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In This Edition

 

CEO Report: The Purpose of Our Processes

11th Round of Project Prioritisation Now Open

What’s in the Bulletin?

Second Phase of Aged Standards Review

BSI Study on the Economic Benefits of Standards

New Installation Code for Metal Roof and Wall Cladding

Revised Australian Standard for Installation of Bulk Thermal Insulation

Ensuring SMEs Are Considered When Drafting Standards

 

Forum Outcomes: Powered Wheelchairs and Scooters

Forum Outcomes: Vendor Credentialing for Medical Technology

#SpeakStandards Video Competition

Latest Edition: ISO COPOLCO Consumer Policy Newsletter

CASCO Project on a Certification Scheme for Services

Subscribe to our News Room

International Update

Sector Updates

Drafts Open for Comment

CEO Report: The Purpose of Our Processes


 
The 11th round of Project Prioritisation opened on this past Monday 10 August. The process for prioritisation and selection of proposals was put in place in 2010 to support the equitable selection of Standards-related activities to be taken up by Standards Australia.

The twice-yearly Project Prioritisation process also ensures our resources are allocated where they can deliver greatest net benefit to the Australian community and in a manner that allows us to operate on a sustainable basis. We assess all proposals for the strength of their Net Benefit case; clarity and definition of the scope of work; stakeholder support; and above all the availability of our resources.

To some, it seems onerous to have to “fill out” project proposal forms and cross all the ‘T’s and dot the ‘I’s. We often get questions on whether this process is a true enabler of success or simply more bureaucracy.

The truth is, our project management has become much more streamlined with the introduction of Project Prioritisation. In 2010, just over half of all our projects had a completion time of two years or less. Today, three-quarters of our project portfolio have a project age of 2 years or less.

The project proposal represents a clear and agreed scope of work which reduces misunderstandings. By assessing all proposals against the same benchmarks and resource availability, our Standards Development Committee (SDC) is able to make decisions that better support the work of our Technical Committees, prevent overlaps in work scope, as well as allocate resources and personnel effectively. In the end, all our Committee Members benefit from a more efficient use of their precious time.

Stakeholder consultation is another important pillar of our process. By getting involved early in the development of international standards in new and innovative sectors, we will have a better chance of influencing the outcome and ensuring a level playing field for Australian businesses.

So as you approach this latest round of Prioritisation, remember to think of it as a process, not a form, and call on the advice and assistance of the National Sector Management team. Beyond that, remember that the more time we spend at the beginning of the process, the better results we get on the way through, and the quicker we get to the end.

Thank you for working with us through our processes for the net benefit of Australia.

—Dr Bronwyn Evans, CEO

11th Round of Project Prioritisation Now Open


Australian Standards are living documents that reflect progress in science, technology and systems. To maintain their currency, all Standards are periodically reviewed, and new editions are published. Between editions, amendments may be issued.

Standards Australia welcomes proposals to amend, revise or develop new Australian Standards. The 11th round of project prioritisation opened on Monday 10 August 2015 and will close on Wednesday 23 September 2015. The projects will be considered by the Standards Development Committee (SDC) at its November meeting.

Read more about the process on our website, or speak to one of our National Sector Managers.

What’s in the Bulletin?


Did you know you can find the latest standards development news in your industry sector in our monthly Sector Updates? It is available as a regular section in our Bulletin which is appended to E-News (scroll down!). You will find information on approved standards development projects, draft standards for public comment, and recently published documents.

Also in the Bulletin is our monthly International Update which gives an overview of our activities in international standards development.

Second Phase of Aged Standards Review


Building and Construction, Communications Sectors

Standards Australia is committed to maintaining a contemporary and relevant catalogue of Australian Standards which add net benefit to the Australian community.

We are currently in the second stage of the Aged Standards review where we are seeking the views of the general public, nominating organisations and a broad range of stakeholders about all aged standards that do not fall within the area of oversight of any active technical committee.

Australian Standards which have not been revised for more than 10 years, are not referenced in regulation and do not fall within the area of oversight of any active committee are being proposed to be withdrawn after a period of public consultation. There will be a 9-week consultation period on the list of Australian Standards proposed for withdrawal, which is released in batches and by sector.

The consultation period for Communications and Building & Construction sectors will be starting on 20 August, so please keep a look out for our email notices and E-News.

