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In This Edition

 

CEO Report: Investing for Australia’s Future

Working Towards Better Regulation

Outcomes from our 2015 Annual General Meeting and Council Meeting

In Conversation with Peter Williams

Vale Ron Collis

Young Leaders Return for Second Round of Training

Australia Hosts APEC Workshop to Promote SMEs and Innovation

Revision of Installation Requirements for Grid Connection of Energy Systems via Inverters

Emerging Technology and the 30th ISO/IEC JTC 1 Plenary

An Evolving Relationship with China

 

Publication of Lighting Standards for Roads and Public Spaces

Welcoming Delegates from Fiji and the Philippines

Aged Standards Review: Manufacturing and Processing Sector Now Open

Enhancements to Hub

Advanced Notice for Holiday Closure

Reminder: Committee Member Deed 2015

International Update

Sector Updates

Drafts Open for Comment

CEO Report: Investing for Australia’s Future


 
Earlier this month, we held a series of Board meetings in Canberra followed by our Annual General Meeting and end of year Council meeting.

The meetings were a great success for a number of reasons.

We welcomed two new Board members. Megan Motto CEO of Consult Australia and Michelle Fitzgerald, newly appointed as the first Digital Transformation Officer with the City of Melbourne. They add depth and bring new insights to our Board. Richard Brooks and Peter Burn, two highly experienced contributors, were returned by the members and Richard was reappointed as Chair.

Importantly, the Board reaffirmed our five year strategic plan; a plan that when implemented will put Standards Australia right where it needs to be to deliver substantial benefit to our stakeholders, a plan that will see us able to unlock the potential for greater return from the work of our contributors and a plan that will ensure our future relevance and output in a world that is changing and being disrupted like never before.

A number of resolutions were passed at the AGM which will strengthen the effectiveness of our accreditation function for other standards development organisations to build the Australian Standards footprint in Australia.

I also reflected on the achievements that we have already realised; standards production is up by 27% with a strong trend continuing through the coming year. The efficiencies we have realised on the development side are only the beginning.

Work on our digital transformation strategy is well developed and we thank those of you who have and continue to give us your insights about what you, our contributors and customers need.

We are coming to the end of a pilot project using new tools in the document management and publishing side of the business.

We have commenced a comprehensive review of our publishing function to ensure that we are digital-ready.

We are looking out over the near horizon to a future beyond the current arrangements that we have in place with SAI Global. We are working hard to ensure we can deliver even more value to the Australian community in new, innovative and cutting edge ways. In planning for the future we are of course committed to honouring the terms of our current arrangements with SAI Global.

We continue to build the skills of our people and our contributors to take full advantage of what comes next in the interests of Australia.

Are we there yet? No.

Do we have a clear vision and are we on a straight path to achieving the vision? Yes.

Are we committed to achieving the best outcomes in the best interests of the Australian community and economy? Without question.

I ask that you continue to engage with us in this important conversation. Your insights, perspectives and ideas will only make the implementation of our strategic plan more robust and ensure we strengthen the returns that we will deliver to Australia.

—Dr Bronwyn Evans, CEO

Working Towards Better Regulation


 
From left to right: Katie Constantinou, Dr Alex Gyani, Emeritus Professor Arie Freiberg AM, Dr Bronwyn Evans, Professor Julia Black, Adjunct Professor John Skerritt
Last week the Commonwealth Department of Health hosted the 2015 International Best Practice Regulation Seminar. CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans participated in two panel discussions on risk-based regulation and the wider health agenda.

It is important in our role to support the government’s agenda in creating an environment with less regulation, better economic infrastructure and policies that foster innovation and entrepreneurship.

The insights from the London School of Economics and Political Science focused on what Australia can learn from the world’s regulatory failures, with standards at front of mind.

Whilst we are not involved in the enforcement of regulation, much of Australia’s regulation is based on compliance with Australian Standards. Professor Julia Black highlighted the risk of using performance-based standards. Although they may provide flexibility by focusing on the objectives to be achieved, they often fail to provide guidance on how to meet the minimum standards necessary for compliance.

Key takeaways that resonated with Dr Evans were that:
  • Regulators are focused on protecting the community and they need to have the capacity to take enforcement action;
  • Regulation needs to be agile so it can deliver the best outcome;
  • Communities of interest need to anticipate trends and regulation needs to support and shape the changing eco-system; and most importantly, that
  • A risk-based system is neither inherently good nor inherently bad – it all depends on how it is implemented.
These have been messages of ours, albeit expressed slightly differently, and their importance will build over coming years.

