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January 2016 Edition


CEO Report: Be Involved. Be Innovative. Be Informed.

Upcoming Standards Australia Prioritisation Seminars

Dates for 12th Round of Project Prioritisation

Australia Day 2016: Stay Safe Mate!

Looking Back on 2015

In Conversation With David Eager

Roadmap for Smart Meters


A Comparison of Ways with the Swedish Standards Institute

Australia Makes Up a Quarter of ISO Calendar Winners

Young Leaders Program: a Case Study on Mentoring

International Update

Sector Updates

Drafts Open for Comment

CEO Report: Be Involved. Be Innovative. Be Informed.

On behalf of Standards Australia I would like to wish you all a happy new year.

Throughout last year I spoke of a Standards Australia that is simpler, faster and better. This was progressed in many forms, largely due to feedback from our members.

We streamlined the international direct text adoption process, shared our drafts pilot and strengthened our Net Benefit Assessment, to name a few of our successes.

Australia and the world alike welcomed innovative additions to the standards catalogue in 2015. ISO published the much anticipated revised version of ISO 9001 for quality management systems in September, and Standards Australia has already commenced a project for Australian adoption.

As we start the new year, we are aiming even higher. To be simpler, faster and better in 2016, we have a clear but ambitious focus: a complete digital transformation of our business. To excel in our project management, we must revolutionise the way we develop standards. This is not possible without consultation and feedback from our committees and stakeholders.

As an organisation with a direct impact on the community, we also face the challenge of meeting the general public’s needs. This was recently evident when electrical and toy safety became topics of interest in the media. After incidents occurred in family homes over the holidays, members of the public came to Standards Australia for guidance.

When compliance with safety standards is disregarded, a harmless gift easily turns harmful. Ranging from excess lead in toys that can seriously harm a child’s health to faulty chargers which can burn down a home, the threat of non-complying products is severe.

With globalisation there are more imported goods on the market than ever before, the majority of them are beautiful, novel and high quality. However, is it still important to research whether or not products comply with standards and meet regulations before purchasing them.

This media attention also provides an excellent opportunity to educate the public about why standards matter for the safety and wellbeing of Australia. It is easy to draw attention to failures when cases of noncompliance lead to accidents and tragedies, but it is also important to reflect on the tragedies that were avoided thanks to the guidance of our standards.

I ended 2015 with the message: Be Safe, Be Smart, Be Standard. Let me start 2016 with the message: Be Involved; Be Innovative, Be Informed and join us in making our world a better place through standards.

I wish you all a prosperous and successful 2016 and I look forward to another outstanding year.

—Dr Bronwyn Evans, CEO

Upcoming Standards Australia Prioritisation Seminars

Standards Australia is conducting information seminars that will provide an update on our operations over the past year, future direction and updates to processes at Standards Australia. It is an opportunity for stakeholders to speak to a National Sector Manager to learn more about the process involved in developing proposals and how we can support you. The seminars additionally address how to become accredited as an standards development organisation.

Please RSVP your attendance by clicking on one of the links below and submitting the registration form. If you have any questions please email nsm@standards.org.au

Seminar details
16 February, 10:00–12:00, Cliftons Canberra
19 February, 14:00–16:00, Venue TBC
22 February, 10:00–12:00, Standards Australia
23 February, 10:00–12:00, Cliftons Melbourne
24 February, 14:00–16:00, Cliftons Brisbane
24 February, 15:00–17:00, Pan Pacific Perth
26 February, 14:00–16:00, Venue TBC
7 March, 14:00–16:00, Cliftons Adelaide

Dates for 12th Round of Project Prioritisation

Standards Australia welcomes proposals to amend, revise or develop new Australian Standards. The 12th round of project prioritisation will open on Monday 8 February 2016 and will close on Wednesday 23 March 2016. Read more about the process on our website, or speak to one of our National Sector Managers to learn more.

Australia Day 2016: Stay Safe Mate!

Standards Australia wishes you a happy Australia Day!

Stay safe by following these simple tips (PDF) at your barbecues and pool parties.

Looking Back on 2015

2015 was a productive year with 416 total publications. Of that total, 221 were new or revised national standards unique to our region. Thank you to all of our committee members for your contributions to this high achievement.

We sat down with three of our Program Managers to learn more about the major Australian Standards achievements from 2015. Here’s what they were asked:
Looking back on the year, what were some of the major ‘domestic wins’ achieved by your team?
What were the challenges in getting these projects across the line?
Why are these publications important to the Australian community?

Alison Scotland

I manage the building and construction sector, and we published revisions of important standards on fire doors, prefabricated concrete, ventilation and air conditioning, and fire detection, warning, control and intercom systems.

