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Standards Australia E-News February 2011

In This Edition


An Expert’s Guide to Conformity Assessment

Natural Disasters and Standardisation

2011 Prioritisation and Selection Process

Residential Slabs and Footings

IEC 1906 Award


ISO Strategic Plan 2011 – 2015

ISO Award for Higher Education in Standardisation

Standards Australia Principal Sponsor of Design Awards

Drafts Open for Comment

Recently Published Standards

An Expert’s Guide to Conformity Assessment

Measurement and product specification testing is an all important phase in ensuring quality, consumer confidence and brand reputation. Standards Australia produces and maintains thousands of standards, a vast majority of which contain specified requirements for products or services. There are several sets of requirements that might be specified in standards, with conformity assessment a significant part of this. Graeme Drake and Don Gray have prepared a detailed article on conformity assessment, outlining its critical role in the Standardisation process, which can be viewed here.

Natural Disasters and Standardisation

It has been a challenging start to the year for many Australians impacted by natural disasters, with floods ravaging Queensland and Victoria, as well as devastating fires in Western Australia.

These events were timely reminders that we cannot be complacent in ensuring that our Standards reflect best practice and integrate the latest in technological advancements.

Standards Australia maintains a number of Australian Standards covering construction practices for houses and other structures relating to bushfire, earthquake and cyclone.

In relation to our Standards referenced in the Building Code of Australia, our technical committees work closely with the Australian Building Codes Board. This ensures these documents are current and contemporary.

Standards Australia is committed to the safety and protection of the community throughout the process of Standards development.

Standards Australia provided a corporate donation to the flood appeal to assist those most in need and support the relief efforts.

2011 Prioritisation and Selection Process

To support the fair and equitable selection of Standards-related activities, a clear and agreed Prioritisation and Selection Process has been developed. It is important to re-affirm to prospective applicants that this process is a rigorous one and open to a wide range of stakeholders.

The process takes place twice a year and will ensure Standards Australia’s resources are allocated where they can deliver greatest benefit to the community, and in a manner that allows Standards Australia to operate on a sustainable basis.

While Standards Australia would like to meet the expectations of all project proponents, it is important to understand that resources are finite and therefore the next round will be strongly competitive. Selection will be based on the strength of the Net Benefit case; robustness of the project proposal; stakeholder consultation and support.

The submission period for the second prioritisation round will open on 28 February 2011 with a closing date for submissions of 29 April 2011.

All proposals under Standards Australia’s development pathways must be submitted using the appropriate proposal form. Proposals to:

  develop, revise or amend Australian (or joint Australian/New Zealand) Standards, or other documents should use the Proposal Form - Standards Development Projects
  participate in international standards development activities through ISO or IEC should use the Proposal Form - International Participation
  adopt new or existing ISO or IEC International Standards should use the Proposal Form - Direct Text Adoption

Stakeholders should note that projects which did not receive approval in the previous round will not automatically be included in the second round. Therefore applications from the previous round, which did not proceed, should reapply.

Workshops on how to participate in the second round project prioritisations will be held throughout March and April in the following cities:

  Melbourne 11 March 2011   Sydney 14 March 2011
  Brisbane 16 March 2011   Canberra 17 March 2011
  Perth 4 April 2011   Adelaide 8 April 2011

New projects will commence early in the 2011/12 financial year. If you require further information please contact a National Sector Manager on 1800 035 822 or email

Residential Slabs and Footings

AS 2870 Residential Slabs and FootingsStandards Australia has announced key changes to the revised Standard for Residential Slabs and Footings (AS 2870) following an extensive stakeholder review.

Throughout early February, Standards Australia conducted seminars to provide detailed technical advice with a broad range of participants attending. The seminars were held at participating universities in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Hobart, Perth and Adelaide.

The revised Standard will place more emphasis on description and specification of the design and construction requirements necessary to limit the occurrence of abnormal moisture conditions; provide extensive advice on design and construction to minimise the effects of aggressive soils, including highly saline soils and acid sulphate soils; be extended to include informative appendices on deep footing systems and design for particular tree effects.

