First fully Indigenous owned company becomes accredited

From L to R: Troy Rugless, Alan Edwards Shane Jacobs

From L to R: Troy Rugless (Principal and founder PSGH), Alan Edwards (Federal Safety Commissioner), Shane Jacobs (Principal and founder of PSGH)

On 4 August 2014 Pacific Services Group Holdings Pty Ltd (PSGH) achieved Federal Safety Commissioner (FSC) accreditation and became the first 100% Indigenous owned company to be accredited under the Australian Government Building and Construction OHS Accreditation Scheme.

For Pacific Services Group seeking FSC accreditation was the natural progression of their work with a number of Australian Government agencies, including the Departments of Defence, Human Services and Finance, over the past few years. The company initially approached the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner (OFSC) in February 2014, wanting to know more about the accreditation process and what it would take to succeed. At this stage PSGH had not yet attained AS4801 certification, a prerequisite to applying for FSC accreditation, however it was evident they were committed to safety and to the process. In April 2014 PSGH applied for accreditation and less than four months later achieved it. Cassie McCall, Acting Team Leader of the Audit and Accreditation Team in the OFSC, puts this down to the company’s diligence, responsiveness and collaboration with the Office.

PSGH hopes that being able to tender for and win larger Commonwealth Government funded projects will help them overcome the perception that Indigenous businesses are riskier to work with. Accreditation also presents a new opportunity to lead the way and set new milestones for other Indigenous companies operating in the building and construction industry.

For Mark Coleman, CEO of PSGH, “The FSC accreditation is a game changer for not just PSGH, but for all Government agencies, for years the employment outcomes on federally funded construction projects over $6 million have fallen under the Indigenous Opportunity Policy and the results haven’t been great. PSGH under our Indigenous Enrichment Program has committed to 10% Indigenous employment on our projects, well over the industry average of 2.7%.”

Similarly Troy Rugless, Principal and founder of PSGH believes that, “For years we have been advocating Indigenous businesses are the best employers of Indigenous men and women, we now have the capability to prove that theory correct.”

PSGH currently employs 52 staff in offices located in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory. The company is 100% Indigenous owned and currently has a 35% Indigenous workforce. The company aims to increase this to 50% over the next three years. PSGH is also a member of Supply Nation, a body linking corporate and government organisation with Indigenous suppliers, and is working with them to develop a mentoring programme to help other Indigenous Businesses reach the standard required to work with Commonwealth Government agencies.

If you are considering applying for accreditation more information about the accreditation process can be found on the OFSC website

The PSGH Team with FSC Alan Edwards and OFSC member Julie Rheese

From L to R: Chris Bulmer (Executive Chairman PSGH), Mark Coleman (CEO PSGH), Troy Rugless (Principal and founder PSGH), Alan Edwards (Federal Safety Commissioner), Shane Jacobs (Principal and founder of PSGH), Julie Rheese (OFSC)