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FAQ

ABOUT STANDARDS
Who is Standards Australia?
What does Standards Australia do?
What is a Standard?
What is the purpose of a Standard?
Are Australian Standards mandatory?
How do I obtain a Standard (or draft Standard) and how much do they cost?
How do I find Standards on a particular topic?
Can I view a Standard without purchasing it?
I'd like to reproduce or copy all or parts of the Australian Standard I have purchased. How do I go about this?

DEVELOPMENT
How are Australian Standards developed?
Who are the representatives on a Standards Australia committee I am interested in?
What is the role of the Project Manager?
How do I find out who the Project Manger is of a committee?
How do I propose a new Standard or revise an existing Standard?
How do I make Public Comment on a Draft Standard?
What is an Interim Standard?
Why is the Standard marked as Withdrawn?
What does Obsolescent mean for a Standard?
What is a Superseded Standard?
What does it mean by Available Superseded?
An Amendment has been issued for the Standard I have bought, what is an amendment?

APPLICATION OF AUSTRALIAN STANDARDS
When does a Standard come into effect?
Can Standards Australia help with the practical application, or implementation, of a Standard?
Can Standards Australia assist with locating a consultant?
Who certifies that a product conforms to a Standard?
I want to get a product (or service or organisation or person) certified. How do I go about it?
I want to get my product tested. Who do I contact?
I am interested in importing a product into Australia. How do I find out if it needs to be certified to particular Standards before being imported and offered for sale?
I want to get my product certified for export. How do I go about this?
Is there an international equivalent to the Australian Standard I am looking at?
I have a product that says it complies with an Australian Standard but it doesn't. Who do I contact?
I have purchased a product that says it complies with an Australian Standard and it doesn't function properly. Who do I contact?
Who provides Certification/Approval Marks?

PRODUCT RELATED QUESTIONS
Mandatory Product Safety Standards - General Products
Plumbing Products
What is the WaterMark?
Electrical Products
Electrical Installations
Building Products
Motorcycle Helmets

 

ABOUT STANDARDS

Who is Standards Australia?

Standards Australia is Australia's peak non government Standards body, recognised through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Commonwealth Government.  

We are an independent, non-government, not for profit organisation responsible for bringing together industry, government and consumer groups to develop Australian Standards®.

Standards Australia supports and promotes excellence in design and innovation through the Australian International Design Awards program and other design promotion initiatives.

Standards Australia is not a regulator and is not responsible for enforcing compliance with any Australian Standards.

 

What does Standards Australia do?

In consultation with government, business, industry, community, academia and consumers, Standards Australia develops internationally aligned Australian Standards and related publications to help ensure the safety, reliability and performance of a range of products, services and systems.

 

What is a Standard?

Standards are published documents that set out specifications and procedures designed to ensure products, services and systems are safe, reliable and consistently perform the way they are intended to. They establish a common language that defines quality and safety criteria.

Standards cover everything from consumer products and services, construction, engineering, business, information technology, human services to energy and water utilities, the environment and much more.

For more information about Standards please refer to SG-003 Standards and Other Publications.

 

What is the purpose of a Standard?

Standards are developed for a number of purposes, including:

Voluntary or mandatory applications - Standards that specify requirements to achieve minimum objectives of safety, quality or performance of a product or service.

Regulatory compliance - Standards that are used to specify minimum least-cost solutions to technical requirements expressing characteristics, performance and design criteria compatible with legislative requirements

Contractual purpose - Standards that serve as purchasing specifications or technical conditions of contract between two parties.

Guidance - Standards that may be intended for educational purposes and which include recommendations, or administrative or project management procedures. In general, these Standards will not be adopted in either legislation or contract specifications.

 

Are Australian Standards mandatory?

On their own, Standards have no legal status and no requirement for compliance by manufacturers, consumers or the public, hence the term 'voluntary Standard'.

Australian (AS) or joint Australian/New Zealand (AS/NZS) Standards are often called up in State and Commonwealth legislation. When this happens, these Standards become mandatory and can be subject to the scrutiny of the courts.

Any information that Standards Australia may hold on the legal status of a Standard may possibly be incomplete and not necessarily reliable, therefore you should make enquiries with consultants in the relevant area or industry.

Standards Australia is not in a position to give legal advice in relation to any implications that may arise if any requirements or specifications in a Standard are disregarded.

