Performance Based Standards (PBS) Scheme Review

As a result of the 2017 PBS Marketplace Report produced by the National Transport Commission (NTC), the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has commenced a review of the PBS scheme.


The first element of the review is a review of tyre management practices in the PBS Scheme.

The NHVR has also commenced a review of the PBS standard.

The NHVR has released a draft of the first three standards related to:

  • Directional Stability Under Braking
  • Pavement Horizontal Loading
  • Frontal Swing

Following the completion of the first stage, the remainder of the PBS standards will be reviewed in the second stage of the review.


The PBS scheme has been in operation since 2007 and is designed to allow safer and more productive vehicles which would otherwise be denied access or have restricted access to access more of the Australian road system.

In 2017 the NTC commenced a review of the PBS scheme which resulted in the PBS marketplace report which was published in August 2017.

This report contained a number of recommendations including a review of the PBS standards. These recommendations were agreed to be Ministers in May 2018.

HVIA had been critical of a couple of aspects of the PBS scheme for some time including concerns over the antiquated deemed to comply provisions in the Braking Standard and the Treatment of Tyres under the PBS scheme.

This resulted in HVIA releasing a PBS braking Policy in August 2016 (link) and a discussion on the PBS tyre issue at the 2018 Comvec Conference.

In November 2018 the NHVR appointed Dr John de Pont to lead a review of PBS tyre standards and operations.

What HVIA is doing

HVIA has also commenced a review of the PBS standards. The first stage of the review is looking at the standards relating to:

  • Directional Stability Under Braking
  • Pavement Horizontal Loading
  • Frontal Swing

As at December 2019, the regulator has produced a first draft of these standards.

The second stage of the review will look at the remaining standards.

The NHVR conducted an information session for industry on the review in May 2019 and industry is awaiting the results of Dr de Pont’s report due in December 2019.

Please Contact HVIA’s National Manager Policy and Government Relations, Greg Forbes or 0437923755 for further information.

Latest news on PBS

PBS notice takes a step in the right direction

29 October 21

The heavy vehicle industry has welcomed the NHVR’s announcement of a new gazette notice that reduces reliance on permits for some Performance Based Standards (PBS) vehicles.


New PBS access notice provides permit-free travel

27 October 21

A new notice delivered by the NHVR will give eligible Performance Based Standards (PBS) vehicles immediate network access when they receive a vehicle approval with a Tier 1 bridge assessment.


Industry Celebrates as PBS Tyre Changes Given Green Light

2 August 21

Trailer manufacturers, tyre manufacturers and suppliers, heavy vehicle operators and PBS assessors will all win once the decision by the Infrastructure and Transport Ministers Meeting (ITMM) to use generic tyre data in PBS assessments is fully implemented.


NHVR’s pledge to fix PBS

23 April 21

HVIA’s urgent call to action for the NHVR to fix PBS approval timelines has seen a swift response.


NHVR response on PBS application processing times

22 April 21

The following communique was issued by NHVR Vehicle Safety & Performance Director Peter Austin on 22 April, responding to HVIA’s earlier plea to solve the PBS approvals crisis.


PBS Delays Hurting Industry

13 April 21

HVIA has today issued an urgent and passionate plea to the National Heavy Vehicle Industry Regulator to solve the Performance Based Standards approvals crisis.


PBS standard for Directional Stability Under Braking

3 February 21

The NHVR has released a discussion paper on the transition arrangements for implementing the new deemed to comply provisions for the PBS standard related to Directional Stability Under Braking.


Transitioning PBS to the NHVR Portal

3 February 21

The NHVR are moving all regulator services and functions into a common platform – providing one location for regulator service delivery.


10,000 PBS vehicles is only the beginning

17 June 20

Australia’s benchmark setting Performance Based Standards (PBS) scheme has celebrated its 10,000th vehicle approval recently. HVIA says it is only the beginning of the quest for a safer more productive fleet.


Updated working arrangements for the NHVR PBS team

25 March 20

In response to the current COVID-19 situation affecting the country, the NHVR PBS team will be transitioning to a work from home model starting Monday 30 March 2020.


PBS tyre report recommendations on the table

29 January 20

A review of tyre management practice in the Australian PBS system recommends a system based around the use of standard tyre characteristics for all PBS assessments.


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