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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?
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?
What is the role of the Project Manager?
How do I find out who the Project Manager of a committee is?
How do I propose a new Standard or revise an existing Standard?
As a member of the public, how can I provide comments on a Draft Standard?
What is an Interim Standard?
Why is a Standard marked as Withdrawn?
What does 'obsolescent' mean for a Standard?
What is a superseded Standard?
What does 'available superseded mean?
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?

FURTHER INFORMATION ON STANDARDS FOR PRODUCTS
Mandatory Product Safety Standards - General Products
Plumbing Products/WaterMark Certification
Electrical Products
Electrical Installations
Building Products
Motorcycle Helmets

Food/Drinks or Vehicle Safety Standards

 

ABOUT STANDARDS

Who is Standards Australia?

Standards Australia is the nation's peak non-government, not-for-profit standards organisation.
 
Our expertise and main responsibility is the development of standards. We do not enforce, regulate or certify compliance with these standards.
 
We are charged by the Commonwealth Government to meet Australia's need for contemporary, internationally-aligned Standards.
 
 

What does Standards Australia do?

We develop standards; we do not enforce, regulate or certify compliance with these standards. We form technical committees by bringing together relevant parties and stakeholders from government, business, industry, community, academia and consumers.

Through a process of consensus, these technical committees develop standards for Australia’s net benefit. We facilitate that process.
 
The work of Standards Australia enhances the nation's economic efficiency, international competitiveness and contributes to community demand for a safe and sustainable environment.
 
 

What is a Standard?

Standards are published documents setting out specifications and procedures. They are designed to ensure products, services and systems are safe, reliable and consistent. They are based on sound industrial, scientific and consumer experience and are regularly reviewed to ensure they keep pace with new technologies. They 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 click here.

 

What is the purpose of a Standard?

Standards specify requirements to achieve minimum objectives of safety, quality or performance of a product or service. Standards are voluntary documents unless referenced by government in legislation.

Standards can also serve as purchasing specifications or technical conditions of contract between two parties.

Standards may be used for educational purposes including recommendations, or administrative or project management procedures.

 

Are Australian Standards mandatory?

On their own, standards are voluntary. There is no requirement for the public to comply with standards.
 
However, State and Commonwealth governments often refer to Australian Standards (AS) or joint Australian/New Zealand Standards (AS/NZS) in their legislation. When this happens, these standards can become mandatory.
 
You can search for Australian Standards referenced in legislation and case law via AustLII. Alternatively you can make enquiries with consultants in the relevant area or industry.
 
Standards Australia is not able to give legal advice in relation to the compliance or non-compliance with any requirements or specifications in a Standard.
 
 

 

Australian Standards are distributed by SAI Global under licence from Standards Australia.

 
Please contact SAI Global for sales and pricing information or visit their website.
 
Telephone queries should be directed to 131 242 (within Australia), or +61 2 8206 6010 (from overseas).
 
SAI Global Sales offices are located in various cities and information regarding these offices can be obtained by contacting SAI Global directly.
 
The full catalogue of Australian Standards is available for viewing in some local, state and TAFE libraries. Please contact your nearest library or institution to check if the Australian Standard you wish to view is available.
 
 
 
You can self-browse on the website of our distributor partner (SAI Global) to find a standard. In the white search field at the top left of this page, you can enter keywords or document numbers. Set the second search field to AS to search specifically for Australian Standards. Otherwise, results will include other national standards and international standards bodies.
 
Click on the document page to access the abstract. To view the abstract, please click on ‘English’ next to the preview icon.
 
On the second page of the abstract you can see the list of organisations responsible for publishing the document and also view the table of contents. This may help indicate if the standard is of relevance to your enquiry.
 
You can also click on the tab “Advanced Search” if you are looking for a superseded standard.
 
If you wish to read the entire document, you will have to purchase it or visit a state library to read in full for free.

 

Can I view a Standard without purchasing it?

The full catalogue of Australian Standards is 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 table of 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 by emailing copyright@saiglobal.com or by calling 131 242 (within Australia) or +61 2 8206 6010 (from overseas)

 

DEVELOPMENT

How are Australian Standards developed?

You can watch a short video here or visit Developing Standards’ for a full description of the process.

Standards Australia receives proposals from the public to develop or revise a standard. Approved proposals then become projects assigned to a relevant technical committee.

A committee consists of technical experts representing various interest groups such as suppliers, regulatory authorities, government departments, associations, academia and consumers. We refer to these stakeholder groups as Nominating Organisations.

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

Who are the representatives on a Standards Australia Committee?

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 listed in the preface of all publications. Please contact the relevant organisation to seek further assistance.

View the Standards Development Public Portal for a list of committees by sector.

 

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, scope and budget.

 

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

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

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 email us.

 

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

Please refer to the page on ‘Developing Standards’ for details. You can also speak to a National Sector Manager.

 
 
 
Any member of the public is able to comment on a draft publication at the Public Comment stage.
 
To make a comment on an open draft please click on the link below and proceed to the 'Public Access' area of the Standards Hub for instructions.
 
All comments from the public have to be made through this website.
 
To view all Draft publications open for Public Comment please click on the link below to SAI Global's InfoStore
 
Committee Members are able to make comments on draft publications by accessing the Committee Member area of the Standards Hub.
 