Standards Australia has to work closely with the Australian Building Codes Board to ensure we reflect community, industry and government requirements for building and construction. We have to engage with multiple stakeholders in an open process of consultation and consensus, so sometimes reaching an acceptable outcome for all is quite time-consuming!

Many of our standards are primary references in the National Construction Code (NCC) as Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions. Using our standards should provide a clear pathway towards compliance with the performance requirements of the NCC.

Eddie McGuire

My whole team worked on important publications throughout the year, but two successes that immediately jump to mind are standards covering grid connections and lifejackets (now referred to as ‘personal flotation devices’).

Looking specifically at the standard on grid connections of energy systems, we received a significant amount of interest during the public comment phase. This proved a challenge for the committee but all were resolved satisfactorily. The publication enables households and businesses to connect renewable energy systems and battery systems to the grid.

Additionally, water activities are an essential part of Aussie life. The new series on personal flotation devices creates an opportunity for manufacturers to make lifejackets that are innovative in terms of form, function and wearability.

Jonathan Avery

A lot of big areas were covered this past year: boarding schools, portable air conditioners, bicycle parking facilities, organic products, hand hygiene products.

Every standard has its own unique challenges. For example, with the boarding school standard we had to develop a single document that complements each state’s individual legislative requirements. The organic and biodynamic products standard attracted strong interest from the entire supply chain, from growers through to consumers. In contrast, drafting the requirements for portable air conditioners was difficult simply because it was a world first.

These publications aim to have significant impacts, such as protecting and bringing greater awareness to consumers when they purchase items like organic products and portable air conditioners. Standards also react to changes in our lifestyles. For instance, changes in bicycle parking facilities are in response to bicycling becoming an increasingly popular mode of transport, whereas new requirements for hand hygiene emerged to improve efficacy of hand washing in health care facilities.

In Conversation With David Eager

To kick off the series for this year we have David Eager, Associate Professor within the Faculty of Engineering Information Technology at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). David specialises in risk management and injury prevention, particularly involving playgrounds, play surfaces, and sports and recreation equipment. David’s sustained interest in Standards Australia first began in 1997. His committee involvement has included ME‑051, Amusement rides and devices; CS‑005, Playground equipment (chair since 2008); AV‑003, Acoustics human effects; AV‑001, Acoustics/vibration terms, units and symbols; EV‑015, Carbon accounting; CS‑100, Trampolines (chair 2001 to 2013); SF‑047, Artificial climbing structures (chair 2003 to 2010); and TX‑008, Synthetic shadecloth. David represents Engineers Australia on his various committees.

Standards Australia: What projects are you currently working on now, and what direction will your involvement take you in 2016?

David Eager: I am currently working on a number of projects including: AS 4685.0, Playground equipment and surfacing—Development, installation, inspection, maintenance and operation; AS 4422, Playground surfacing—Specifications, requirements and test method; AS 2316.2.1, Artificial climbing structures and challenge courses—Flying foxes and challenge ropes courses—Construction and safety requirements; and AS 2316.2.2, Artificial climbing structures and challenge courses—Flying foxes and challenge ropes courses—Operation requirements. During 2016 I anticipate being heavily involved with trampoline parks and landborne inflatable devices projects.

SA: What are the challenges to developing standards around children’s safety?

DE: The primary challenge is setting and maintaining the right balance between appropriate levels of risk and injury prevention. There is risk in everything we do, and like it or not, injuries are a part of childhood. What is imperative is the removal of hazards and ensuring that death and permanent injuries are prevented. This can be accomplished through appropriate standards and cost-effective test methods. Using my work with the playground equipment and trampolines committees as an example, the trampoline standard needed to specify more stringent requirements as the children were exposed to unacceptable hazards. In contrast, in the playground equipment standard we removed many inappropriate shackles because the committee wanted the children to play in a more challenging environment but with fewer hazards.

SA: How can standards be more effective in preventing injuries and accidents?

DE: They should be adopted by organisations such as the ACCC as mandatory standards. An example of this would be if the ACCC adopted AS 4989:2015, Trampolines for domestic use—Safety aspects. This would mean that all domestic trampolines in Australia would be required to comply with minimum safety requirements.

SA: What do you think is in the future of standardisation?

DE: We live in an increasingly global society. Standards are a vehicle facilitating efficient trade, both within our borders and beyond. Also Australia is a signatory to many free trade agreements so we have an obligation to adopt international standards wherever there are no technical or safety reasons for not adopting them. I see ISO adoption becoming more and more common.

SA: How can Standards Australia better collaborate with stakeholders?

DE: That’s a difficult question primarily because SA is already doing a great job in that area. The process that SA uses is one of consensus where they involve the relevant stakeholders through community consultation. I was recently involved in the trampoline court community consultation. SA brought together all of the appropriate stakeholders and facilitated a forum and reached consensus prior to the project proposal submission. I saw this as a proactive way for all stakeholders to get buy-in and ownership as early as possible in the project lifecycle.