Outcomes from our 2015 Annual General Meeting and Council Meeting


 
From left to right: Richard Brooks, Michelle Fitzgerald, James Tinslay, Libby Christie, Peter Burn, Megan Motto, David Singleton
Standards Australia hosted their AGM and Annual Council Meeting on 13 November in Canberra. Here are the some of the major developments to emerge from the day.

Changes to Accreditation Board for Standards Development Organisations (ABSDO)
ABSDO (website) was originally established by our Council to enable other organisations to gain accreditation to develop their own Australian Standards. Following approval at the AGM and Council Meeting, the accreditation function has now been transferred to the Standards Development Committee (SDC), which will be renamed the Standards Development and Accreditation Committee (SDAC).

Changes to the Standards Australia Board of Directors
Another significant outcome from the day was the announcement of two new board directors, Michelle Fitzgerald and Megan Motto, and the re-election of Richard Brooks and Peter Burn.

Following his re-election Richard Brooks was reappointed by the Board as Chairman. After six years as a Director and many years actively involved in a number of Technical Committees, Peter Cockbain has retired from the Board.

In Conversation with Peter Williams


 
This month we enter the space of health informatics with Peter Williams, Principal Advisor, Ehealth Policy and Information Management for the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Peter previously worked in various departments in the Commonwealth Government, including the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Department of Social Security. He also served as Chair to the Board of the National Centre for Classification in Health, and is a Fellow, past President and current Council member of the Australasian College of Health Informatics. He is current member and past Head of Delegation to ISO TC 215, Health Informatics, and is a current member and past Chair of its mirror committee IT-014. Within ISO TC 215, Peter remains an active member of four working groups.

Standards Australia: In what capacity do you interact with Standards Australia?
Peter Williams: Most of my involvement is with IT-014 and ISO TC 215, specifically looking at areas concerned with sematic interoperability and privacy and security. I recently attended the ISO TC 215 meeting in Bern, Switzerland as an Australian expert. The issues discussed, such as finding a way to provide better integrated services for an ageing community, are applicable globally, Australia included. We are aiming to balance several things in health technology at the moment: getting systems to speak to one another, understanding the message content when they do connect and managing privacy and security in an ethical way. Standards are absolutely essential to ensure all of these things can work together.

SA: What is a day like in your world?
PW: Health informatics is a term that people don’t generally warm to, but it is all about using technology to change the way we deliver care. Computing can change the whole service paradigm. I start every day with an environmental scan in order to understand and prepare for what might be on the horizon. Information is the glue that keeps everything together, and my world is about understanding how to use informatics to connect everything to the bigger picture. I’m now part of a very widespread department which covers everything from encouraging participation in sport to managing drug and alcohol problems. Informatics can be a valuable tool for increasing efficiency across this huge portfolio.

SA: What do you think is in the future of standardisation?
PW: Standards must remain focused on benefits and outcomes. An elegant, sophisticated standard is useless if it doesn’t improve efficiency. We can support an ISO standard, but it is an essential discipline to also address its implementation. My preferred model would involve producing a technical specification or draft standard for trial use, assessing its effectiveness, and then tweaking it for the Australian context if required. Someone once told me you should never accept version one of anything, and the same rule applies to standards. This is particularly true when you’re dealing with new, emerging areas where you have no past experience to guide you. Just because something works well in the lab does not necessarily mean it will translate smoothly to the real world.

SA: How can Standards Australia better collaborate with stakeholders?
PW: It’s all about understanding stakeholder needs. At the moment, a lot of the communication is fairly generic, rather than addressing specific sectoral issues tailored to their needs. Standards Australia must have those conversations to understand the drivers behind every stakeholder.

SA: In regards to standards, what are the challenges for the health sector?
PW: The health industry is facing a surge in demand from the ageing population, chronic disease, and the cost of technology. Prevention can only get us so far, and unfortunately many of these factors are beyond our control. This is why it is critical to strategically use standards to help address the core problems, especially interoperability. In addition, a lot of our software comes from overseas and we don't want to create barriers for integration. We also want a market for Australian products internationally, and standards must reflect this.

Vale Ron Collis


It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Ron Collis, a notable contributor to standards development and the field of electrotechnology and energy.

Ron was a major supporter of national and international standards, while promoting the value of standardised conformity assessment solutions to prevent wasteful duplication of testing and certification practices.

