Auckland Transport

Supplier selection and management standard


  1. Background and purpose

Auckland Transport (AT) is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for its employees, suppliers, sub-contractors and their employees.

AT expects all suppliers to comply with relevant AT policies, standards and procedures.  The work activities of suppliers have the potential to create a significant risk to AT in terms of the health and safety of its employees, members of the public and the suppliers themselves, as well as to AT’s reputation.

The health and safety legislation requires principals to a contract to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, that all workers, including suppliers and their employees (including sub-contractors), are not harmed while undertaking work under the contract/project.

A principal’s duty under the Act depends on what practicable steps they should take to ensure safety, such as planning or site visits. There are situations where the principal and supplier might share duties.  In all instances a supplier will also be a duty holder. It is a requirement within the Health and Safety Reform Bill, as well as best practice, for the principal to consult, cooperate and coordinate with all other duty holders.

AT, at the head of the contract chain, must ensure suppliers are properly selected and managed via the contract and applicable instruments such as compliance guides.

Any contracts AT enters into can range significantly in value, duration, and complexity. As a consequence, the nature and extent of supplier management practices will vary depending on the size, nature, complexity, and risk profile of each contract.

The word “suppliers” will be used as a universal term covering contractors/suppliers/operators/consultants to AT (See the Terms Used section 6 for a full definition)

  1. Scope

This Standard sets out the minimum health and safety expectations for all AT employees and suppliers in order to ensure the effective selection and management of suppliers in relation to hazards and risks. It applies to all divisions of AT and all suppliers (see the definition in section 6).

This Standard and the associated procedure, tools, and guidelines will be read in conjunction with the AT Procurement Strategy and Procedures, as well as the AT Project Management Framework.

The H&S Team will work closely with the Project Management Office (PMO) and the Procurement Team in implementing this Standard.

  1. Responsibilities

Chief Executive

  • Accountable for the overall compliance with AT Health and Safety policies and standards, including allocation of resources and responsibilities across the business, to meet this standard.

Divisional Managers

  • Appoint competent person(s) as Contract Owners/Managers, and ensure that the performance of such is monitored and reviewed regularly.
  • Confirm that there is an effective process in place to manage all suppliers in accordance with New Zealand legislation, standards, guidelines and industry best practice.
  • Provide for relevant training and resources to be available to AT staff to implement AT policies and procedures.

Line Managers

  • Provide input to the supplier management processes.
  • Monitor the health, safety and welfare of suppliers.
  • Provide support to the Contract Owners/Managers in managing supplier performance under their contracts.
  • Review supplier compliance with AT’s health and safety policies, procedures and standards.

Contract Owner/Manager

  • Retain the competency to undertake their role as set out in AT’s Health and Safety Procedure – Supplier Selection and Management.
  • Confirm all suppliers have a signed contract in place prior to commencing work.
  • Confirm all suppliers are competent and appropriately instructed prior to commencing work.
  • Provide all relevant H&S information to suppliers so that they can undertake their work safely.
  • Confirm all requirements of the Health and Safety Procedure – Supplier Selection and Management - have been met before suppliers commence work/activity with AT.


  • Comply with all relevant AT H&S policy and procedures.
  • Take all practicable steps to prevent harm to their workers, sub-contractors, AT employees and members of the public.
  • Consult, communicate and coordinate with all other duty holders.
  1. Standard

This standard relates to all components of supplier selection and management and outlines the duties of all parties:

  • During a preliminary assessment of contract works or operations to be provided for;
  • Before the contract/service agreement is signed;
  • Prior to the commencement of work;
  • Whilst works/provision of services are in progress; and,
  • As part of the close out of the contract/service agreement.

The relationship that may exist between Auckland Transport (as the Principal or Client) and other contracted parties engaged in an Auckland Transport-related project may vary from contract to contract.  Parties represented may include:

  • Designers/Advisers/Consultants;
  • Operators;
  • Supplier (or Principal Supplier);
  • Sub-contractors; and,
  • Parties who are contracted to the Subcontractor.

It is important to note that though AT may not directly engage groups several steps removed, a duty will still be owed by AT to ensure the safety of these parties in relation to the project/service provided. Therefore, AT is expected to do everything with regard to H&S that could be reasonably expected of the Prinicipal or the Client given the circumstances.  This H&S related duty commences with the selection of a supplier that can perform the proposed work in a safe manner, and monitoring the performance of that supplier over the life of the contract to ensure that established H&S standards are complied with.

  1. Schedule

Refer to the AT Health and Safety Procedure – Supplier Selection & Management for a step-by-step process for selecting and managing suppliers.

Specifically the following aspects, (as listed in MBIE “A principal’s guide to contracting to meet the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992”), is described in more detail to enable a process for meeting the requirement of “all practicable steps” when managing suppliers and sub-contractors:

  • Scoping the work;
  • Pre-qualifying the supplier;
  • Supplier selection and negotiation of terms;
  • Awarding the contract;
  • Monitoring the contract;
  • Post-contract review.

AT requires all relevant suppliers to be pre-qualified and registered on an approved list. This requirement will be implemented progressively for all existing suppliers but will apply for all new suppliers from the date this Standard is implemented.

