Standards Australia represents our nation on the two major International Standardizing bodies, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)* and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). We co-ordinate 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.
*People often ask why the name ISO is not the correct acronym of the organisation's full name. In fact, ISO is not an acronym, but a name derived from the Greek word Isos, meaning 'equal', a root used in many familiar technical words, such as isometric, (of equal dimension) or isotope (of equal atomic number).
As part of the Closer Economic Relations agreement, Standards Australia maintains strong links with Standards New Zealand, with whom we have a formal agreement for preparing and publishing joint Standards where appropriate. We are a founding member of the Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC), and we also cooperate closely with the government in the Standards and conformance activities of APEC and ASEAN-CER.
Standards Australia has a policy of adopting International Standards wherever possible. This policy is in line with Australia's obligations under the World Trade Organization's Code of Practice, which requires the elimination of technical Standards as barriers to international trade. As a result approximately 33% of current Australian Standards are fully or substantially aligned with International Standards. Areas of industry where no significant International Standards exist include building, construction and occupational health and safety. Around one third of Australian Standards simply have no international equivalent. More information about the procedure and benefits of adopting international standards is outlined in the Standardisation Guides.