Stepping Up Compliance Education


Caravan Industry Association of Australia has rolled out another step in its ongoing program of increasing compliance standards across the caravan industry, with the commencement of salesperson accreditation.

The peak national body for the industry has spent the last decade working with state associations on increasing the focus on awareness of applicable compliance and safety standards which relate to the caravanning industry.

Leading the charge on this has been the highly successful Recreational Vehicle Manufacturing Accreditation Program (RVMAP), symbolised by the RVMAP Key, which is a voluntary Australian Design Rule (ADR) compliance educational and inspection program focussed on safety.

ADRs are the national standards set by the Federal Government around vehicle safety, with the scope of RVMAP centring around the desire to drive down caravan accidents and protecting consumer safety across the country.  Businesses in the RVMAP program commit to consistently supplying RV product that adheres to relevant ADRs and federal compliance regulations and open themselves up to ongoing inspection at the design, manufacture and finished product stage to drive targeted education of regulatory responsibilities.

RVMAP sees a team of industry expert engineers conducting compliance inspections across the country, this year alone the team have already undertaken 458 inspections, while in the last five years (including COVID) the team has opened a staggering 4,635 inspection files.

The success of the program can be seen through a 40% reduction in the past five years on compliance concerns identified and a staggering three times plus less compliance issues on average than manufactured product from outside of RVMAP.  Indeed, based on those inspections conducted in 2022, not one RVMAP manufacturer / importer appeared in the worst 50 for average ADR compliance concerns found.

Building on this success, Caravan Industry Association of Australia has launched Salesperson Accreditation in a pilot phase in March, focussed on ensuring that RV salespersons have a thorough knowledge of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and designed to improve the interaction with consumers at the time of sale.

Salespersons will in addition to completing a knowledge test around the ACL also have to abide by a code of conduct, subject themselves to police checks as required, as well as declaring they have not been convicted of financial crimes in the past or are an undischarged bankrupt.  All of these have been in built into the program to provide additional comfort and safety in dealing with individuals within the caravanning industry.

Customers will be able to recognise those individuals who have achieved salesperson accreditation through a key insignia similar to the RVMAP key.  Those accredited will be issued with a badge with photo, name, identification number and an expiry date, with accreditation requiring to be renewed on an annual basis following the conducting of targeted professional development and ongoing testing of their knowledge of the ACL.  The program will be fully rolled out at the upcoming National Conference in May.

Caravan Industry Association of Australia CEO, Stuart Lamont, said: “as an industry we strive to deliver the best experiences and products for our customers, with salesperson accreditation an important link in this chain as it is at the early stage of the customer journey.”

Stuart reminds customers to look for the “KEY” for their next caravan purchase, as a sign of commitment from the business or individual towards regulatory compliance and safety, and with the roll-out of the salesperson accreditation, he is expecting that customers will start to differentiate between those who have embarked on industry accreditation as opposed to those who have not.

“We expect sales representatives to jump on this education program as a matter of priority with 27 having already successfully completed sales accreditation in the first 10 days of the pilot phase.  We are really excited to be able to provide yet another layer of confidence between the customer and the industry,” said Stuart.