FAQs

If you have questions about AUS-SPEC, you may find the answers here. Otherwise please contacts us.

Q. Can AUS-SPEC be distributed?
A. AUS-SPEC is a subscription-based service and restrictions apply to distribution of AUS-SPEC material and
AUS-SPEC based material.

  • A council that subscribes to AUS-SPEC may distribute non-editable, project specific AUS-SPEC based specifications to contractors engaged to construct works for that Council.
  • A council that subscribes to AUS-SPEC may distribute non-editable AUS-SPEC based reference documents to consultants undertaking design work for that Council or works that Council later accepts e.g. residential subdivisions.
  • A council that subscribes to AUS-SPEC may not distribute AUS-SPEC specification worksections to consultants engaged to prepare an AUS-SPEC-based specification. It must be a condition of engagement that consultants engaged by Council to prepare an AUS-SPEC-based specification subscribe to the relevant AUS-SPEC package. Subscribers are listed on aus-spec.com.au/subscribers/

Councils wishing to place PDF versions of specification on a website are requested to do so within a secure section requiring registration. This does not necessitate individual passwords.

Q.What is the status of pre-2007 AUS-SPEC licences?
A. NATSPEC has no responsibility regarding pre-September 2007 licences. In 2007 The Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA), Standards Australia and NATSPEC announced the engagement of NATSPEC to update, develop and distribute the AUS-SPEC range of specifications for local government. The partnership between IPWEA and NATSPEC builds on NATSPEC’s strong history and specialised expertise in the specification field. This allows AUS-SPEC to be updated annually and further developed to meet the evolving needs of its subscribers into the future. 

Q. How does the numbering and naming of AUS-SPEC documents pre-September 2007 relate to the current National Classification System?
A. Pre-2007 AUS-SPEC numbers are listed against current National Classification System, together with their package location, in this Comparison table.

Q. Where do I find AUS-SPEC # 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6A and 6B?
A. AUS-SPEC # 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6A and 6B are now part of different AUS-SPEC packages. Refer to the Comparison table.

Q. Where can I find 306U?
A. 306U Road openings and restorations utilities was part of the superseded AUS-SPEC#1. It is now aligned to the National Classification System with the new classification number of 1152 Road openings and restorations (Utilities). Refer to the Comparison table.

Q. What is included in each AUS-SPEC package?
A. There are 8 AUS-SPEC packages, including: Complete (which includes all material from all packages); Contracts; Urban and open spaces; Buildings; Roadworks and bridges; Rural roads; Public utilities and Maintenance.

Worksection Templates are updated annually in October. For a complete list of worksection Templates included with each package and a comparison of packages, see the National Worksection Matrix.

Each AUS-SPEC package also includes extensive supporting information to assist with the preparation of your specification including:

  • Worksection PDFs: Fully searchable PDFs of each Workgroup in your package.
  • TECHguides: Guidelines for preparing specifications, tender and contract documentation.
  • Reference specifications and checklists and schedules.
  • Case studies, instructional guides, conference papers.

Q. Can I buy a single worksection?
A. AUS-SPEC worksections can be purchased individually for $99 (including GST). Worksections purchased individually will not be updated and it is the purchaser’s responsibility to make sure they are using the latest version. To purchase individual worksections, use the Publication Order Form

Q.What is SPECbuilder?
A. SPECbuilder is a browser-based specification compilation program that allows draft specifications to be compiled from online master files. This draft specification is then downloaded and edited locally. It is compatible with all versions of Windows, Mackintosh and Linus operating systems. Subscribers can access SPECbuilder through the AUS-SPEC or NATSPEC home pages. SPECbuilder guide, a step-by-step guide is also available as part of subscriber resources. SPECbuilder guide, is a step-by-step guide

See NATSPEC FAQS for SPECbuilder how-to videos.

Q. How do I know whether a worksection is NATSPEC or AUS-SPEC?
A. National Classification workgroups that include both AUS-SPEC (Local Government Specification) and NATSPEC (National Building Specification) worksections, identify AUS-SPEC by the suffix (AUS SPEC). When using SPECbuilder to compile a draft specification, all worksections are prefixed by either an ‘A’ for AUS-SPEC or ‘N’ for NATSPEC. 

  • Workgroup 00: AUS-SPEC planning and design worksections only.
  • Workgroups 01 – 03: NATSPEC and AUS-SPEC building construction worksections.
  • Workgroups 04 – 09: NATSPEC building construction worksections.
  • Workgroups 11-13: AUS-SPEC construction worksections only.
  • Workgroups 11-18: AUS-SPEC maintenance worksections only.

For further queries on SPECbuilder click here

The NATSPEC FAQs  will answer the most common questions regarding NATSPEC packages, SPECbuilder and Domestic Online, specification writing and Microsoft Word. 