 

How do I obtain a Standard and how much do they cost?

Australian Standards are distributed by SAI Global under licence from Standards Australia. Sales and pricing information is available from SAI Global.

Telephone queries within Australia should be directed to 131 242 and from overseas +61 2 8206 6010.

SAI Global Sales offices are located in various cities and information regarding these offices can be obtained by contacting SAI Global directly.

 

How do I find Standards on a particular topic?

You can search for Australian Standards and other documents through the SAI Global InfoStore.  The SAI Global InfoStore provides you with several ways to find the right Standard to meet your needs.

 

Can I view a Standard without purchasing it?

Australian Standards are available for viewing in some local, state and TAFE libraries. 

You will need to contact these institutions directly to find out if the Australian Standard you wish to view is available.

You can view the scope and contents of an Australian Standard through the SAI Global InfoStore

 

I'd like to reproduce or copy all or parts of the Australian Standard I have purchased. How do I go about this?

Australian Standards are protected by copyright. 

SAI Global manages copyright permissions and licensing on behalf of Standards Australia, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). 

Licensing requests can be made online at SAI Global or by calling 131242.

 

DEVELOPMENT

How are Australian Standards developed?

Australian Standards are developed by Committees of technical experts that have a balanced representation of interest groups such as suppliers, regulatory authorities and consumers.

Committee members do not represent their employers. They are appointed as representatives of Standards Australia's Nominating Organisations, such as associations, government departments, and academia. Australian Standards are developed by committees through the use of a consensus model.

Decisions made by Committees in the development of Australian Standards are made on a consensus basis.

For a full description of the consensus process, see the Standardisation Guides available on our website.

 

Who are the representatives on a Standards Australia Committee I am interested in?

Committee members are appointed as representatives of Nominating Organisations and represent the views of that Nominating Organisation's interest group. 

Committee members are not appointed on an individual basis and as such the details of individual committee members are not made publicly available. 

The names of the Nominating Organisations represented in the development of Australian Standards are communicated in the Preface of all Australian Standards.

If you or your organisation is affiliated with one of the Nominating Organisations, you could contact the organisation to seek further assistance. 

 

What is the role of the Project Manager?

All Technical Committees have a Project Manager (PM) who works with the Committee Chair to assist the Committee to meet the agreed outcomes of their projects.

The general responsibilities of a Project Manager are to plan, execute and manage all Committee / project activities in accordance with the agreed time frame, quality, scope and budget.

 

How do I find out who the Project Manger is of a Committee?

It is not Standards Australia's policy to release general information about our Project Managers.   

Our Standards Information Service (SIS) has access to all available resources that relate to projects and our Committees, and can assist you with your enquiries.

To contact our SIS team please call 1800 035 822 or send a detailed email to mail@standards.org.au.

 

How do I propose a new Standard or revise an existing Standard?

Details of how to propose a new Standard are available in the Standards Development section of our website.

 

How do I make public comment on a Draft Standard?

Any member of the public is able to make a comment on a draft publication currently open for Public Comment.

All Draft publications open for Public Comment are available on SAI Global's InfoStore.

To make a comment on an open draft please proceed to the 'Public Access' area of the Standards Hub

Committee Members are able to make comments on draft publications by accessing the Committee Member area of the Standards Hub.

 

What is an Interim Standard?

An Interim Standard is a provisional Standard with a maximum two-year life.

It is prepared in a subject field where not all requirements have been finally determined or where national consensus is anticipated but has yet to be realised.

An Interim Standard provides both a guide to the direction that future standardisation in the specified field may take and a mechanism to collect public feedback on the subject.

 

Why is the Standard marked as Withdrawn?

A Standard marked as Withdrawn indicates that the product has been withdrawn from sale as it is no longer relevant.

This status is used if:

  • The product is withdrawn and not replaced; or
  • There has been a change in the product designation, e.g. if AS 1234-1990 is superseded by AS 2345-2002.

A product may also be withdrawn if it:

  • is not up-to-date technically;
  • does not reflect current practice or research;
  • is not suitable for new and existing applications (products, systems or processes); and
  • is not compatible with current views and expectations regarding quality, safety and the environment.

If required, Withdrawn Standards may still be purchased from SAI Global.

 

What does Obsolescent mean for a Standard?

