to be embedded in council’s day to day business to significantly contribute to a continuous improvement culture.

Organisational benefits include;

  • A foundation for continuous improvement
  • Transparent, traceable and consistent internal systems
  • An organisation process that is a corporate endorsed, consistent way of doing business on a day to day basis
  • Mutual benefits to the organisation, suppliers and clients
  • Third party certification providing a goal and sense of achievement for the organisation and significantly contributing to a continuous culture of improvement
  • Quality systems and management systems that assist organisations in enhancing customer satisfaction
  • Contribution to securing RMS contracts in the future and opening up opportunities for private works
  • Efficient management of your improvement agenda

How to manage the process



One of the most common reasons that organisations fail to overcome the various obstacles associated with third party accreditation and independent auditing is that the system information, although it exists, is not clear, transparent and tailored to fit the environment that the organisation operates in.

An integrated management system can be purchased off the shelf, however it is someone else’s system and sometimes just a piece of paper, and fails to meet the needs of that organisation. Embarking on a collaborative process and implementing an organisation’s exclusive system that is owned, understood and believed in by its people almost always delivers the highest benefits.

At Morrison Low we have professionals with extensive knowledge of the RMCC together with experience in management systems and establishing council business improvement processes.  In collaboration with your management and staff, we can assist in defining and tailoring your management documentation system to best align with your organisations needs to establish best practice and the foundations of a permanent path of continuous improvement.