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The Federal Safety Commission (FSC) Work Health and Safety Accreditation Scheme

What is the Scheme?

The WHS Scheme was developed in response to the Cole Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry, which concluded that there was no more important subject than workplace health and safety and deemed that the safety record for the industry was unacceptable.

Under the WHS Scheme (which is provided for under the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016), only builders who are accredited under the Scheme can enter into head contracts for building or construction work for the following types of projects:

  • projects that are directly funded by the Australian Government with a value of $4 million or more; and
  • projects that are indirectly funded by the Australian Government where a head contract under the project includes building work of $4 million or more AND WHERE:
    • the value of the Australian Government contribution to the project is at least $6 million and represents at least 50% of the total construction project; OR
    • the Australian Government contribution to a project is $10 million or more, irrespective of the percentage of Australian Government funding.

How do I become accredited?

Visit the FSC website to find out the accreditation requirements and download the application form. There are a number of steps in the accreditation process, so you will need to allow sufficient time.

How do I know if the work I want to tender for is in the scope of The Scheme?

The Request for Tender will specify whether accreditation under the Australian Government Building and Construction WHS Accreditation Scheme is required for the works.

Can I tender without accreditation?

A non-accredited builder is still able to tender for a project, however, non-accredited builders will not be shortlisted, and a contract cannot be signed with a builder until they are accredited. Wherever practical, the FSC will work with agencies and builders to prioritise a builder’s application, however, there is no guarantee that an applicant will achieve accreditation within the required project timeframe. Therefore, builders hoping to tender for projects within scope should endeavour to gain accreditation prior to tendering.

Subcontractors, project managers, architects, designers and other parties not undertaking building work do not require accreditation.

Where can I get more information?

Refer to the FSC website: . The FSC provides guidance to a tenderer on the requirements of the WHS Scheme and the application process for accreditation. Visit the website or contact the FSC Assist Line on 1800 652 500 if you have any questions relating to the WHS Scheme. You can also email