Does FSC Accreditation Add Value?

Federal Safety Commissioner (FSC) Management Systems

Federal Safety Commissioner (FSC)

For many organisations, obtaining independent third-party accreditations enable business improvements, organisation credibility, pre-qualifications to access new markets and provides independent assurance. The decision to gain third-party accreditations should align with your strategic plans and aim for an effective Return on Investment (ROI).   

The FSC Scheme

The Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner (OFSC) have been administering a scheme for over 15 years. Building work funded by the Australian Government over certain financial thresholds must be contracted to a Scheme-accredited head contractor. 

In a recent article published by the FSC: 

“Over 530 companies currently accredited under the Scheme have contributed to achieving this milestone. These companies report significant safety and financial benefits from Scheme accreditation: 

  • Between 2016 and 2020, accredited companies reduced their lost time injury frequency rate by 18 per cent and the medically treated injury frequency rate by 29 per cent. 
  • On average, accredited companies report lower workers’ compensation premiums than the industry average. 
  • Through annual surveys of accredited companies over the last three years, more than: 
    • 90 per cent have consistently agreed the Scheme has contributed to improving industry safety 
    • 80 per cent have consistently agreed the Scheme has improved their safety practices 
    • 87 per cent have indicated the Scheme represents value for money.” 

It remains unclear how valid these measures are, given most construction companies who are FSC accredited are larger vs smaller companies who are often less mature. There are also many other variables besides FSC accreditation, that could impact health and safety performance. Regardless, having a reliable and valid measure of health and safety performance is a topic for another day! 

Systems vs Culture?

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To quote Peter Drucker,  

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast!”


The decision on allocating extra resources to improve systems vs culture is often a challenge. One option is to establish foundational systems before investing in culture improvements. An alternative approach would be not to view systems and culture as a linear transition, but more as two key components to any health and safety strategy that should be improved in parallel, regardless of your organisation’s maturity.   

FSC vs ISO 45001 Requirements?

It is important to understand your unique point of diminishing return as organisations evaluate the trade-off with adopting third party accreditation systems, e.g. over-investing in systems vs culture, or making other resourcing decisions.

For certain organisations, adopting the very high levels of FSC requirements could be considered Over the Top (OTT!). For others, investing heavily in building a high-performance culture in parallel with obtaining accreditations, could be considered a better ROI.   

Regardless of your situation, establishing a fit for purpose strategy and relevant goals are important.   

So, what to do?

A few areas to consider:  

  • Adopt a strategy that strikes the right balance for your organisation. Understand goals that are right for you and the trade-offs you are prepared to take, so as not to overinvest in areas that have a negative return, or ineffective ROI.  
  • Where third-party accreditations systems are relevant design smart systems to support the end-user. Create innovative ways to keep it simple while meeting requirements – sounds contradictory, but this can be done!  

Additional Resources 

FEFO Consulting offer free preliminary assessments to organisations considering FSC accreditation. Contact us today to discuss. 

To understand more about FSC accreditation, refer to our Case Study and 5 Steps to FSC Accreditation Guide.  

For those more interested in investing in culture, refer to our Case Study on Building an Effective Safety Culture.   


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