Ron was a member of the Standards Australia Council and represented the Australian Industry Group on national standards committees. In his time working with Standards Australia Ron chaired Australian committees and participated in many international delegations. Read more about Ron’s contributions here.

Young Leaders Return for Second Round of Training


 
Our ambitious group of 2015-2016 Young Leaders returned to the Standards Australia offices this month for a 3-day workshop.

Training covered subjects like business writing skills, drafting of technical standards and international standards development. The group discussed their experiences thus far with their mentoring and committee meeting attendance, and Justin Gavranich provided an engaging presentation on the IEC Young Professionals Program, recently held in Minsk at the IEC General Assembly.

Additionally, our Young Leaders impressed us with their creativity by producing this video demonstrating why standards matter. This video was inspired by the recent #speakstandards competition, organised by ISO, IEC and ITU for World Standards Day 2015.

These workshops serve not only as training for our next generation of standards developers, but a learning experience for Standards Australia as we seek insight on how to improve and innovate. We look forward to seeing the group again in April for further training and a farewell dinner before the close of this year’s program.

Australia Hosts APEC Workshop to Promote SMEs and Innovation


The Australian Government and Standards Australia brought together SME representatives, national standards bodies and government officials from APEC economies to share ideas, insights and new perspectives to help promote international standards engagement and greater regulatory coherence in our region.

The workshop was attended by representatives from 15 APEC economies on 4–5 November. Participants discussed findings from the Issues Paper (PDF) on Harmonising Data Flow Standards. Together with the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, Minister for Small Business, Assistant Treasurer, Standards Australia published a joint media release (PDF) detailing the recommendations that emerged from the workshop.

Revision of Installation Requirements for Grid Connection of Energy Systems via Inverters


Standards Australia has recently published AS/NZS 4777.2, Grid connection of energy systems via inverters – Part 2: Inverter requirements. Prepared by Technical Committee EL-042, Renewable Energy Power Supply Systems & Equipment, this standard replaces AS 4777.2-2005 and AS 4777.3-2005.

Much anticipated by industry, it defines minimum performance and safety requirements. Its scope focuses on the design, construction and operation of inverters intended for use in inverter energy systems for the injection of electric power through an electrical installation into the grid.

"The standard provides requirements for inverters so that households and businesses can connect renewable energy systems and battery systems to the grid. With more than 1.4 million inverter energy systems already installed Australia wide and another 130,000 inverter energy systems being added each year this standard is important for all Australians," stated Nigel Wilmot, Chair of EL-042.

This standard falls within AS/NZS 4777, which will shortly see the addition of AS/NZS 4777.1, Grid connection of energy systems via inverters – Part 1: Installation requirements. The draft is soon to be released for a second round of public comment with publication anticipated for 2016.

Emerging Technology and the 30th ISO/IEC JTC 1 Plenary


 
The 30th ISO/IEC JTC 1 Information Technology Plenary was held in Beijing, China during October 2015. The Australian delegation was headed by John Sheridan, Chair of JTC 1 Strategic Advisory Committee (JTC 1 SAC), Mr John Sheridan and Chair of JTC 1 Sub Committee 40 ICT Governance.

At the Plenary, Standards Australia’s Varant Meguerditchian delivered a special presentation on cross border data flow standards for the APEC HOST Project. The presentation was well received and the Issues Paper (PDF) which was produced as part of the APEC HOST Project was submitted to JTC 1 and Sub Committee 32 and 38 for consideration by technical experts.

Participating experts addressed a number of emerging areas of technology, including Smart Wearable Devices, the Internet of Things, Smart Cities, Big Data and Cyber Security. Standards Australia will be engaging with technical experts over the coming months to consider what role Australia will play in these new areas of standards development.

Smart Cities
Work undertaken on Smart Cities by the ISO and IEC was considered an opportunity to enhance quality and performance of urban services. Ultimately, noting the importance of the topic to stakeholders, the Plenary decided that a JTC 1 Working Group on Smart Cities would be created and chaired by China. Australia has already registered interest and will be participating on this Working Group.

Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is the network of physical objects embedded within electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity, which enables them to collect and exchange data. A panel discussion was held to present and discuss work undertaken by JTC 1 on standards for the Internet of Things. The German delegation committed to hosting an exhibition on standards for the Internet of Things in Frankfurt in 2016.

