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In This Edition

 

Business, Global Growth and the Role of Standards

Second Annual Nominating Organisation Forums

Standards to Boost Energy Productivity

Solar Standards Featured at Clean Energy Week

IT Security Opportunities for Australian Stakeholders

ISO Committee Draft Now Available

 

Young Leaders Program 2014–15 Kicks Off

Sector Updates

Drafts Open for Comment

Special Feature: Strengthening New Zealand’s Standards System – Transition Project Update

Business, Global Growth and the Role of Standards

On 17th and 18th July I attended the Business20 (B20) Forum in Sydney.

 

The B20 is “a forum through which the private sector produces policy recommendations for the annual meeting of the Group of 20 (G20) leaders. The B20 brings together business leaders from across G20 member countries to reflect the key role of the private sector as the main driver of strong, sustainable and balanced growth.”

In Australia the B20 succinctly stated its mission as “Business wants to invest, grow and create jobs. Governments help by aligning policy to these goals and removing multilateral and domestic roadblocks.”

Coming out of the B20 in 2014 there were 5 key messages:

1. The urgent goal is growth and jobs;
2. G20 is the right forum to pursue this goal;
3. G20 has set a realistic and necessary growth target;
4. B20 has identified policy principles to meet the target; and
5. B20 recommendations require collective agreement and unilateral action by the G20.

I attended the B20 Trade session led by Andrew Mackenzie, CEO BHP Billiton, which was an excellent session that recognised international trade as the world’s growth engine with trade liberalisation being an important element in trade facilitation. The meeting heard that making trade easier has the possibility to enable healthier, wealthier, smarter and safer societies.

As I reflected on these messages I realised that standards – Australian Standards and international standards – are an important part of the infrastructure that needs to be in place to facilitate trade and contribute to this important global goal.

The reason for my conclusion is the role standards play as a critical strategic tool to help companies tackle some of the most demanding challenges of modern business. Standards help companies operate as efficiently as possible, they contribute to increased productivity and help companies access new markets. The sort of tangible benefits that accrue to companies include:

Cost savings – Standards help optimise operations and therefore improve the bottom line;
Enhanced customer satisfaction – Standards help improve quality, enhance customer satisfaction and increase sales;
Access to new markets – Standards help prevent trade barriers and open up global markets;
Increased market share – Standards help increase productivity and competitive advantage; and
Environmental benefits – Standards help reduce negative impacts on the environment.

I hope that as business and government works on removing multilateral and domestic roadblocks they look to voluntary, consensus based technical standards as part of the toolkit for these efforts.

—Dr Bronwyn Evans, CEO

Second Annual Nominating Organisation Forums

 

In early July, Standards Australia hosted the second annual Nominating Organisation Forums in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne. Key Nominating Organisations were invited to offer their views on improving the process for stakeholders in standards development.

Rob Steele, Secretary General of International Organization for Standardization (ISO), attended each session and presented on ISO’s Strategic Plan development and ISO generally. Standards Australia staff led discussions on the organisation’s vision and strategy, international work, standards development and engagement.

Standards Australia was able to gather valuable feedback and how to better support Nominating Organisations. A summary of the Forums will be prepared for attendees and the Standards Development Committee.

Standards to Boost Energy Productivity

 

On 3 July, Standards Australia hosted an important forum to discuss how Australia can boost energy productivity through standards.

Attendees included representatives from government, industry and consumers. The forum explored how energy productivity standards can support sustainable and competitive Australian industries and energy markets. The group agreed that standards play an important role in achieving this objective and the relevance of standards in light of the Government's Energy White Paper, which is scheduled to be published before the end of 2014.

A presentation was provided by Albert Dessi, a representative from the Australian Government and Chair on Standards Australia's committee, EN-001 Energy Audits. Mr Dessi provided an overview on the soon-to-be-published AS/NZS 3598 Energy Audits which will enable companies to change the way they use energy in commercial buildings, industrial and transport operations. They will provide an important framework to identify and implement energy efficiency measures to lower consumption and costs, improve productivity and reduce demand for energy network infrastructure.

Presentations were also given by the following EN-001 committee member experts on each part of AS/NZS 3598:

Paul Bannister, Energy Efficiency Council – Part 1: Commercial building operations and maintenance
Gordon Weiss, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Part 2: Industrial and related activities
Mark McKenzie, Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce – Part 3: Transport related activities

The forum ended with a presentation and discussion on international standards such as ISO 50001 Energy management systems – Requirements with guidance for use. The group noted the importance of Australia contributing to and aligning with international standards.

Solar Standards Featured at Clean Energy Week

 

Solar, safety and standards were an important focus at this year’s Clean Energy Week held 22–25 July 2014 in Sydney. Over 350 solar installers gathered for a ‘Professional Development Day’ to hear about important updates on Australian Standards presented by Standards Australia committee members.

