Scoop1261 and all.
The question of comparisons between the ARA's HPR certification protocols and those of the TRA, NAR etc has been raised on a number of occasions, and I've personally had a few long chats on the matter of the Thunda event and the acceptance or otherwise of ARA certified members for participation.
The standards in place and used by the ARA for HPR certification are detailed in the Association's 'Blue Book' - publicly avaialble for scrutiny at: http://www.australianrocketryclub.com.au/downloads/bluebook.pdf
As you know, like the TRA, NAR and others, these standards are not based in legislation - they are a protocol put in place for self-regulation of safety and procedural matters. From a regulatory standpoint, it is the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and whatever agency regulates the use of explosives in the particular state concerned (i.e. WorkCover NSW) that have relevant jurisdictional control under law. Both agencies have accepted the ARA's provisions as sufficient to meet the appropriate safety standards for conduct of HPR operations.
Back to the question asked - Three CRG members were certified L1 at our first launch in April 2013. The successful certification attempts were conducted in accordance with the procedures in the Blue Book and overseen by two ARA approved FTOs. Subsequently during our July event, two more members conducted sucessful L1 certification attempts, again per the Blue Book procedures and overseen by two ARA approved FTOs.
From my perspective, I'd be very happy to have an unbiased and professional discussion with anyone over the differences in the various standards, and specifically, how those differences would lead to such deficiency in competency that people certified to those standards should be excluded from an event run by another organisation.
As a safety professional myself (aviation) I'm quite satisfied that the ARA's procedures are quite effective in establishing and maintaining the necessary competencies for profficient and safe high power rocketry operations, and I'm sure that my colleagues in the CRG would not be satisfied otherwise.
Trust that this long answer to a short question assists. Grab me via PM if you'd like to follow up. Happy to yak.
Coordinator, Canberra Rocketry Group