An Evolving Relationship with China


During a visit to China in late October 2015, CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans met with her Chinese Counterpart, Dr Tian Shihong, Administrator, Standardization Administration of China (SAC) to discuss areas of standards co-operation between both organisations.

The visit was quite timely in view of the March 2015 announcement of China’s standardisation reform agenda and the recently concluded China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA). China is now Australia’s largest export market for both goods and services, which constitutes nearly a third of our total exports, and is also a growing source of foreign direct investment. As leading national standards bodies in the Asia Pacific region, our bilateral relationship has continued to grow and evolve.

In addition, Dr Evans also met with Dr Zhang Xiaogang, ISO President and President of Ansteel Group Corporation in Anshan, North Eastern China to discuss ISO’s Strategic Plan for 2016-2020 and Australia’s work at the governance and technical levels.

In Beijing, Dr Evans presented at a standards roundtable organised by the AustCham Beijing. Before flying back to Sydney, Dr Evans also met officials at the Australian Embassy to discuss Standards Australia’s growing international standards collaboration with SAC and standards cooperation to support the implementation of ChAFTA.

Publication of Lighting Standards for Roads and Public Spaces


Technical Committee LG-002, Lighting for Roads and Public Spaces, has completed a multi-stage process to revise AS/NZS 1158.6:2010, Lighting for Roads and Public Spaces – Part 6: Luminaires.

As a result, Standards Australia has published SA/SNZ TS 1158.6, Lighting for roads and public spaces – Luminaires – Performance, and AS/NZS 60598.2.3, Particular requirements – Luminaires for road and street lighting.

Read our full statement on our website to learn more.

Welcoming Delegates from Fiji and the Philippines


 
Standards Australia hosted 5 delegates from our counterpart organisations in Fiji and the Philippines on an ISO sponsored study visit. Their goal was to learn more about how Standards Australia has implemented good standardisation practices.

Key areas of focus during the week visit included sharing information and experiences relating to stakeholder engagement, issues related to the WTO’s Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement, referencing standards in regulation, adopting international standards, and project prioritisation.

The delegation consisted of:
Kavita Prasad, Standards Officer from the Fijian Department of Trade Measurement and Standards
Ilimo Tara Koroi, Act Assistant Inspector from the Fijian Department of Trade Measurement and Standards
Ajeshni Lata, Act Assistant Inspector from the Fijian Department of Trade Measurement and Standards
Avelino, Jr. Molina, Technical Officer, Bureau of Philippines Standards
Lara Navarro, OIC-Chief Science Research Specialist, Philippines Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards

As part of the study tour, the delegates (as well as many of our own staff) had the opportunity to participate in ISO Secretariat Training. The tour concluded with a trip to Canberra to meet with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, and the Department of Innovation, Industry and Science.

In case you missed it: Special Edition E-News on 79th IEC General Meeting


 
Check out our E-News special edition showcasing the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and its relevance to Australia. Last month the IEC held its 79th General Meeting in Minsk, Belarus, and we wanted to share some of the key updates from the week, and report more broadly on current activities in the energy and electrotechnology sector.

Aged Standards Review: Manufacturing and Processing Sector Now Open


The Manufacturing and Processing sector is now open for public consultation as part of our Aged Standards Review. Help us maintain a contemporary and relevant catalogue of Australian Standards for the net benefit of our nation. To see a list of standards proposed for withdrawal, please visit our Aged Standards page.

Enhancements to Hub


In response to feedback from our committee members, we have made a few improvements to our Hub platform.

The most noticeable change is the addition of a “Confirmation” screen after a ballot has been submitted. Previously, committee members had no clear indication that their votes were successfully cast.

In addition, we have changed the screen layout to ensure consistency throughout the platform. All Ballot screens should now look the same to avoid confusion.

We hope these small changes simplify the voting process for all committee members.

Advanced Notice for Holiday Closure


The Standards Australia offices will close for the upcoming holidays on 23 December, with our staff returning on 4 January. Thank you in advance for accommodating this closure, and we look forward to working together with you in the new year.

Reminder: Committee Member Deed 2015


If you are a member of an active technical committee, sub-committee or working group we would appreciate it if you could please sign the updated Committee Member Deed (with a witness) and return it to us by email, mail or fax.

Download the 2015 Committee Member Deed (Word Doc).

Completed Committee Member Deeds may be returned via:
Email: committee.records@standards.org.au
Mail: Standards Australia, GPO Box 476, Sydney NSW 2001
Fax: (+61 2) 9237 6010

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.