Obsolescent indicates that the Standard is not recommended for new equipment or as a current practice, but is retained in order to provide for servicing of existing equipment or requirements.

 

What is a Superseded Standard?

Superseded indicates that the Standard has been replaced by a more recent Standard. The replacement Standard may or may not bear the same designation (AS number) and title.

Sometimes a Standard is superseded in part by another Standard and the earlier edition remains current until there are replacements available that cover all other content of the original Standard.

 

What does it mean by Available Superseded?

Available Superseded indicates that the product has been made available for a period of time although it has been formally superseded by another document. Its availability is maintained where it forms the basis for certification, is referenced in legislation/regulations (e.g. the Building Code of Australia) or in other products, and its use should be restricted to where so referenced.

Standards Australia takes no responsibility for the ongoing technical validity of such a document, with the responsibility resting with the referencing authority.

In the case of being used as the basis for certification, the Available Superseded publication must be available until the relevant certification of all organisations has lapsed.

 

An Amendment has been issued for the Standard I have bought, what is an amendment?

After a document has been published, new information may be presented to the Committee or errors may be found in the published document. When this occurs it is usual to issue an Amendment to the document.

There are two types of Amendments: Correction and Revised Text.

Publication of Amendments involves the agreed changes being cut-in to the publication and referenced on the cover, preface and control sheet of the publication, as well as being published as a stand-alone document.

 

APPLICATION OF AUSTRALIAN STANDARDS

When does a Standard come into effect?

There are two dates that may determine the date a Standard comes into effect - the publication date and the implementation date.

The Publication date is the date that a Standard becomes publicly available and the date on which a Standard or Amendment comes into effect.

The Implementation date is the date that a Standard becomes effective for regulatory or other purposes. Occasionally, legislation or certification programs may require a later date of implementation for a Standard than its publication date, for instance to provide a period of grace during which products and practices can be upgraded.

Standards Australia is unable to provide any information regarding the date of effect for any mandatory Standards.

 

Can Standards Australia help with the practical application, or implementation, of a Standard?

Technical queries regarding implementation of the content of a Standard are outside Standards Australia's area of expertise and responsibility.

Our role is to develop and maintain Standards, whereas the practical application in any given circumstance is carried out by regulators, designers and consultants.

We are unable to comment on the application or interpretation of our publications as these activities are handled by regulators, designers or consultants. Your individual situation may involve factors that we are not aware of and as such we recommend that you contact a relevant industry consultant.

If there is no legislation or mandatory requirement to adhere to the Standard then the interpretation is ultimately up to the end user.

 

Can Standards Australia assist with locating a consultant?

Standards Australia does not undertake any consulting activities, nor keep a list of consultants qualified to provide assistance with the application of designs in line with Australian Standards.

We recommend that you contact relevant industry bodies that may be able to assist you in this area.

 

Who certifies that a product conforms to a Standard?

Standards Australia is not involved with determining whether or not particular products comply with Australian Standards. Certification, inspection and testing bodies assess whether a product conforms to an Australian Standard.

Companies that carry out certification can be found by contacting Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ)

Testing bodies can be found by contacting the National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia (NATA).

 

I want to get a product (or service or organisation or person) certified. How do I go about it?

Certification Bodies provide certification services.

To locate Certification Bodies that are accredited to certify to a particular Standard, the first step is to identify the Standard number you want certification to.

Standard Numbers can be identified by using the SAI Global InfoStore

Once you have the Standard number you are seeking certification to, you can use JAS-ANZ Accredited Bodies Register to generate a list of JAS-ANZ accredited Certification Bodies that offer certification to the Standard you are interested in.

 

I want to get my product tested. Who do I contact?

Product testing is usually undertaken by test laboratories. 

To locate Testing Bodies accredited to test to a particular Standard, the first step is to identify the Standard number you want your product tested to.

Standard Numbers can be identified by using the SAI Global InfoStore

Once you have the Standard number you wish to test to, a list of Australian test laboratories is available from the National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia (NATA).

 

I am interested in importing a product into Australia. How do I find out if it needs to be certified to particular Standards before being imported and offered for sale?

Information on requirements that apply to imported products (such as whether they need to be certified as meeting particular Standards) can be obtained from government organisations that administer these requirements.  

SAI Global InfoStore can assist you with sales of Standards, however we are unable to advise if the product you are importing meets any mandatory requirements.

