Factsheet: the AO framework

​​Authorised Officer Information Pack for Companies

This information sheet outlines the AO Framework, from application to appointment to verification. There are six phases in the AO process: initial information, training, assessment, appointment, on–the–job and verification.

Diagram illustrating the Authorised Officer framework  

Phase 1: Initial information

After an individual shows interest in becoming an AO, the first information they access will be on the department's website. The website contains general information on AOs, frequently asked questions and the AO application kit. The individual may also contact the Plant Export Training team to clarify any queries. The interested individual may then choose to apply to become an AO.

Once the complete application is processed, the candidate will receive an email with their eLearning login details and a welcome pack. The welcome pack contains more detailed information relevant to the candidate at this time, such as information about on–the–job training and assessment among other tools and resources.

Candidates are able to partake in on–the–job training whilst their applications are incomplete and awaiting final acceptance. However, they will not be eligible for final assessment until their application is deemed complete and all supporting documentation has been received.

Phase 2: Training

Once the welcome pack has been mailed out, the training phase of the framework begins. The National Training and Assessment Framework contains information on all aspects of the training phase as well as providing a solid foundation for the AO training process to be based on. The information a candidate receives in the training phase includes the National Training Framework, eLearning, the work instructions, optional on-the-job training and the Plant Export Operations Manual. These tools work in conjunction with each other to ensure comprehensive and consistent training.

Phase 3: Assessments

Once a candidate decides that they are ready for an assessment, they complete the checklists contained in the welcome pack and read the information contained in the candidate advices. When undertaking the assessment they are assessed against the criteria outlined in the assessment tool.

Phase 4: Appointment

A candidate becomes an appointed AO for specific job functions once they have successfully completed their assessment. Once found competent, they will receive a deed of obligations that they must sign. The deed lists the obligations an AO is required to use when conducting a Plant Export inspection on behalf of the department. After the deed has been signed and returned to the department, the candidate will receive an approval pack, containing their instrument of appointment–which outlines the job functions they are appointed for–and other fact sheets that contain useful information for their on–the–job work.

Phase 5: On-the-job

Appointed AO’s will be updated regularly with new information such as work instructions and form updates. Notification of these updates will be through emails and generally with an Industry Advices Notice attached that will be sent to the appointed AO’s nominated email address. For this reason it is important to update the Authorised Officer Program of any change of email address by e​mail.

Phase 6: Verification

An appointed AOs performance will be monitored through ongoing verification of documentation and on site visits. This will consist of announced and/or unannounced visits by departmental officers and the verification of all AO inspection records. AOs may be issued with a directive to address non compliant issues with their documentation and may also be required to attend additional training to ensure that their competency standard is maintained. The detection of serious non compliance could result in the revocation of the AOs appointment and/or further legal action if deemed necessary.

More information:

Authorised Officers

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