How we work

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NICNAS helps protect the Australian people and the environment by assessing the risks of industrial chemicals and providing information to promote their safe use.

NICNAS is a statutory scheme administered by the Australian Government's Department of Health.

Our funding

The full costs of administering NICNAS are recovered through fees and charges paid by industrial chemical importers and manufacturers in accordance with the Australian Government Cost Recovery Guidelines.

The majority of our revenue is generated through chemical registrations and assessments. View a list of our fees.

Fees for services provided to new industrial chemical notifiers, holders of confidence and other parties are based on ‘fee for service’ schedules in accordance with the administered regulations.

Cost Recovery Implementation Statements

In accordance with the Australian Government's revised cost recovery framework (effective 1 July 2015), NICNAS has prepared Cost Recovery Implementation Statements 2018-19, 2017-18, 2016-17 and 2015-16:

Cost Recovery Implementation Statement 2018-19

Cost Recovery Implementation Statement 2017-18

Cost Recovery Implementation Statement 2016-17

Cost Recovery Implementation Statement 2015-16

Proposed new funding model

A new Cost Recovery Model has been proposed for the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS), the scheme that will replace NICNAS under the new industrial chemical laws that are expected to take effect from 1 July 2019, subject to consideration by the Australian Parliament. This discussion paper outlines the proposed funding model.

AICIS Cost Recovery Model discussion paper

Our structure

NICNAS Director

The NICNAS Director is a statutory office holder with specific functions and powers, as well as direct responsibilities to the Minister for Health.

Dr Brian Richards is the current NICNAS Director. Dr Richards was initially appointed for a 5 year term commencing on 27 September 2012, and he was reappointed to the role on 10 August 2017 for a further 5 years.

For more information about the role and responsibilities of the NICNAS Director, see section 90 of the Industrial Chemicals (Notifications and Assessment) Act 1989.


There are 5 program areas at NICNAS with 3 areas focused primarily on scientific assessment.

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Our performance

Regulator Performance Framework

The Regulatory Performance Framework (RPF) is part of the Australian Government's ”Cutting Red Tape” reforms. The RPF is designed to increase efficiency, accountability and provide greater transparency in the way regulators, such as NICNAS, perform their role.

The RPF has identified six outcomes-based key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the performance of regulators. As part of this, we are required to publish an annual Performance Report.

RPF key performance indicators (KPIs):

  1. reducing regulatory burden
  2. effective communications
  3. risk‐based and proportionate approaches
  4. efficient and coordinated monitoring
  5. transparency, and
  6. continuous improvement.

Read more on RPF KPIs and access RPF annual reports

RPF annual reports

Read the NICNAS RPF Self-assessment Report 2016-17 [PDF 165 KB]

Read the NICNAS RPF Self-assessment Report 2016-17 [WORD 141 KB]

Annual reports

Our annual reports outline our operations and outcomes by financial year.

2017-18 annual report

Our 2017-18 report is in the following sections of the Department of Health Annual Report 2017-18:

  • Appendix 3: Report from the Director of the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme on the operation of the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989
  • Outcome 5: Regulation, Safety and Protection

View the Department of Health Annual Report 2017-18

Earlier annual reports

Search annual reports archives for earlier publications

Archived website

The NICNAS website is regularly archived by the National Library of Australia.

View an archived snapshot of the NICNAS website

Last update 15 November 2018