As announced in our previous editions of E-News and email notices, the consultation period for the first 3 sectors ended on 14 July 2015.

Mining;
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Food; and
Water and Waste Services.

The consultation period for the following 5 sectors will end on 19 August 2015:

Public Safety, Public Administration, Business and Management;
Transport and Logistics;
Consumer Products, Services and Safety;
Health and Community Services; and
Electrotechnology and Energy.

To see a list of Australian Standards proposed for withdrawal, visit our Aged Standards page and click on the relevant sector.

If an Australian Standard on the list is still being used in your industry or community and you object to its withdrawal, we want to hear from you. Please reply to the Aged Standards Team (agedstandards@standards.org.au) specifying which Standard (number, title and publication year) and justification for your concerns.

Please visit our Aged Standards page for more information.

BSI Study on the Economic Benefits of Standards


 
In June, our UK counterparts the British Standards Institute published a study on the economic benefits of standards to the UK economy and to UK businesses. The key findings were that standards contribute towards 28.4% of annual GDP growth and 37.4% of annual productivity growth in the UK, to the tune of £8.2 billion of GDP growth in 2013.

527 individual firms were also surveyed, and it was found that UK companies that use standards were twice as likely to export relative to the average firm of the same size in the whole economy. Standards drive increased export performance of these firms, at an average of 3.2% of additional UK exports per year, worth £6.1 billion in 2014.

The study also highlights that the most productive UK sectors are the most intensive users of standards, with aerospace and defence showing the greatest productivity increases compared to the rest of the economy.

The June study by BSI is one of several that have been undertaken over the years to determine the value of standards. The International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) has worked with countries as Mauritius, Egypt, Jordan, Italy and China to quantify the economic value of standards in specific industries.

In 2006, the Canberra-based Centre for International Economics studied the impact of standards on the Australian economy and found that between 1962 and 2003, the economy’s average growth rate was 3.6%, with standards contributing 0.8% to the annual growth rate. From water and electrical standards alone, economic benefits of around $1.9 billion a year were generated.

You can read the BSI report or watch the Youtube video.

New Installation Code for Metal Roof and Wall Cladding


 
The third edition of Handbook 39, Installation code for metal roof and wall cladding, was published in July 2015 and supersedes the 1997 version.

A joint project between the Victorian Building Authority, the Australian Steel Institute and Standards Australia, the 2015 edition of HB 39 is based on contributions received from installers, manufacturers, educational institutes and industry training organisations, and peer reviewed by Standards Australia Technical Committee WS-014, Plumbing and Drainage.

The intent of the Handbook is to provide guidelines and a code of good practice for industry training providers, the Australian metal roofing installation industry and roofing contractors in any state or territory.

Mr Jarrod Edwards, Director of Technical and Regulation at the Victorian Building Authority, said: “The updated Handbook is a real collaborative effort between the industry, regulators, and practitioners. It aims to provide guidelines to resolve real-world installation problems and I am confident that the Handbook will serve as a useful resource for all in the industry.”

Read about the key updates in the 2015 edition from our News Room (PDF).

Revised Australian Standard for Installation of Bulk Thermal Insulation


 
Standards Australia has published the 2015 edition of AS 3999:2015, Bulk thermal insulation – Installation.

The objective of AS 3999:2015, which supersedes the 1992 version, is to set out requirements on installing insulation for both new dwellings during construction and the retrofitting of existing buildings. The Standard is intended for construction of residential buildings. It also includes requirements for electrical safety and guidance on work health and safety.

Some of the key updates in the revised 2015 edition are:
  • Updated advice on personal safety for insulation installers;
  • Updated requirements aimed at improving the performance of installed insulation and information on new products and technologies; and
  • Introduction of comprehensive detailed drawings to complement the text and to help demonstrate what compliant installations could look like.
The revised Standard was developed by Standards Australia Technical Committee BD‑058, Thermal Insulation.

Read the announcement from our News Room.

Ensuring SMEs Are Considered When Drafting Standards


ISO and IEC have drafted a guide for standards developers to take into account the needs of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) when writing standards.

This guide provides advice to writers of standards in order to avoid the exclusion of SMEs from the market and the distortion of fair competition.