Q. Can I use AUS-SPEC for different types of contracts?
A. Yes. The AUS-SPEC system includes procedures for developing and compiling documentation to address the following contract requirements:

  • Conditions of contract (Tendering).
  • Quality control: Quality System (Assurance) or Integrated Management System Control.
  • Method of Payment: Schedule of Rates or Lump Sum.

Q. What are AUS-SPEC Reference specifications?
A. The following 3 Reference specifications available to AUS-SPEC subscribers:

  • AUS-SPEC Design Reference Specification and Checklists: The AUS-SPEC Design Reference is for design of roads and associated infrastructure by rural Councils. The Design reference specification is available in PDF format and the checklists in word format. The checklists can be used to verify that all the design requirements have been addressed, provide a record of the design processes and allow flexibility of additional design criteria to be integrated into the process as necessary. The scoring sheet included provides a guide to make an assessment to seal an unsealed road. It is based on the traffic, rainfall, defects and availability of material and haulage.
  • AUS-SPEC Construction Reference Specification and Schedules: The AUS-SPEC Construction Reference is for construction of roads and associated infrastructure by rural Councils. The Construction reference specification is available in PDF format and provides essential quality management requirements for the construction of sealed and unsealed road reserves and associated infrastructure. Construction Schedules need to be completed with project specific requirements these include material selection schedules, Summary of hold points and witness points, Maximum lot sizes and test frequencies and pay items.
  • NATSPEC Maintenance reference is available to AUS-SPEC Complete and AUS-SPEC Buildings subscribers for building maintenance and repairs in conjunction with the AUS-SPEC building maintenance framework.

The Reference specifications can be found in SPECbuilder under Subscription downloads/Reference specfications.

Q. What are TECHguides?
A. TECHguides provide roadmaps and examples of documentation for local government projects. They include information on contracts, technical specifications and tender submission requirements. They should be read before starting project documentation. They are included in the Resource Materials/AUS-SPEC folder in SPECbuilder in PDF format.

Q. Can the TECHguides be customised?
A. TECHguides are reference documents and cannot be customised.

Q. Can I customise the worksections?
A. AUS-SPEC worksections are only Templates. For each project the specifier will need to select the appropriate worksections and edit the material to suit the project. This may include deleting inappropriate material or adding text. It is the responsibility of the user to confirm applicability for local conditions and regulations and complete the worksection appropriately.

Q. What do I do if there is no worksection to cover what I require?
A. If the content required for the project does not exist in the current NATSPEC or AUS-SPEC worksections, either add required text to the existing worksections or create new worksections using the NATSPEC structure, terminology and format.
You can create your own worksection based on a similar AUS-SPEC worksection, giving it a four-digit number so that it aligns to the NATSPEC classification structure and is located in the appropriate workgroup.

Q. Can I change the ‘Pay Items’ to align with our internal schedules?
A. Yes. You can change and also add additional pay items to the Pay items clause of each worksection but you need to make sure that the Pay items aligns with the 0151 Schedule of rates worksection.

Q. How do I know what has changed since the last Update?
A. At each Update, you are provided with an Update summary, a fully searchable PDF of the worksections in your package with all changes to text highlighted plus a summary of any changes made to the package e.g., new or reissued worksections. These are available in SPECbuilder under the resource folder in your package.

 

Q. How do I find any additional resources to the AUS-SPEC subscription?
A. AUS-SPEC provides an extensive range of supporting information to assist with the preparation of your specification that can be found under Subscription Downloads/AUS-SPEC additional resources in SPECbuilder.

Q. How can I find more information on Asphalt mixes in AUS-SPEC?
A. AUS-SPEC 1144 Asphalt (Roadways) worksection is endorsed by the Australian flexible Pavement Association (AfPA). Additional guidance on asphalt mixes is provide by AfPA in the 1144c (Roadways) commentary and explanatory notes document, which should be used in conjunction with the 1144 (Roadways) worksection. The commentary is available under Subscription Downloads/AUS-SPEC additional resources in SPECbuilder.

Q. What are AUS-SPEC Schedules?
A.For construction works: The relevant worksections in the following workgroups, include schedules in the Annexures which are specific to the construction activity:

  • 01 GENERAL
  • 02 SITE, URBAN AND OPEN SPACES
  • 03 STRUCTURE
  • 11 CONSTRUCTION – ROAD RESERVE
  • 13 CONSTRUCTION – PUBLIC UTILITIES

For maintenance works: The following maintenance schedules are now available as spreadsheets and includes series of worksheets for various maintenance work activities:

  • 1402 Maintenance schedules – parks and open space
  • 1404 Annexures to parks and open space maintenance plan
  • 1502 Maintenance schedules – Building and facility 
  • 1504 Annexure to Building and Facility plan 
  • 1602 Maintenance schedules – road reserves 

Q. How can I provide feedback or be involved in the AUS-SPEC review process?
A. Simply write to us at aus-spec@natspec.com.au.