In Australia, overview information on importing can be obtained from the Australian Government Website or the relevant government authority.

 

I want to get my product certified for export. How do I go about this?

Export requirements are generally set by the country you are exporting to. Standards Australia does not have information on export requirements.

The Australian Trade Commission 'Austrade' may offer assistance to exporters in Australia.

 

Is there an international equivalent to the Australian Standard I am looking at?

International equivalents to an Australian Standard can be checked by searching the InfoStore of SAI Global, the distributor of Australian Standards.

You can also check for Australian Standard Equivalents if you have an international Standard.

 

I have a product that says it complies with an Australian Standard but it doesn't. Who do I contact?

False and misleading claims on products can be referred to the Office of Fair Trading or Consumer Affairs body in your state or territory and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

 

I have purchased a product that says it complies with an Australian Standard and it doesn't function properly. Who do I contact?

If you are unhappy with a product you should initially contact the place of purchase. If their response is not satisfactory please contact the Office of Fair Trading or Consumer Affairs body in your state or territory or the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

 

Who provides Certification/Approval Marks?

Certification bodies provide third party assurance that a particular product or process meets the requirements of a nominated Standard.

Once certification has been approved, the certification body will allow use of their own unique certification mark.

 

PRODUCT RELATED QUESTIONS

Mandatory Product Safety Standards - General Products

Information on a range of consumer products and safety related issues can be obtained from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) or from the Office of Fair Trading or Consumer Affairs in your state or territory.

The ACCC enforces mandatory product safety and information Standards and bans on unsafe goods declared under the Competition and Consumer Act.

Fair trading offices and Consumer Affairs bodies also have an important role in product safety within their own states or territories.

 

Plumbing Products

Some plumbing products require WaterMark certification to allow them to be installed.

The plumbing products that require certification under the WaterMark scheme are outlined in AS 5200.000.

If your product requires WaterMark certification you can obtain information relating to WaterMark and details of Conformity Assessment Bodies on our WaterMark website.

If your product is not covered by WaterMark you can contact certification and/or testing bodies who can provide certification on whether your product conforms to an Australian Standard.

 

What is the WaterMark?

WaterMark is a graphic symbol indicating a supplier or manufacturer's claim that a plumbing product meets applicable regulatory requirements. 

WaterMark certification is mandatory for some products (such as taps and pipes) before they can be installed in accordance with state and territory plumbing regulations. 

Standards Australia is responsible for the administration of the WaterMark Certification Scheme and maintains a database of certified products on behalf of the National Plumbers Regulators Forum (NPRF). 

A list of accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies is available on our WaterMark website.

Further information regarding WaterMark can be obtained from the National Plumbing Regulators Forum (NPRF) website.

 

Electrical Products

The safety of electrical products sold or imported to Australia is the responsibility of the Electrical Safety Regulator in your state or territory. 

Details of the relevant regulator can be located by contacting the Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council (ERAC).

Overseas Certificates of Approval and approval marks, such as the CE mark, may not always be accepted within Australia.

To obtain further information regarding any mandatory requirements for your product please contact the Electrical Safety Regulator in your state or territory.

 

Electrical Installations

The new edition of the Australian/New Zealand Standard for Wiring Rules (AS/NZS 3000:2007) was released in November 2007 and revised by Amendment 1 in July 2009.

A Frequently Asked Questions and Answers document has also been developed to explain some of the issues which have been raised by users of the Standard.

 

Building Products

Mandatory requirements for building products are the responsibility of the building authority in each state. 

Further information about mandatory requirements can be obtained from the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB).

 

Motorcycle Helmets

The Australian manufacturing and safety Standard for motorcycle helmets is Australian Standard AS/NZS 1698 Protective helmets for vehicle users.

Australia has one of the highest standards for helmets in the world and there are mandatory requirements covering the performance and use of motorcycle helmets in all states and territories.   

Standards Australia is involved in the development of this Standard however we are not involved in the certification or testing process in order to determine compliance. Standards Australia does not issue the compliance sticker for motorcycle helmets; this is supplied by a certifier.

The Roads or Vehicle Licensing authority in your state or territory sets the mandatory requirements for certification and use of motorcycle helmets and will be able to provide you with further information.

Alternatively the Office of Fair Trading and Consumer Affairs body in your state and territory may be able to assist.