SA: In your almost twenty years of working with Standards Australia what was your most rewarding project?

DE: That’s a tough question. There have been many projects that have been most rewarding such as chairing CS‑005 and publishing AS 4685:2014, parts 1 to 6. However, the event that stands out was being a mentor for Standards Australia’s Young Leaders Program. I would recommend this to all committee chairs and long-standing committee members as a way to invest in the future of standards development and the youth of our nation.

Roadmap for Smart Meters

Standards Australia will be facilitating a Roadmap for Advanced Metering throughout 2016. The work is designed to support the safe and efficient roll out of smart meters in Australian cities and communities as the country progressively transitions to a smarter economy.

Over the course of a number of years there have been technological developments relating to metering equipment. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), through technical committee 13 (IEC TC 13, Metering Equipment), has already developed a series of standards that incorporate these technological advancements. However, the existing Australian Standards for metering are dated to 2006 and updates that would accommodate advancements in technology are now necessary.

As a result, a number of key proponents including Vector, Origin, the Energy Networks Association, Landis+Gyr and EDMI are working with Standards Australia to lead efforts to develop a roadmap for Australian advanced metering standards.

The roadmap, through a series of forums to be held in 2016, will afford industry and government stakeholders the opportunity to assess the current Australian Standards and identify relevant international standards for use in Australia. The roadmap will ultimately work toward the development of a work program and priority list of new projects that will ensure that all Australian Standards for metering equipment are up to date and can facilitate integration into the smart grid.

The first forum in the roadmap will be held on Thursday 3 March 2016 at Standards Australia’s Sydney office where guest speakers will present on the future of advanced metering specifications in Australia.

For further information see the invitation to Roadmap for Advanced Metering Standards forum (PDF).

Roadmap Partners:

A Comparison of Ways with the Swedish Standards Institute

Standards Australia always welcomes visitors from other national standards bodies. This month we were fortunate to host the CEO of the Swedish Standards Institute (SIS), Mr Thomas Idermark.

The visit was valuable, giving our CEO Dr Evans the opportunity to compare and contrast strategy and structure with her Swedish equivalent. Here’s what we found:

In many ways, Standards Australia and SIS are traveling in parallel. Both organisations are in the process of moving content development and output to a more efficient XML format. This shift fits within larger plans of improving standards development for the next generation of contributors and users. Other related goals include establishing and strengthening relationships within government and industry. Both nations are also focused on providing standards and conformance inputs in both multi-lateral and bi-lateral free trade agreements to support business.

However, Standards Australia and SIS also have many differences. Standards Australia, for example, is only responsible for the development of standards, whereas SIS is both a standards development and distribution body. To be a committee member in Australia you must be selected by a nominating organisation. In Sweden, however, participation is directly through companies, who then fund the standards development process. SIS sits underneath the larger umbrellas of CEN/CENELEC and the European Commission, ISO and IEC. In fact, only about 1% of their standards are unique to Sweden, with the remaining 99% as European or International. Although Standards Australia is the national member for ISO and IEC, around 55% of our standards are international, with the remainder as Australian or joint Australian/New Zealand standards.

Australia Makes Up a Quarter of ISO Calendar Winners

Every year ISO holds a photo contest for the ISO Calendar, open to all staff from ISO member organisations. Along with the photo, submissions must also include an accompanying ISO standard that inspired the photo.

Out of the twelve stunning images selected for the final calendar, three of them are from Standards Australia staff! Here are their winning submissions along with the standard that inspired them.

March, submitted by Nafis Rahman, Project Manager

Plan the service life of a building from the ground up with ISO 15686-4 for building information modelling.

May, submitted by Tim Chu, Project Administrator

Don’t let your structures be blown away by the Big Bad Wolf. Use ISO 4354 for determining wind actions on structures.

August, submitted by: Jenny Mance, Project Manager

How can we quantify and describe the human perception of colour? With ISO 11664, the ISO/CIE series of colorimetry standards.

Congratulations to our talented staff! Download the 2016 calendar from the ISO website.

Young Leaders Program: a Case Study on Mentoring

Every year our Young Leaders are paired with experienced committee member mentors to guide and support them throughout the program. For our past five groups of Young Leaders, Standards Australia has teamed up with Art of Mentoring to provide this valuable counselling tool.

Art of Mentoring has featured the Standards Australia Young Leaders Program in their portfolio of case studies. It analyses elements of the program such as the initial business challenge, past results, key learnings, and future steps.

You can read the full Young Leaders Program case study on the Art of Mentoring website. Questions about the program can always be sent to Young.Leaders@standards.org.au. Applications for the 2016-2017 program will open in April 2016.

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.