 
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.
 
 
This indicates that the document is no longer relevant, or its designation has changed. A product may 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.
It is still possible, however, for a Withdrawn Standard to be used within an industry, community or by a government if they choose to do so. One reason for this may be because there are no replacement technical documents readily available.
 
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.

For example, AS 1234:2015 will supersede AS 1234:2010. However, in some cases the older standard might be superseded with a new standard with a different designation.

Sometimes a standard is only partly superseded by another standard, and the earlier edition remains current until there are replacements available that cover all the content of the original standard.

 

What does 'available superseded' mean?

‘Available superseded’ indicates that the product has been made available for a period of time although it has been formally superseded by another document. The product is maintained because it is in use by a certifying body, or referenced in legislation/regulations (e.g. the Building Code of Australia) or other publications. The use of ‘available superseded’ products should be restricted to these instances.

Standards Australia takes no responsibility for the ongoing technical validity of such a document. It is up to government authorities to decide whether to reference ‘available superseded’ products in legislation/regulation.

In the case where the ‘available superseded’ publication is being used as the basis for certification, the 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, an amendment to the document is issued.

In an amendment document (published as a stand-alone), the corrected text is meant to replace the existing text in the standard. For example, the new Clause 1.1 in the Amendment will replace the existing Clause 1.1 in the standard.

Later versions of the full standard will be published with the amended text already incorporated, and this will be reflected in the title, cover page and preface.

 

APPLICATION OF AUSTRALIAN STANDARDS

When does a Standard come into effect?

There are two dates that may determine when 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 comes into effect.

The implementation date is the date that a standard becomes effective for regulatory or other purposes. On occasion, legislation or certification programs may require a later date of implementation for a standard than its publication date. This is usually to provide a grace period 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. Please check with the appropriate government authority.

 

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

No, technical queries regarding implementation of the content of a standard are outside Standards Australia's area of expertise and responsibility.

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 then the interpretation of the standard is ultimately up to the end user.

View this list for contact details of relevant authorities.

 

Can Standards Australia assist with locating a consultant?

Standards Australia does not undertake any consulting activities, nor do we 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. A good place to start would be the list of industry bodies or organisations that contributed to the development of the standard. These are all listed in the front pages of the standard.

 

Who certifies that a product conforms to a Standard?

Standards Australia is not involved with determining whether products comply with Australian Standards. This role is fulfilled by certification, inspection and testing bodies.

The Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) has a database of companies that can carry out certification. You can check their website here.

Testing bodies can be found by contacting the National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia (NATA).
 
 
This service is provided by certification bodies.
 
To locate certification bodies that are accredited to certify to a particular standard, the first step is to identify the designation (AS number) of the standard that you want certification to.
 
Standard designations can be identified by using the SAI Global InfoStore.
 
Once you have the designation (AS number) of the standard, you can use the JAS-ANZ Accredited Bodies Register to generate a list of accredited certification bodies that provide the service you are after.

 

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 designation (AS number) you want your product tested to.

Standard designations can be identified by using the SAI Global InfoStore

Once you have the designation (AS 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 can be obtained from government organisations that administer these requirements.

We are unable to advise if the product you are importing needs to meet any mandatory requirements.

General 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?

You can check whether there are international equivalents to an Australian Standard by searching the InfoStore of SAI Global, the distributor of Australian Standards.

 

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).
 
For a list of consumer regulatory bodies, click here.
 
 

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 contact the place of purchase as a starting point. 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).

For a list of consumer regulatory bodies, click here.

 

Who provides Certification/Approval Marks?

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

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

 

FURTHER INFORMATION ON STANDARDS FOR PRODUCTS

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 information and safety standards; as well as 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. For a list of consumer regulatory bodies please click here.

 

Plumbing Products/WaterMark Certification 

A supplier or manufacturer may seek WaterMark certification for their plumbing products. The ‘WaterMark’ symbol on a product indicates that the supplier or manufacturer claims this product meets applicable regulatory requirements.

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

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

 

Electrical Products

The safety and certification 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) or by consulting this list.

Overseas certificates of approval and approval marks, such as the CE mark (from Europe), may not always be accepted within Australia. You should check with the relevant electrical safety regulator.

To obtain further information regarding any mandatory requirements for your product please contact the electrical safety regulator in your state or territory.

 

Electrical Installations

There is a mandatory Australian standard for installation of electrical products, commonly referred to as the Wiring Rules.

Standards Australia is undertaking a review of AS/NZS 3000:2007 Electrical Installations (The Wiring Rules). The draft will be available for public comment until 20 June 2016.

 

Building Products

Mandatory requirements for building products are the responsibility of the building authority in each state. For further information please contact the relevant building authority in your state.

 

Motorcycle Helmets

States and territories have their own mandatory requirements covering the sale and use of motorcycle helmets.

Standards Australia is involved in the development of the Australian Standard for motorcycle helmets, AS/NZS 1698, Protective helmets for vehicle users. This Australian Standard may be referenced in legislation or regulation.

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 you can contact the Office of Fair Trading and Consumer Affairs body in your state and territory.

 

Food/Drinks or Vehicle Safety Standards
 
Please note that Standards Australia is not responsible for standards in these areas.