Transport Infrastructure Product Evaluation Scheme (TIPES)
The ARRB Group is pleased to introduce ‘TIPES’ the Transport Infrastructure Product Evaluation Scheme into the Australian road sector. TIPES is a process aimed at providing an independent fit-for-purpose assessment of innovative road construction products such as; non-traditional stabilizers, ultra-thin surfacing products, pothole fillers, etc. It is intended for the evaluation of products that fall outside the scope of established standards and specifications.
Internationally, there are various examples of successful national technical assessment schemes for road construction products. Such schemes provide road agencies with objective assessments of product performance, while providing the proponents of innovative products with a mechanism to gain market acceptance.
TIPES was originally developed by the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads. ARRB took over administration of the TIPES process with the objective to develop a single national product evaluation scheme, thus reducing the need for separate evaluations of an applicant’s product for multiple agencies. Although other road agencies have operated their own approval schemes for particular applications, TIPES is now a national scheme that has been endorsed by all Australian state and territory road agencies. It has also gained support from the Queensland Local Roads Alliance, Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) and Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia Queensland (IPWEA QLD).
“The aim of TIPES is the establishment of a national process for all Australian state and territory road agencies to follow when adopting new technology, thus creating a pool of approved products for all agencies to use.” says Peter Damen General Manager of Research and Consulting at ARRB GROUP. “In doing this we can have a safe and reliable point of reference as well as a standardisation of processes administered by one independent body”.
In addition to road construction products, ARRB has been developing other areas of product evaluation in particular road traffic devices and intelligent transport systems, with the aim of increasing the scope of TIPES. Considerable work has been undertaken by ARRB on decision-support guidelines and processes for the TIPES scheme.
Local governments are encouraged to ask prospective suppliers to provide a TIPES certificate of registration where a new or substantially modified product is being considered for use. Likewise, product developers are being encouraged to seek an assessment of their products through TIPES.