Standards Australia places on record our thanks to Eric Fox and Dr Don Cameron for providing their expertise as seminar presenters more

IEC 1906 Award

Created in 2004 by the International Electrotechnical Commission Executive Committee, the 1906 Award was established in commemoration of the IEC’s year of foundation and honours IEC technical experts around the world whose work is fundamental to the IEC.

The award also recognizes exceptional and recent achievement related to the activities of the IEC and which contributes in a significant way to advancing the IEC.

The IEC National Committee presented the Australian award recipient for 2010, Edward Spooner, with his award. Mr Spooner has been associated with Technical Committee 82 and its various working groups for many years. He has taken on tasks in Working Group 6, the Joint Working Group, and was recently appointment Convener of Working Group 3. His extensive knowledge of electrical engineering, and especially the subset of photovoltaic, has been extremely valuable to TC 82 in its writing of Standards. His ability to work with other Technical Committees, making certain out activities are in harmony with their standards, is outstanding.

To learn more about the IEC 1906 Award visit here

ISO Strategic Plan 2011 – 2015

Strategic planning has formed an important part of the International Organization of Standardization business model over the past five years. The ISO Strategic Plan 2005 – 2010 has meant that the organization has achieved substantial progress, with improved publication development times and an increased number of partnerships being some of the major benefits. The ISO Strategic Plan 2011 - 2015 promises similar progress, with seven landmark objectives outlined:

  ISO deliverables meet customer needs
  ISO Standards promote innovation and provide solutions to address global challenges
  The capacity and participation of developing countries in international standardization is significantly enhanced
  ISO excels in reaching out to and engaging stakeholders
  ISO fosters partnerships that further increase the value and efficient development of International Standards
  ISO and its processes are significantly improved
  ISO and the value of voluntary International Standards are clearly understood by customers, stakeholders and the general public.

For more information and to view the ISO’s 2011 – 2015 Strategic Plan visit here

ISO Award for Higher Education in Standardisation

StudentsISO is continuing its encouragement of standardisation as a topic for future managers, scientists and engineers by launching the third edition of its award for successful standardisation programmes in higher education.

The 2011 ISO Award for Higher Education in Standardisation aims to raise awareness of the importance of standardisation worldwide by supporting institutions of higher education that have developed and implemented successful programs related to standardisation as a tool to access world markets, transfer technology and promote good business practice and sustainable development.

The award is in line with the ISO Strategic Plan 2011-2015, which calls for action to strengthen cooperation with educational institutions through development of curricula on standardisation and academic contributions to the standards development process.

The winners of the two previous awards were, respectively, universities in China and in The Netherlands.

Standards Australia becomes Principal Sponsor of Australian International Design Awards

Australian International Design AwardsAs part of its ongoing commitment to promoting excellence in design and innovation, Standards Australia has become the Principal Sponsor of the prestigious Australian International Design Awards, which is now a division of Good Design Australia.

“The Australian International Design Awards has a rich history and Standards Australia is pleased to be supporting this important tradition,” said Colin Blair, Chief Executive Officer, Standards Australia.

Mr Blair said the Australian International Design Awards has been rewarding excellence in design and innovation for more than 50 years.

Entry to the 2011 Australian International Design Awards are now open and are due to close on Thursday, 31 March 2011. For more information visit

Drafts Open for Comment

An important stage in the development of an Australian Standard is the Public Comment period in which Drafts are made publicly available in order for members of the general public to contribute their views on the content. The Public Comment period is usually open for two to three months.

A list of Drafts currently open for comment is provided here.

Recently Published Standards

Standards are the result of the collective efforts of many individuals. Standards Australia appreciates the time invested by Committee Members to create the Standards. A sample of recently published Standards include:

  AS/NZS 2416.1 - Water safety signs and beach safety flags - Part 1: Specifications for water safety signs used in workplaces and public areas (ISO 20712-1:2008, MOD)
  AS/NZS 5601.1 - Gas installations - Part 1: General installations
  AS/NZS 5601.2 - Gas installations - Part 2: LP Gas installations in caravans and boats for non-propulsive purposes
  AS 2870 - Residential Slabs and Footings
  AS 4825 - Tunnel fire safety

View the full list of recently published Australian Standards here.