Skip to main content

You are using an outdated browser and this site may not work as expected.

For a safer and faster user experience use a modern browser like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, or Edge. See here for details.

Program

Extensive development work and research informed AuSAP’s program of work

About

The development of the Australian Safety Assessment Program (AuSAP) involved nearly 12 months of research and investigation (2020/2021) into standards, regulations, policy, programs and products.

The review included understanding prescribing practices of Australian allied health professionals and our knowledge about the safety and performance of restraint options outlined in AS/NZS 4370, including:

Further, MACA's national survey identified harnesses/vests as the most commonly prescribed device by Australian allied health professionals, and were therefore included in the development of the program.

Scope of work

The review identified that the AuSAP program should include special purpose car seats, modified car seats and harnesses/vests.

Australians standard car seats were not included as they are already adequately supported by Australian standards, and the Child Restraint Evaluation Program.

The Expert Committee identified significant gaps in research and knowledge relating to modified car seats and harnesses/vests, requiring further research prior to assessment and testing. Therefore AuSAP’s first assessment activities focused on special purpose car seats.

Half circle icon

Special purpose car seats

The AuSAP program development, and MACA's national survey, revealed that the current products available in the Australian market were not meeting the range of user needs.

A desktop review of special purpose car seats available in Australia and globally was undertaken. This review found six products available in Australia, and a further nine for consideration from the global market.

MACA worked with Australian importers to seek their interest in participating in AuSAP and introducing or increasing their special purpose car seat range. During this process, the project team discovered that many importers had faced barriers to introducing special purpose car sets in Australia. The lack of knowledge about special purpose car seats and oversight in Australian standards, policy and legislation has deterred industry from supplying products to the Australian market.

In 2021, MACA issued an Expression of Interest to participate in AuSAP, which resulted in all current and potential new importers of special purpose car seats signing up and committing to the program. You can read more about the participants here.

Half circle icon

Research and knowledge gaps

Modified car seats

In response to the gaps in research and knowledge, NeuRA offered a PhD scholarship to investigate modified car seats and allied health professional practice.

Harnesses/vests

MACA sought funding to undertake research and investigation into harnesses and vests and has recently commenced a two year Austroads project for both Australia and New Zealand.

MACA is undertaking this Austroads project in partnership with The George Institute for Global Health.

Half circle icon
Aboriginal flag
Torres Strait Islands flag

We pay respect to the Traditional Custodians of all lands, past, present & future. We honour our Elders and nurture all young people.