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In this Edition

Executive report

We rounded out May with the mid-year council meeting, which is a significant date in our diaries.

We continued discussions on the transformation that Standards Australia has gone through this past year. Chairman, Richard Brooks, unveiled the strategic framework outlined in our Action Plan 2019-20 (PDF), which focuses on:

  • Helping industries and governments achieve outcomes and connect internationally;
  • Engaging stakeholders and delivering standards in smarter and more efficient ways; and
  • Embedding choice, value and reach in our product and distribution channels.

Along with the Board of Directors and Executives, we also heard from our senior leadership team as they shared their insights on the future of Standards Australia, and their contributing roles.

The other hot topic of conversation was the announcement of our partnership with Techstreet, highlighted in May’s E-News. A very exciting step forward and great news to share with council members and the wider community.

With all this excitement and range of announcements over the last few months, we have decided to reach out to you, the Australian community to hear what you have to say. Standards Australia will be travelling around in the next few months to open up communication channels and hear your feedback.

The details are outlined below. This is an opportunity for you to join in on the discussion about the future of Standards Australia.

—Adrian O’Connell, Acting Chief Executive Officer

Distribution Policy Consultation

Standards Australia has been presented with a once in a generation opportunity to significantly improve the way we deliver for Australian industry, consumers, business and the broader community.

Now with a chance to design a distribution model that delivers greater reach, allowing more choice in how content is accessed while supporting its public benefit role in the economy.

Before us are a number of new pathways that need careful consideration to ensure Standards Australia’s sustainability in the long term as well as invigorating the use of standards in Australian society.

After successful consultations in both Darwin and Adelaide, we are committed to listening to all interested stakeholders in the development of the framework for the new distribution activities, as we continue around the rest of Australia.

Part of this process includes comprehensive consultation in each capital city across Australia seeking views on our Distribution and Licensing Policy Discussion Paper (PDF) which has been recently released.

Send your Discussion Paper responses to Submissions will be taken until 29 July 2019.

If you want to help shape the future of Standards Australia, please register for one of the consultations below:

Vehicle modification standard is revised to help increase driver safety

Standards Australia has been working with rehabilitation specialists, engineers and medical experts to improve the standard for vehicle modification for those with disabilities, and has just released AS 3954:2019, Motor vehicle driver controls - Adaptive systems for people with disabilities.

Read more in our media release

Strengthening trust in artificial intelligence

The growing use of artificial intelligence (AI) and conversations around unlocking its true benefits have prompted the development of a discussion paper published by the policy team of Standards Australia. Developing Standards for Artificial Intelligence: Hearing Australia’s Voice (PDF) has been developed to harness the responsible use of AI, recognising the work of CSIRO Data 61 and others, including companies themselves, in shaping how ethics can impact AI into the future.

Read more in our media release

In Conversation with Colin Doyle

At our recent 2019 Standards Awards, Colin Doyle was awarded the W.R. Hebblewhite Medal for his outstanding contribution. Since his initial introduction to standards 50 years ago, Colin has devoted time, commitment and plenty of committee meetings to produce a plethora of published standards.

Colin is the General Manager of Consumer Electronics Suppliers Association, and while retirement may be on the cards shortly, Colin looks to continue his work as Chairperson on committee EL-002-00-01, Appliances for air-conditioning for household and similar purposes.

A long-term contributor since the late 1970’s Colin has worked on a range of high-profile projects including equipment electrical safety standards, Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM) standards, the energy efficiency labelling and performance standards scheme, the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme, the creation of the Industry Code for Consumer Goods that contain button batteries and even participating in the development of standards for the introduction of digital television into Australia.

We talked with Colin and asked him to reflect on his career as well as the role of standards within Australia.

Standards Australia: How would you sum up the standards work that you are currently involved in?

Colin Doyle: The primary activity is to ensure safety for the community, so the reduction of electrical shock and fire caused from equipment. We also take into consideration the adoption of international standards.

As part of my work on the air conditioner performance committee, we recently introduced a new Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) and energy labelling scheme to provide consumers and commercial users with a means to be able to select air conditioners that work most efficiently in the particular climate zone where they will be used.

I have been working in the industry for my whole career, on household, industrial and commercial equipment, in all aspects from manufacturing to product testing and selection. It has been varied and very satisfying work.SA: How will this impact the life of Australians?

CD: Essentially for safety but also product performance, especially in relation to energy and water efficiency where running cost savings are important for consumers whilst ensuring that products still perform as expected.

We also need to take into consideration that we no longer manufacture consumer products in Australia. Overseas appliance manufacturers are moving towards products suitable for global or major markets use. It would be very expensive to ask for design changes just for the comparatively tiny Australian market. However, we do need to ensure that the global product is safe for use in Australia, hence the importance of our participation in the development of the international standards, and if not successful, we maintain our Australian or AS/NZS standard variations.

SA: Why do standards matter to you?

CD: I left school in 1967 and started work as a cadet engineer. Two years later working in the refrigeration design and test lab, I was introduced to the use of standards for testing the performance and electrical safety of commercial and household refrigeration equipment.

It was obvious that there needed to be a standard testing procedure used otherwise refrigerator manufacturers would test and rate the performance of their products differently. Whether its performance or safety-related the test processes, rating and minimum requirements need to be standardised.Ever since my first involvement with using standards and understanding their importance to the Australian life, I wanted to be part of the process to ensure that products are being tested in a standardised way. This meant that products supplied into the Australian market by local manufacturers or overseas manufacturers, must comply with Australian or agreed equivalent international standards, to ensure safe, correctly rated products and a level playing field. Hence, in the late 1970’s, I was pleased to be nominated to join the standards development process at Standards Australia.

Ironically as retirement rapidly approaches, I am still involved in the standards committee that specifies the performance and energy efficiency of household refrigerators…SA: What does the future of standardisation look like?

CD: It is critical to continue to increase the understanding of the need of standards to ensure continual safety whether it is applicable to products or buildings or other areas.

Standards Australia is in good hands with plans to improve standards development methods, including involvement and training of NEXTgen people; consultation to development most appropriate means of standards availability to their many varied users and continued management of Australia participation in International Standards.

A Build on Words

The Standards Australia Incubator, in partnership with the Australian Building Codes Board, has developed a prototype online Glossary of Australian Building and Construction Terms.

Still at proof-of-concept stage, the terms and definitions in this glossary are drawn from various sources, including the National Construction Code, a selection of Australian Standards and Handbook 50: Glossary of Building Terms.

The aim of the glossary is to:

  • Combine terms and definitions from various sources across the building and construction industry into one easily navigable, online location;
  • Highlight duplications and conflicts between definitions in order to aid efforts towards harmonisation; and
  • Where there are duplications and conflicts, help industry to find the right definition by providing a hierarchy within the search results.

We are keen to hear from our stakeholders on the potential usefulness of a glossary such as this and would like to invite interested stakeholders to be part of the user testing at the following link.

Feedback can be provided by answering four short survey questions.

Alternatively, please email to indicate your willingness to take part in a short telephone interview.

Please note that the small data-set within the prototype glossary is for testing purposes only and may not reflect current data.

The glossary prototype will be available online for testing until the end of July 2019.

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 June (PDF):

  • Members adopt draft decision to improve tariff and import data, discuss trade concerns
  • Proposed new field of technical activity on Laboratory Design
  • How can IEC shape the circular economy?

Sector update

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

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.