Fact Sheet for Independent AAO Employers


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What is the ‘Independent Employer of AAOs Accreditation Scheme’?

It is a scheme developed by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to provide for the employment of Australian Government Authorised Officers (AAOs) by independent employment providers. Under the Scheme, agencies will supply AAOs to Australian export slaughter establishments to meet EU standards.

Why is the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources​ running the Scheme?

Many countries accept product prepared to the Australian Standards, however where there are additional requirements, the department will develop programs to facilitate trade to those markets.

The European Union requires that post-mortem inspections are performed by inspectors employed by a party other than the food business operation. Therefore to export product to that market, AAOs must be sourced from an Independent Employer.

Who can employ an AAO?

AAOs can be employed by an export registered abattoir or labour hire provider (e.g. independent AAO employer).

For the EU market, AAOs must be employed by an independent AAO employer approved by the department to supply AAOs.

How can you become an Independent employer of AAOs?

Two types of approval exist to be an approved Independent AAO Employer.

  1. Conditional approval to enable a company to gain national accreditation Conditional approval is valid until 31 October 2014. After this date the establishment must meet all the accreditation scheme requirements to be listed as an approved independent AAO employer.
  2. Approval is granted when the applicant’s company is been accredited against all the criteria. Companies must also be able to maintain this accreditation.

Can AAOs sourced from an Independent AAO Employer perform other tasks on the establishment?

An abattoir can use relief AAOs hired by the Independent AAO Employer to conduct other activities provided:

  1. the AAO is not nominated in a position of management and control of the establishment; and
  2. the primary function of the AAO is to perform meat inspection activities

Where can I find information about the Scheme?

Information on the application process for AAOs, including the application form and the Independent Employer of AAOs Accreditation Scheme is available on the department’s website.


To participate in this initiative visit the Independent Employer of AAOs Accreditation Scheme on the department’s website and download the Scheme information.

Departmental Contacts: Assistant Director – Technical Training and Support Systems, Export Meat Program.

Email Mid Ops Coord
Telephone: 02 6272 3933