This guide is relevant to all stakeholders involved in standardisation, such as standards writers in working groups (WGs), technical committees (TCs) or sub-committees (SCs) as well as members of national mirror committees. The principles in this guide may not necessarily apply to all standards. Ultimately, standards developers in TCs, SCs and WGs should use these guidelines judiciously, as a tool where applicable, and evaluate how best to address the specific needs of SMEs in their standards.

The guide contains:

a) Considerations for the development of standards that are best adapted to SMEs' needs;
b) Techniques for identifying and assessing provisions in standards that may especially impact SMEs;
c) Ways to reduce negative impacts on SMEs resulting from some provisions in standards;
d) Guidelines for writing SME‐friendly standards;
e) A checklist; and
f) Information on the impact that new standards can have on micro‐enterprises.

If you are interested in providing comment on the guide please email international.participation@standards.org.au

Forum Outcomes: Powered Wheelchairs and Scooters


In partnership with Austroads, Standards Australia held a forum on 20 July 2015 to discuss the development of an Australian Technical Specification (ATS) to complement the AS/NZS 3695 suite of standards for wheelchairs. Australian road agencies are considering a framework for regulating powered wheelchairs and scooters that are used on public transport and/or road related areas.

The forum was well attended with representatives from 32 organisations. The purpose of the forum was to explain the background to the project and its intended outcomes, and to enable a wide range of relevant stakeholders to offer insight on issues that should be considered by the committee. This contributed to the overall aim of ensuring that the eventual ATS meets the needs and has the support of organisations and their members.

Forum attendees had a robust discussion and provided feedback on the working draft of the ATS. The technical committee ME-067 will be considering all feedback carefully and refining the draft document. The revised draft will be put through the formal public comment process, likely in early 2016.

For further information, please contact National Sector Manager Jonathan Russell on 02 9237 6004 or jonathan.russell@standards.org.au

Forum Outcomes: Vendor Credentialing for Medical Technology


 
Standards Australia, together with the Medical Technology Association of Australia, held a public forum on 7 July 2015 on vendor credentialing for the medical sector.

The purpose of the forum was to determine the need for an industry standard for vendors entering hospital and patient care settings; to explore needs, threats, and opportunities; to gather stakeholder input; and to develop a possible scope for a new Australian Standard that will be driven by patient needs.

Over 50 participants from a wide range of stakeholder organisations attended.

Download the full report (PDF).

#SpeakStandards Video Competition


 
Over 130 entries from all over the world were submitted for the World Standards Day #SpeakStandards Video Competition. Each entry is only 15 seconds long, and you can view the entries on Youtube.

Latest Edition: ISO COPOLCO Consumer Policy Newsletter


 
The ISO Committee on consumer policy (ISO/COPOLCO) is ISO's forum for promoting consumer interests in standardisation. Its mission is to enhance the market relevance of international standards by promoting and facilitating the input of consumers' views into ISO's policies, procedures, standards and services; and to help consumers around the world benefit from standardisation.

ISO/COPOLCO provides quarterly newsletters of ISO's activities regarding standards and consumer protection, for members and stakeholders of the ISO Committee on consumer policy.

View latest issue (July 2015).

Previous newsletters are also available.

CASCO Project on a Certification Scheme for Services


Conformity assessment and certification of services has been increasing in the global economy over recent years, in sectors such as tourism, restaurants, transportation of persons and goods, transport of dangerous goods, infrastructure maintenance, specialised cleaning and sanitation services as well as in the areas of healthcare, food and cosmetic manufacturing.

CASCO is the ISO committee that works on issues relating to conformity assessment. Work is starting at CASCO on a project providing guidance on how to evaluate a service for its certification, beyond the guidelines supplied by ISO/IEC 17067 (which mainly evaluates products and product processes). The end-goal is to develop a guidance document focused specially on services, a Technical Report titled Conformity assessment — Example of a certification scheme for services.

Subscribe to our News Room


  E-News is published monthly, but if you would like to receive news releases, statements and updates from Standards Australia as soon as they become available, subscribe to our News Room, and get them hot off the press!
 
     
 
 

International Update


Standards Australia represents our nation on the two major international standardising bodies, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). We coordinate the attendance of Australian experts at international meetings and participate extensively in the preparation of a wide range of international standards. We are extremely active within the international standardisation movement and a number of our senior management team members hold important voluntary offices on international standards bodies.

Read here to find out more about our activities in this space.

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 on our Sector Updates page.

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.