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In this Edition

Chairman’s message

Last week, the Standards Australia Board met in Brisbane for our quarterly board meetings. Our agenda was diverse. From domestic and international standards priorities being led by our contributors to our digital and business transformation. We looked at length at the work being done by the team to build a culture of delivery whilst scaling our operations to meet current and future needs.

In this context, the Board confirmed the appointment of Adrian O’Connell as our Chief Executive Officer.

Adrian’s appointment followed a detailed and considered assessment by the Board of the current and future needs of Standards Australia and the mix of skills and experience we need in our new CEO, as we continue through our next period of growth and change.

Adrian will be known to many of you and has been Deputy CEO since 2013 and Acting CEO since March this year.

In his 14 years of Executive leadership in Standards Australia, Adrian has led each functional aspect of the business, including Standards Development, Operations, Finance, Strategy, Stakeholder Engagement and International relations.  

Adrian has an extensive understanding and commitment to our public purpose mandate and has been instrumental in building the organisational capacities, strategies and relationships that have enabled Standards Australia to achieve its strategic objectives and deliver increasing value to all stakeholders and the community.
Adrian’s experience and excellent reputation in representing Australia internationally, his previous career experience in leading membership based organisations and his business experience in professional service and superannuation fund governance were also taken into account by the Board.

We are excited about Adrian’s vision as to how Standards Australia can move even further ahead under his leadership and look forward to working with him as we move ahead. The Board is fortunate to have been able to appoint a CEO with so much knowledge and respect from colleagues in Australia and internationally.

I would like to welcome Adrian to the role.

Read more in our media release

—Richard Brooks, Chairman Standards Australia Limited

Changing Australia with Industry 4.0

Standards Australia outlined how developing standards can help Australia tackle the next major industrial revolution at the recent Industry 4.0 Advanced Manufacturing Forum (I4AMF).

Standards Australia presented at the conference about how Australian businesses can optimise their supply chain processes, reduce risks, eliminate inefficiencies, and improve productivity. Read more in our media release.

Plain and simple – International plain language standard on the horizon

In recent months Standards Australia has been heavily involved in the proposal for an international plain language standard. Plain language aims to ensure the reader is put first when developing a technical document by ensuring the readability of written material and that relevant information is accessible.

In collaboration with the International Plain Language Federation, Standards Australia put forward a new work item proposal for a plain language standard to the International Standard Organisation (ISO) earlier this year. The national mirror committee CS-117, which represents the interests of Australian stakeholders by mirroring the structure of the relevant international technical committee ISO/TC 37, also played an important role in the consideration of this proposal.

ISO/TC 37 which develops standards relating to language and terminology, agreed to the proposal in June and put it forward for a vote by all committee members. Voting will close in September of this year, giving its 35 participating national standards bodies that are part of the committee plenty of time to consider the proposal. There is a strong feeling that the new work item will be approved.

This exciting development highlights the work Standards Australia leads within the international standards development space. Being proactive, forward thinking and contributing to ISO standards development is an important part of shaping the future of Standards Australia.

Relevant standards key to improved workplace safety

Standards Australia has adopted the new ISO Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements with guidance for use, standard as AS/NZS ISO 45001:2018.

“AS/NZS ISO 45001 has given health and safety professionals in organisations of any size a new way to help manage the many safety risks in workplaces across the country,” said Head of Stakeholder Engagement, Daniel Chidgey.

Read more in our media release.

Call for ideas– Can standards be more useful to you?

The Standards Australia Incubator is a sandpit for playing with new ideas and testing concepts. It’s a place for you to share your vision of how we could make standards better. There is no idea too big or too small – we want to hear it all!

Gaining feedback and understanding how Standards Australia can make standards more useful is an important discussion point. That’s why this month we are asking: how could we make standards more useful to you? To share your view, click here:

In Conversation with Mark Chladil

Mark Chladil is the Fire Management Planning Officer at the Tasmania Fire Service in Hobart. He is a researcher, having been published in the International Journal of Wildland Fire and a representative of the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council. Passionate about protecting the public, Mark has been a part of Standards Australia FP-020 Committee Construction in Bushfire Prone Areas since its inception nearly 20 years ago.

Standards Australia: How long have you been in standards development?

Mark Chladil: My entry into the world of standards began in 1996 when I provided comments to the BD/64 Committee through the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) representatives of the day. I then went on to join the newly renumbered FP-020 in 2000, when it formed after the publication of Edition 2 of AS3959 Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas.

SA: In your area of work, what has been the biggest success?

MC: For me, the biggest success has been the adoption of AS3959by majority of fire jurisdictions in Australia. AS3959 is hugely important, it covers the bushfire safety requirements of building in a bushfire prone area, as well as providing the methodology for calculating bushfire attack level within a space. The reach of the standard is large as it doesn’t just apply to builders but to anyone who lives in a bushfire prone area.

SA: Do you think the broader community understand the role of standards?

MC: I believe community understanding of the role of standards is vague. Yet there is a high level of expectation from the public that standards provide requirements for safety, effectiveness and suitability for purpose. I expect the majority of the public are unaware of the extensive process standards go through when being developed. Unfortunately, they’re mostly noticed by the public when a failure occurs. Standards are working constantly behind the scenes, even if the public aren’t fully aware they’re there!

SA: What does the future of standardisation look like?

MC: I believe standardisation will continue to grow and develop with the adoption of E-technology, which will hopefully bring more flexible and agile standards development. The growth of technology will hopefully encourage the breakdown of national barriers and boundaries so that standards grow even more useful to communities and the standardisation process has a secure future.

International update

Standards Australia represents Australia on the two major international standards development bodies, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Our activities are reported on our International Updates page.

Link to International Update August (PDF).

Drafts open for comment

The public comment process provides an opportunity for stakeholders and members of the public to make valuable contributions. View draft standards currently open for comment.

Sector update

Access the latest standards development news in your industry sector via our Sectors page.