Sandy Atkins from the Clean Energy Council presented on the changes in AS/NZS 5033 Installation and safety requirements for photovoltaic (PV) arrays which is due to be published in the coming months. The key changes include revised definitions around restricted access, HD conduit requirements for DC cables, DC conditioning units, and changes to the earthing requirements.

Michelle Taylor, a representative of the Energy Networks Association, presented on the ongoing revision of AS/NZS 4777 Grid connection of energy systems via inverters, particularly in regards to changes to inverters and installation requirements.

The presentations were followed by a lively discussion chaired by Ted Spooner, the Chair of Standards Australia’s committee on renewable energy power supply systems. The dialogue with industry emphasised the importance of these standards to the clean energy industry.

For more information and to access the presentations please see: http://www.cleanenergyweek.com.au/presentations/pd-day.html

IT Security Opportunities for Australian Stakeholders

Standards Australia is currently reconstituting its national mirror committee to ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC 27 Information Technology Security Techniques. There is now an opportunity for additional peak organisations and experts to participate and contribute to the development of international standards. The scope of the Sub-Committee covers standardisation of generic IT security services and techniques such as:

Security requirements capture methodology;
Management of information and ICT security; in particular information security management systems (ISMS), security processes, security controls and services;
Cryptographic and other security mechanisms, including but not limited to mechanisms for protecting the accountability, availability, integrity and confidentiality of information;
Security management support documentation including terminology, guidelines as well as procedures for the registration of security components;
Security aspects of identity management, biometrics and privacy;
Conformance assessment, accreditation and auditing requirements in the area of information security; and
Security evaluation criteria and methodology.

Interested organisations and experts can contact Mr Damian Fisher, Senior International Development Manager on damian.fisher@standards.org.au or telephone 02 9237 6098 for more information.

ISO Committee Draft Now Available

ISO 45001, which sets requirements for occupational health and safety management systems, has now reached Committee Draft stage.

This draft standard, inspired by the well-known OHSAS 18001, is designed to help companies and organisations around the world ensure the health and safety of the people who work for them.

Learn more from the ISO website
 
     
 
 

Young Leaders Program 2014–15 Kicks Off

The 2014–15 Standards Australia Young Leaders Program was formally opened on Monday 14 July 2014. Ten talented young professionals were selected from a pool of 25 applicants. The Young Leaders Program provides formal training in drafting standards, facilitation, negotiation and leadership. Participants are paired with an experienced mentor and are given the opportunity to attend relevant technical committee meetings for active standards development projects.

The introductory day consisted of a training session and cocktail event, providing the new intake of Young Leaders with an overview of Standards Australia and its products and processes, an interactive committee simulation, and an introduction to the mentoring program and their mentors.

Standards Australia is looking forward to working with the Young Leaders and their industry mentors during the 2014 program, which consists of two more formal sessions at Standards Australia, the mentoring program and committee participation, along with further consultation and feedback on topical issues. Two of the Young Leaders from the Energy and Electrotechnology sector will also be selected to attend the IEC General Assembly as Australia’s IEC Young Professionals.

Sector Updates

Read about the latest standards development news in your industry sector in our monthly Sector Updates. You will find information on approved standards development projects, draft standards for public comment, and recently published documents here

Drafts Open for Comment

The public comment process is an important part of standards development, providing an opportunity for stakeholders and members of the public to make valuable contributions. A summary of draft standards currently open for comment is available here

 
 
 

Strengthening New Zealand’s Standards System – Transition Project Update

 
In the May 2014 edition of E-News, we reported on the New Zealand Government's 2014 decision that the Standards Council be disestablished and a new standards body established within the government agency the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. This decision followed a policy review of New Zealand’s standards and conformance infrastructure. It was determined that the new body would have an independent statutory board – established by legislation and not subject to the direction of ministers – and an independent statutory officer role. Standards would continue to be developed by technical expert committees according to a set of criteria specified in regulations.

On 22 July, the Minister of Commerce, Craig Foss, introduced to Parliament the legislation required to disestablish the Standards Council. Key aspects of the Standards and Accreditation Bill include:

Establishing a new independent statutory board to approve New Zealand standards;
Ensuring independent standards development committees will continue to comprise industry and technical experts, consumer representatives, and regulators;
Establishing a new independent statutory officer within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to oversee the development of standards; and
Amending the Copyright Act to preserve existing intellectual property in standards.

The Bill will now make its way through the legislative process – this will be longer than usual due to the New Zealand general election in September – and, until it is enacted, it is business as usual for Standards New Zealand as we continue to develop, publish, and market standards that meet the needs of New Zealand society and business. This includes developing New Zealand standards and joint Australian/New Zealand standards with Standards Australia, and adopting standards from other national and international bodies to become New Zealand standards. It also includes:

Delivering professional services related to standards and standardisation;
Managing copyright agreements with other national standards bodies;
Responding to queries from the users of standards; and
Engaging with industry and regulators to promote standardisation and ensure that standards remain fit for purpose.

There is more information and a link to the Bill on the Standards New Zealand website