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In this Edition

CEO report

This is the first E-News for 2021. I am feeling hopeful and optimistic that we are seeing the beginning of the end of the pandemic. Whilst we acknowledge the difficulties COVID-19 has brought to many across the country, this year promises to deliver better times for us all. Here at Standards Australia, we are continuing to adapt and grow to better support Australian communities.

With a clear vision of achieving our strategic goals of reputation, reach, relevance, and revenue, this year will mark major milestones for Standards Australia. As a public purpose organisation, we plan to move forward with a strong focus on our customers and remain committed to delivering standards that add value to our communities, industry and government.

With importance placed on accelerating our reach, we have exciting plans to diversify how we engage with our stakeholders, communities and the public. This developmental work will take shape whilst our core focus remains on delivering standards that support the many facets of Australian industry.

Our technical committees have had a strong start to the year with the progression of important work. I would like to acknowledge and thank the individuals and committees who are the engine room of Standards Australia.

In celebration and to appreciate the value our members add to Standards Australia, the Standards Awards nominations are now open. I strongly encourage you to nominate individuals who go above and beyond, making important contributions to standards development.

I look forward to working with you all in the year ahead.

— Adrian O'Connell, Chief Executive

The Standards Store – coming soon!

Standards at your fingertips! Standards Australia are excited to announce the upcoming launch of the Standards Store.

With the aim to provide a seamless customer experience the store will allow users to purchase standards directly from the website with real time access.

Discover, access and engage! The Standards Store will offer many features including easy access of browsing categories, the ability to track for updates and the opportunity to preview standards before purchasing.

The launch of the Standards Store will be announced shortly. To learn more about it and some of the other digital advancements we are making, please watch this video.

Standards Awards 2021 – Nominations now open

Each year, Standards Australia recognises outstanding contributions to standards development work. Individual and committee efforts are recognised as well as service in Australia and internationally. For further information regarding the six award categories or to submit a nomination you can visit Standards Awards.

Nominations close on Thursday, 25 March 2021.

Strategic review of our engagement work

In August 2020, we conducted a strategic review on our stakeholder engagement function. The objective was to gain further understanding on how to better deliver strategic value and insights in support of our standards development program.

The results of this review encouraged us:

  • To develop a new engagement model
  • Appoint new team members
  • Develop new roles
  • To stay engaged in existing areas of work

We believe this approach will allow for a more valuable and insightful delivery of standards, whilst supporting new and emerging areas of work across the economy.

A number of new positions have been created and advertised on our careers page. We have a very exciting program across the team and look forward to working with all of our stakeholders as we move into this new model.

To speak to one of our engagement managers please email

Keeping our communities safe

Play is an essential part of children’s development with outdoor playgrounds providing a place for children’s learnings such as evaluating injury risk, social behaviours and gaining independence.

Standards Australia has recently adopted standards to the series of AS 4685, Playground equipment and surfacing, Parts 1-6, with modifications made to reflect the Australian industry and community needs.

For further information read our recent release.

Renewable energy possibilities for Australia’s economy

Standards Australia are excited to announce the new collaboration agreement with Future Fuels Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) to support the implementation and use of hydrogen by expediting the development of hydrogen standards.

The hydrogen sector in Australia is gaining momentum with Standards Australia having published several standards aiming to support hydrogen production, with more currently under development.

For further information regarding the agreement read our recent release.

Sunny side up

Standards Australia delivered AS/NZS 4777.2, Grid connection of energy systems via inverters, Part 2: Inverter requirements, 15 months ahead of scheduled time to assist with industry needs. The standards main objective is to improve inverter performance and assist in maintaining a safe and stable energy supply for the community.

Find out how the standard will assist in supporting Australia’s grid capabilities in our recent release.

Technical Governance Review

Standards Australia's contributors are a great source of insight into the challenges and opportunities that exist within their industry, government and communities. The breadth of work we are involved in, historically, has made it difficult to understand these challenges and opportunities.

Standards Australia has put in place a function to analyse a range of data sources, including discussions directly with contributors, to help identify the key priorities and the major challenges faced in each sector. These insights will inform our Engagement team in their discussions to better align Standards Australia's work program with opportunities and challenges in a sector.

It will also allow Standards Australia to understand the strategic issues faced by our existing stakeholders and to explore ways in which Australian Standards might help address those.

A range of projects are underway within the Technical Governance Review Implementation Plan for FY 2021- TGR Implementation Plan FY2021 (PDF)

For an update of the progress to date, see the Current Quarterly report.

Graduate Program

Standards Australia welcomes our second intake of talent for the Graduate Program. From the 365 applications, four successful graduates have joined the business to experience the ‘ins and outs’ of Standards Australia. The graduates will spend time across four sectors within the organisation and gain further knowledge into the world of standards development.

“The inaugural year of Standards Australia’s Graduate Program was hugely successful, hiring all four graduates into permanent positions. Due to this success, we have now adopted this program into our business welcoming our 2021 cohort on-board in February. Our people are the secret of our success at Standards Australia. The Graduate Program allows us to attract emerging talent to understand standards and how they contribute to the net-benefit of our Australian Community.”— Emma Lowes, General Manager of People and Performance

In Conversation with Dr. Andrew Arch

Dr. Arch has been working in the field of digital accessibility for over 20 years, joining Intopia as a Principal Consultant in mid-2017. In his earlier career Dr. Arch was involved in agriculture, natural resource economics and information management. Since 2000, he has established the digital access team at Vision Australia, worked on ageing and disability at the W3C in Europe and as the senior accessibility and inclusion expert in the Australian Government, including at the Digital Transformation Agency before joining Intopia.

Dr. Arch is currently the Chair of Standards Australia’s IT-40 ICT, Accessibility Committee and is an active member in the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative.

Standards Australia (SA): When did you first become involved in standards development?
Dr. Andrew Arch: My first job in web accessibility was with Vision Australia in 2001 and I became involved in the Web Accessibility Initiative at the W3C. The Education and Outreach Working Group’s role was to develop strategies and resources to promote awareness, understanding and the implementation of web accessibility. This included working with the Guidelines Working Group to promote WCAG 1.0 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 1). When WCAG 2.0 was subsequently released, I was working for the W3C on ageing and accessibility. More recently, I worked for the Digital Transformation Agency and contributed significantly to the governments Digital Service Standard.

SA: How do standards impact and interact with your industry?
Standards provide the framework to address the technical requirements of accessibility. However, like any technical standard, they need to be applied with the end user in mind. Fortunately, WCAG has evolved to include more usability issues over time but that does leave some of the success criteria open to debate about pass or fail. Accessibility standards provide a baseline for implementing digital accessibility with the next step being understanding and considering how people actually use digital products and interact with technology.

SA: In our ever-growing digital world, why are accessible standards important?
AA: The web accessibility standards provide a baseline for making digital products more accessible for people with disability. Additional guidance that the W3C provides along with the WCAG standard helps designers and developers address the ways assistive technologies such as screen readers, screen magnifiers, voice input etc can better interact with products. They also provide advice on meeting the needs of people who interact differently, such as with a keyboard but no mouse, or those who might be colour blind or need to change text size or colours.

SA: What is the future of standardisation?
AA: As the web and digital industries continue to mature, it seems they’re turning more to standards for guidance to be sure they are safe and/or usable. That is certainly the case with the recently published AS EN 301 549:2020, Accessibility requirements for ICT products and services, which extended WCAG to address associated issues such as the physical use of ATMs and kiosks. This recognises that it’s more than just what’s on the screen that makes a product usable.

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.

Highlights from January and February (PDF)

  • Assistance dogs: Proposal for a New Field of Technical Activity.
  • Chain of Custody: Proposal for a New Field of Technical Activity.
  • Roofing and waterproofing building materials: Proposal for a New Field of Technical Activity.

Sector update

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

Drafts open for comment

Make valuable contributions. With the launch of our new public comment platform, draft standards currently open for comment are now available via Connect.