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In this Edition

CEO Report

2022 was a big year for Standards Australia, while there were many highlights, chief amongst them was the celebration of our Centenary, critical improvements to our processes and systems, and implementing better offerings for our customers.
In 2023, Standards Australia will continue to execute against its strategic plan, building on strong foundations. Our transformation journey will continue at pace, with our contributors and users of standards remaining the primary focus.
While there is still some post-pandemic uncertainty in Australian and global markets, Standards Australia is determined to remain ambitious in the coming year.

We will continue to find new pathways and solutions to meet the needs of different sectors. We will roll out new models to improve access to standards. And we will build greater awareness about our purpose and value in the wider community.
One of the highlights for 2023 will be the ISO Annual Meeting in Brisbane in September, which Standards Australia is hosting. This event is an opportunity to showcase our expertise and leadership in standards development and should attract leading thinkers in the field.
Undoubtedly, there will be challenges in the coming year. In meeting those challenges we must adapt and innovate, but never lose sight of our vision - to be a global leader in trusted solutions that improve life, today and tomorrow.
To do that, we must continue to be responsive to the needs of our stakeholders, contributors and the wider Australian community, continuing to develop standards that meet national and global needs.
To our members, contributors, stakeholders and staff, thank you for your enduring commitment over 2022. I look forward to working with you to achieve great things in 2023.

— Adrian O'Connell, Chief Executive

Centenary Year in review | Thank you for being part of our journey

Standards Australia this year marked its centenary - 100 years of driving innovation, empowering innovation, and serving Australia.

We thank the many organisations and individuals - especially our valued contributors - that have contributed so much to our 100-year journey.

It is exciting to share with you the highlights of our centenary year - click here to see a wrap-up of a year of celebration.

Top 5 standards to support tech industry

As the adoption of new technologies accelerates, Standards Australia and its expert contributors continue to develop and publish standards to support rapidly evolving industries.

Learn more in our article here.

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.Click here to view our highlights from December (PDF):

  • Australia’s good representation on the Standardization Management Board (SMB)
  • Dust and dust storms: new field of technical activity
  • New international standard provides process framework for managing big data analytics

Sector Update

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

In Conversation with Martin Tyas

Professor Martin Tyas AM is a Professorial Fellow in the Melbourne Dental School. His main interest is in adhesive dental restorative materials, their clinical evaluation and their application in minimum intervention dentistry, and he has published more than 220 papers. Martin has served on several Standards Australia committees, is currently Chairman of HE-004 (Dentistry) and has led the Australian delegation to the ISO/ TC106 (Dentistry) since 1986, of which HE-004 is the mirror committee. In 2009 he was invested a member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to dentistry.

1. When did you first become involved in standards development?

As a newly graduated dentist from Birmingham University, England, in 1967, I was interested in dental materials and published two papers on the results of testing products to British standards. My PhD project in the mid-1970s involved the cell culture evaluation of the cytotoxicity of dental restorative materials, and some of the work became incorporated into British and international standards. I worked in Perth, WA, for 5 years and then moved to Melbourne in 1984 to join the Australian Dental Standards Laboratory (ADSL), which started my major involvement in standards development.

When I joined ADSL, the work involved both domestic and international dental standards development, the latter with the International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee 106 Dentistry (ISO/ TC106), and several inter-laboratory test programs were conducted on its behalf.

More recently, I have become involved in Standards Australia Committee HE-011 (Safe management of sharps and health care related wastes), in particular standards on scalpel blade removal devices and sharps containers.

2. How do standards impact and interact with your industry?

From 1956 up to the mid-1980s, the Australian Dental Association (ADA) published an annual List of Certified Products. These were products which had been purchased on the open market and tested by ADSL against the relevant Australian Standard. The List provided dentists with a comprehensive resource showing all the products which complied with the relevant standard, thereby ensuring the quality of the product. In 1984, there were over 70 Australian dental standards, and during the period 1973-1986, ADSL reported on around 200 samples each year.

In late 1984, prompted by rapid advances in health technology and mortality from defective, imported prosthetic heart valves, the Commonwealth began a program of regulation of medical devices, which by definition includes dental products, culminating in the eventual establishment of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The Australian Dental Standards Laboratory was a natural home for testing many medical devices.The regulation of dental products by the Australian government required a reappraisal of the roles of Standards Australia, ADSL and the ADA. Dental products now had to meet the ‘essential requirements’ prescribed by the TGA. Because more than 90 percent of dental products were imported, it was logical that the focus should be on international, not Australian, dental standards.When the Australian government began to regulate medical devices in the mid- to late-1980s, it was agreed by ADSL, the ADA and Standards Australia that the focus should be on international dental standards, not Australian dental standards. As a consequence, ADSL worked with ISO/ TC106 to develop international standards, the ADA discontinued its Certified List and Standards Australia withdrew domestic dental standards when the corresponding international standards became available. Now, HE-004 acts solely as the mirror committee of ISO/ TC106.To support Australia’s involvement in ISO/ TC106, the ADA and Standards Australia provide some of the funding for delegates (currently 10) to attend the annual meeting. During the 5-day TC106 meeting, there are around 45 separate meetings across the entire range of dental products, each of which requires specific expertise. Australian delegates are highly regarded in TC106, which is a tribute to their dedication and commitment to international standardisation.

3. Why is access to standards important?

Standards are vital to safe and effective dental practice. The range of standards applicable to dental practices are not only those of ISO/ TC106, but include other ISO Committees and Standards Australia, and more. Some of the other Standards Australia standards which are essential for dental practice include those for masks, gloves, sharps containers, disposal of contaminated waste, steam sterilisers, packing materials and reprocessing. This is in addition to general standards, e.g. for buildings, electrical safety and plumbing.

4.   What is the future of standardisation in your area of work?

In recent years, ISO/ TC106 has expanded its activities into new areas to keep pace with biological, clinical and technological developments, while also reviewing and updating when necessary existing standards. The Working Group on Biological Testing is active in relatively new areas such as anti-bacterial activity of various dental materials and hazards of nanoparticles of dental origin. ‘Digital dentistry’, including additive and subtractive manufacture of dental prostheses, is under consideration. Ad-hoc Task Groups have been formed very recently on Digital Object Identifiers and Artificial Intelligence.

Drafts Open for Comment

The public comment process provides an opportunity for stakeholders and members of the public to make valuable contributions. With the launch of our new public comment platform, draft standards currently open for comment are now available via Connect.