Pre-qualification will establish the overall standard of a supplier’s H&S management system, which may vary in complexity depending on the size of the company and the level of H&S risk involved in their day to day work.  Suppliers will be asked for their practices and protocols in relation to the particular work-related H&S risk they present. As part of the pre-qualification process, their responses will be assessed to ensure best practice applied and all workers are suitable trained and qualified for the work they do.

Safety in design is a key factor to consider when planning any future works and service. Ideally the planned work, including physical works and/or contracts for service, will be risk assessed at the concept design commencement stage, and again at the detail design commencement stage, to control and manage all H&S risk. Any residual risk must be noted and included in safety documents relating to the project/service.

The AT representative managing the contract must ensure that the project or scope of work is adequately assessed for all possible H&S hazards and risks, prior to Request for Tender (RFT), or work commencing. All potential H&S risk issues involved in the work must be made known to the supplier as part of the tender process. At times it may be necessary for ECI (Early Contractor Involvement), especially with physical works projects, to adequately assess the risk, using the principal supplier’s expertise and knowledge.

Where the tenderers submit a viable methodology at similar price and quality, the job shall be awarded to those proposing the most robust H&S risk management systems and site specific hazard control methods.

Suppliers shall be required to submit a draft H&S plan as part of the tender process, depending on the level of H&S risk involved.

It is important to note that the H&S information provided by the supplier for pre-qualification purposes will be generic in nature. The H&S safety plan for a specific job or contract must be relevant to the particular hazards and risk involved with the work under contract.

Once the contract is awarded (allowing sufficient time for comprehensive assessment and discussion of H&S risk), the supplier may be required to attend a pre-commencement meeting. An outcome of this meeting is to reach an agreement on H&S accountabilities and finalise and agree the management of H&S risk.

During the term of the contract, the supplier’s H&S performance shall be monitored by the AT representative. This may take the form of formal audits conducted by AT project managers or account managers, or third party providers. Other forms of monitoring will include informal site visits and discussions, tool box talks (construction site) and self-reporting. Frequency of reporting and auditing will depend on the nature, complexity and duration of the contract and associated works/services.

Post contract/service agreement evaluation shall be carried out to determine the suitability of the supplier for further work. This will also be fed back into the pre-qualification process to verify the competence of the suppliers’s systems and processes.

  1. Definitions

Refer also to H&S Definitions

All practicable steps

All practicable steps in relation to achieving any result in any circumstances, means all steps to achieve the result that it is reasonably practicable to take in the circumstances, having regard to:

  • the nature and severity of the harm that may be suffered if the result is not achieved;
  • the current state of knowledge about the likelihood that harm of that nature and severity will be suffered if the result is not achieved;
  • the current state of knowledge about harm of that nature;
  • the current state of knowledge about the means available to achieve the result, and about the likely efficacy of each of those means; and,
  • the availability and cost of each of those means.

To avoid doubt, a person required by the H&S Act to take all practicable steps is required to take those steps only in respect of circumstances that the person knows or ought reasonably to know about.


Refer to “Supplier”

Contract Owner/Manager

AT representative(s) selected by the Responsible Manager to manage a specified contract or project on behalf of AT. This role may be performed by one person (i.e. the ‘Project Manager’) as required.


A person or company who or that engages any person or company (otherwise than as an employee) to do any work for gain or reward.


(So Far as is Reasonably Practicable)

To reduce a risk to a level which is ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’ involves balancing reduction in risk against the time, trouble, difficulty and cost of achieving it.


A person/party engaged (otherwise than as an employee) by any contractor/supplier (or another subcontractor) to do for gain or reward any work that the contractor has been engaged to do.


The word “supplier” will be used as a universal term covering supplier / contractor / sub-contractor / operator to AT, including:

  • Principal contractors, contractors and sub-contractors employed to carry out any physical works e.g. roading, tunnelling, or any building type works (including construction of cycle paths, bus shelters, rail platforms etc).
  • Operators of public transport, including those who drive, maintain or clean a public transport vehicle, and associated rail platforms, bus stops and ferry terminals; tow truck drivers.
  • Suppliers for service, including professional consultants where their work involves visiting high-risk areas, e.g. engineers on a civil construction site, or security guards working in certain locations.

Supplier low risk

A supplier involved in activities that have been assessed to represent a low risk, e.g. A contract requiring a provider to periodically restock in-service first aid kits with appropriate supplies or consultant working in an office environment.

Supplier medium risk

A supplier involved in activities that have been assessed to represent medium risk. Minor contracting activities such as small repair or maintenance jobs that do not involve high-risk hazards. e.g. supplier providing AT office cleaning.

Supplier high risk

A supplier involved in activities that have been assessed to represent high risk, including low –medium risk tasks undertaken in high risk environment, e.g. road or rail corridor. Significant Contracts – medium to high level risk ongoing, long term and/or project/construction based.

For example:

  • cleaning, maintenance & security of public transport, including bus, train and ferry;
  • provision of light commercial vehicle or car transportation,
  • vehicle recovery service
  • Working on road corridor,
  • civil construction;
  • working on rail corridor;
  • working at height, confined space, permit to work, excavations, tunneling.

Related policy