Become an AEO

How does an engineering organisation become an AEO?

To become authorised as an AEO an engineering organisation needs to be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Capability;
  • Competency;
  • Maturity of the organisation’s engineering management function to deliver engineering services to the NSW rail network which do not compromise safety.

Authorisation is a three stage process:

Initial contact

The Asset Standards Authority (ASA) and the organisation will meet to understand each other and to confirm how to proceed to the next stage.

Preparation for authorisation

The organisation and the ASA will confirm the scope of authorisation, the types of evidence required and the process for assessment and audit.

Assessment and audit

The organisation will undergo an assessment of its systems and tools for the initial authorisation, and ongoing surveillance audits after authorisation.

Prospective AEOs will need to provide justified confidence through documented evidence of their ability to manage the risk associated with their defined scope of authorisation. This evidence should cover the systems and tools for:

  • engineering management;
  • competency management of engineering resources;
  • configuration management;
  • quality management;
  • systems engineering.

Once an organisation is authorised it will need to participate in surveillance audits to demonstrate how it deploys its capability on projects and services, as well as to ensure that the AEO's engineering management continues to grow in maturity, capability and capacity.

The ASA works closely with industry to assist engineering organisations to meet the AEO authorisation requirements.


What are the responsibilities and activities of an AEO?

The Asset Standards Authority (ASA) authorises Authorised Engineering Organisations (AEOs) to provide particular engineering services to Transport for NSW (TfNSW). How an AEO delivers these services and the scope of work provided to TfNSW will be defined through a contractual arrangement with TfNSW.

The responsibilities of an Authorised Engineering Organisation (AEO) can include any authorised engineering activities over the life of the asset including:

  • concept, feasibility and total asset planning;
  • design and design review;
  • construction, installation, fabrication and manufacturing;
  • systems engineering and systems integration;
  • inspecting, testing and commissioning;
  • maintenance;
  • modification;
  • decommission, demolition and disposal.

An AEO must take actions to provide assurance for the safety and integrity of any engineering service/s provided.

AEOs are responsible for ensuring that their systems and tools are tailored to the context of any contracted scope of works including:

  • requirements management;
  • configuration management;
  • change control;
  • design control (including reviews);
  • risk management;
  • quality and safety assurance.

Depending on the contracted scope of work, an AEO may carry out some or all of the following tasks:

  • assessing project complexity to determine the most suitable engineering approach;
  • developing a project management approach for a specific project;
  • managing design and design risk;
  • managing design reviews to ensure the design meets requirements;
  • ensuring the design is accepted by the receiving organisation;
  • building and reviewing the design according to specifications, standards and requirements;
  • ensuring the built product or asset is accepted;
  • managing the handover and acceptance of the project to operations;
  • operating and maintaining the asset when the project is complete.

What guidelines must an AEO follow?

Guidelines to becoming an AEO are outlined in the governance and framework materials provided to the AEO by the ASA.

After authorisation, AEOs will be required to perform engineering works within a contractual project or service arrangement in accordance with:

  • ASA and TfNSW engineering governance frameworks;
  • transport agency network guidelines;
  • transport agency safety guidelines;
  • engineering management processes and systems that have been mutually agreed between the ASA, TfNSW and the AEO;
  • the ASA's network engineering standards;
  • other discipline-specific guidelines.

AEOs may also be required to follow other guidelines as stipulated within the contract for any works being completed.

What does an audit of an AEO involve?

The general process of auditing an AEO's performance will be:

  • the ASA will give notice to an AEO of an intention to audit;
  • the AEO will provide the ASA with access to the organisation in order to conduct the audit.

The audit will:

  • review documentation such as designs, design records, as-built information, test results, acceptance and handover results;
  • review processes, for example, processes in change management and configuration management;
  • review performance indicators including rework rates and common faults;
  • undertake interviews with staff.

The audit will record areas of non-conformance and provide a report on these areas to the AEO. The scope of authorisation for an AEO may be amended as a result of an audit.

How often are AEOs audited?

From time to time, the ASA will audit an AEO. The aim of the audit is to verify that the AEO continues to meet the requirements of its scope of authorisation.

Factors determining the level of oversight and frequency of auditing by the ASA include the organisation’s capability and maturity, level of risk being managed, and performance on TfNSW projects and services. Additionally, some less frequent engineering activities may be audited on certain jobs.

The ASA may also audit AEOs based on the risk or issues related to a contracted scope of work.

Organisations qualified for assessment

Find out which engineering organisations are currently preparing for AEO assessment.

Contact us

For more information on becoming an AEO you can contact a member of our AEO authorisation team by email: