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International participation

International committee membership
Standards Australia (SA) is the national ‘Member Body’, and Australia’s representative, at both the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). As such, Standards Australia is responsible for co-ordinating Australia’s participation in ISO and IEC standardisation activities.
 
However, while coordination is through Standards Australia, Standards Development Organisations (SDO) are encouraged to participate in ISO and IEC activities wherever possible. In general, the joint approach will see the SDO’s SRB, acting as a mirror committee to the international committee, deciding the technical comment, content or vote. This information is then forwarded to Standards Australia who, in turn, transmits it formally to ISO or IEC.
 
This flow chart describes the procedure to be followed when becoming a member of, or participating in, an International committee or working group. Details on the operation of, and interaction between, international committees and Australian mirror committees is given in the Guide to International Standardisation.
 
Attendance at international meetings
If an SDO is an active member of an international committee the SDO is entitled to send a delegate(s) to meetings of that committee. Again, since Standards Australia is the national member of ISO and IEC, coordination of meeting attendees must be through Standards Australia. This basically involves Standards Australia accrediting Australia’s delegates to international meetings. A summary of the process to be followed is provided in this meeting attendance flow chart.
 
When considering likely delegates, the SDO must take into account the prospective delegate’s knowledge and level of expertise, previous standardisation activities, negotiation skills, support from a balanced national mirror group, and technical expertise to represent the Australian view at the meeting.
 
Delegates to international meetings are often funded by their organisation. However, each year, the Department of Industry (DOI) provides funds to assist selected delegates to participate on Australia's behalf at ISO and IEC meetings. These funds are provided as part of the Government’s commitment to the development and adoption of International Standards. The program is intended to supplement funds from other sources since it is expected that other Australian organisations will also provide practical support for international standardisation activities and contribute to the cost of participation.
 
Standards Australia oversees the administration of this funding. All accredited SDOs with a legitimate interest in international standardisation have equal access to this funding in the form of travel subsidies.
 
However, if an SDO is considering sending a delegate to an international meeting it would be advisable to contact Standards Australia’s International Development Manager before submitting an application. There are a number of issues to be considered and there is a range of support material available.
 
All delegates, whether funded by Standards Australia or not, are required to submit a report to their SRB, SDO and Standards Australia. The form of this report is given in the document International Delegates Meeting Report