Becoming an Eligible Service Provider

The Eligible Service Providers (ESP) list provides ASTP with a choice of potential contractors across NSW.

The list was initially established through a formal open tender process in 2010 (DETP1028). Since then, it has evolved into an ongoing compliance evaluation process for when the department needs to expand the capacity of the ESP list.

The ESP list is not a contract to provide services for the department.

The department gives no guarantee that being added to the ESP list will result in the award of transport contracts.

Providers are offered a run based on student need. Runs are allocated in accordance with NSW Government procurement policy.

All contractor who provide services must hold and maintain insurance policies that contains coverage for all employees, personnel and subcontractors.

They include but are not limited to:

  • public liability insurance to the value of at least the amount of $20 million dollars in respect of each claim
  • workers compensation insurance (where using employees) in accordance with applicable legislation for all the Contractor's and Subcontractor's employees
  • "business use" compulsory third party (personal injury) insurance policy in respect of the designated vehicle(s)
  • "business use" comprehensive motor vehicle insurance policy in respect of the designated vehicle(s), which covers damage cause by all drivers utilising the designated vehicle. Taxi insurance should be as per the Special Conditions at Schedule 4 of the Contract Agreement (PDF 1063.54KB).

Please ensure up-to-date insurance and registration policies are provided within 7 days after the commencement date and within 7 days of the anniversary renewal date. Periodic audits are conducted by the ASTP.

All vehicles used by contractors for the ASTP must have Business Use registration. This type of registration is required for insurance purposes and in accordance with the Contract Agreement (PDF 1063.54KB). The only exception to Business Use registration is Hand registration.

Hand registration may only be used where passenger vehicles are used solely for the work of conveying sick or injured (including intellectual or mobility impaired) people.

Vehicles registered to government agencies are not eligible for this registration type (i.e. owned by the government).

The declaration of eligibility for a register concession form in seeking Hand use registration is available from the RMS website.

Where relief vehicles have different registration types, they are required to be changed to Business Use when used for ASTP services. Contractors can call Service NSW on 13 22 13 to change the registration type.

The required insurance coverage will also need to be updated. Advice on the appropriate insurance type may be obtained by contacting the relevant insurance company.

There are six vehicle categories defined by the department: Sedan, People Mover, Mini Bus, Maxi Bus, Wheelchair Vehicle 1–3, Wheelchair Vehicle 4+.

The department allocates the vehicle category based on the requirements outlined in Schedule 2 of the Contract Agreement (PDF 1063.54KB) and payment is made in accordance with the payment schedules.

Pricing is based on the number of loaded kilometres (when students are present in the vehicle) taking into account the required vehicle category and whether an Assisted Travel Support Officer is present.

Sedan

  • Seats 1–4 passengers, excluding the driver's seat
  • The vehicle must have a fixed roof, four doors to allow passengers access, have working childproof door locks and be fitted with a functioning air conditioner.

People Mover

  • Seats between 5–7 passengers, excluding the driver's seat
  • The vehicle must have a fixed roof, four doors to allow passengers access, have working childproof door locks and be fitted with a functioning air conditioner.
  • Examples of types of vehicles matching this category include Toyota Tarago, Kia Carnival, Kia Rondo, Chrysler Grant, Voyager Renault, Grand Scenic, Volkswagen Caddy, Maxi Life, Volkswagen Multi Van, Citroen Grand C4 Picasso, Mercedes-Benz R-Class.

Mini Bus

  • Seats 8–12 passengers, excluding the driver's seat
  • The vehicle must have a fixed roof, four doors to allow passengers access, have working childproof door locks and be fitted with a functioning air conditioner.
  • Examples of types of vehicles matching this category include Toyota Hi Ace, Ford Transit, Volkswagen Transporter, Fiat Ducato II.

Maxi Bus

  • Seats 13–16 passengers, excluding the driver's seat
  • The vehicle must have a fixed roof, four doors to allow passengers access, have working childproof door locks and be fitted with a functioning air conditioner.
  • Examples of types of vehicles matching this category include Toyota Coaster and Mitsubishi Rosa.

Wheelchair Vehicle 1–3

  • Accommodates 1–3 passengers in wheelchairs and regular seating, excluding the driver's seat
  • The modification to this vehicle category must comply with Australian/New Zealand Standard™ AS/NZS 10542.1:2009 Technical systems and aids for disabled or handicapped persons – Wheelchair tie down and occupant-restraint systems and test methods for all systems or such other standards issued in replacement of the above from time to time.
  • The vehicle must have a fixed roof, four doors to allow passengers access, have working childproof door locks and be fitted with dual functioning air conditioner.
  • This vehicle may be fitted with additional seats to carry passengers that do not travel in a wheelchair.

Wheelchair Vehicle 4+

  • Accommodates 4+ (i.e., four or more) passengers in wheelchairs and regular seating, excluding the driver's seat
  • This vehicle must comply with all the same requirements as a Wheelchair Vehicle 1–3
  • If additional seating exists on the vehicle the department may allocate seated students up to the capacity of the vehicle.

The ASTP will not accept vehicles over 15 years of age. The only exception to this is where a critical vehicle category is required.

The ASTP will assess the requirement based on student transport needs. An example of a critical vehicle category is a wheelchair vehicle which is a modified vehicle outside a standard vehicle configuration. This vehicle would have an approved engineering certificate approved by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).

This vehicle would be approved for transporting passengers in wheelchairs providing it meets vehicle category minimum standards (i.e., dual air conditioning, seatbelts, childproof locks).

If the ASTP decides to review an application for exemption for a vehicle based on a critical need, it will advise the contractor that a vehicle inspection is required.

The ASTP has nominated authorised inspection stations throughout NSW. Vehicles over 15 years of age will not be accepted for use by ASTP if the vehicle fails the authorised inspection process.

A third party will conduct vehicle inspections. These inspections will be conducted at the contractor's cost.

The ASTP has organised for RMS inspectors to randomly check vehicles and licences of drivers at school locations. These checks may occur during the school year. The ASTP also conducts their own on-site inspections.

Providers are offered a run based on student need. Runs are allocated in accordance with NSW Government procurement policy.

A panel of three senior officers from the ASTP meets twice a year (check the key dates for when these take place) to assess all requests for modifications or additions to the ESP list.

The ESP panel periodically assesses and reviews the ESP list to ensure there is an adequate supply of service providers. Applications for closed transport areas will not be considered.

At the panel meetings, the panel reviews the run capacity of the prospective provider and vehicles offered for service.

Providers who are successfully added to the ESP list have been assessed for their capacity to conduct transport runs.

The ASTP can allocate transport runs up to the maximum capacity of each provider. The run allocation will depend on student need and run allocations to providers may change during the life of the ESP list.

The department gives no guarantee that being added to the ESP list will result in the award of transport contracts.

How to apply

Providers have a broad range of responsibilities – the most important being the safety and welfare of students transported to and from school.

To be on the ESP list, applicants must check the transport area availability (PDF 115.06KB) which shows the demand for contracted services across NSW.

If there is an open or limited transport area, applicants can register their interest for that area by completing the ESP registration form (PDF 411.35KB).

Applications for closed transport areas will not be considered.

Read about the Contract Agreement (PDF 1063.54KB) and schedule of payment rates.

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