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In this Edition

Chair’s report

At the November Standards Australia Board meeting, I was unanimously elected as Chair of the Board of Standards Australia by the directors. This followed Richard Brooks stepping down from the position, having reached his maximum term.

Being elected as Chair of Standards Australia by the directors is the greatest honour. I have spent most of my working life in and around standards. I have used and developed standards as an engineer, chaired committees, represented Australia nationally and internationally and supported industry as a member and councillor of Standards Australia for many years.

We are fortunate that Richard will remain on the Board for a further 12-month term, but I would like to take this opportunity to thank Richard for his contributions, dedication and commitment.

I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for us as a community, in deepening the links standards have across Australia and around the world, and am delighted to be the first female Chair in Standards Australia’s almost 100 year history.

—Tracey Gramlick, Chair

Empowering communities

The last year has been one of significant change, and at Standards Australia we have been inspired by the continued resilience of the Australian people.

In the 2019–20 financial year we remained focused on our core work of providing trusted solutions while also investing in guidance and strategies to support the many Australian communities affected by the bushfires and pandemic.

In our recently published 2020 Annual Review (PDF), you can reflect on the past year with us and discover what the future holds for Standards Australia.

Managing further volatility and risk

This year has seen the traditional ways of how Australians work be disrupted, in a way of which our generation has never seen.

To pave a way forward for further standardisation in the area of risk management and business continuity, we are seeking your input via our briefing paper (PDF).

Read more in our recent release.

Safety of farmers and their livestock

Standards Australia has published a new livestock ramp standard, developed with the safety of workers and welfare of livestock front of mind.

The guidance aims to promote safe practices in the over 85,000 agricultural businesses across Australia that may be using livestock ramps.

Read more in our recent release.

New participants on the global grid

Taking part on IEC and ISO technical committees allows Australia to have an active voice across international standardisation. It assists in aligning Australia with international standards, increasing competition, and reducing trade barriers.

In a recent update, Australia is now participating on IEC TC 69: Electrical Power/Energy Transfer Systems for Electrically Propelled Road Vehicles and Industrial Trucks, and IEC TC 78: Live Working.

Read more in our recent blog.

Australian experts elected

There has been great success for Australian representatives in the international standardisation space. Just this month two standards experts have been elected across two different IEC Boards. We would like to congratulate Standards Australia Board Member, Dr. Ian Oppermann for his appointment to the IEC Council Board and Committee Member, Stephen Keeling for his election to the IEC Conformity Assessment Board.

Coming soon: Aged Standards consultation

To keep our catalogue contemporary and relevant, we will be seeking feedback on several Aged Standards (documents which are over ten years old), belonging to inactive technical committees. A list of these aged documents will be released from 14 December 2020 until 12 February 2021 on our Aged Standards Review page.

We encourage industry and relevant stakeholders to view the list and give feedback where possible.

In Conversation with Brian Ruddle

Brian Ruddle is the chair of committee MB-279, Innovation Management. He is working with innovation specialists from 43 other countries to develop international innovation management standards. Brian established the Impact Innovation Group in 2006 to help businesses, from start-ups to multinationals, achieve outcomes and impacts sooner by turning ideas into profitable products and services. This includes designing and renovating innovation systems, commercialising new technologies, upskilling in-house teams, and delivering government programs. He now leads a 25-person team with projects across the APAC region.

Standards Australia (SA): How did you get involved in standards development?

Brian Ruddle (BR): I was aware of the innovation management standards work overseas and had provided feedback to the early drafts. I happened to be searching for information on standards for a new product for one of our clients and discovered that the innovation standards were progressing again. I contacted Standards Australia to ask about Australia’s involvement and things moved rapidly from there. The Council of Rural Research and Development Corporations nominated me, and I was accepted onto the committee. I had been involved previously in standards alignment with the ASEAN secretariat, so I understood how it helps to drive change within organisations and improve outcomes.

SA: Why are innovation standards important to Australian businesses?

BR: Innovation standards provide clear benchmarks for what companies can achieve with their innovation programs, making it easier to explain the return on investment to boards, senior executives, and other stakeholders. As guidelines, they help individual businesses identify how innovation will support their growth. As international principles, they provide an objective perspective that’s removed from the hype often associated with innovation plans and expectations. Essentially what they do is improve communication around innovation and support for it within organisations and with their external stakeholders.

SA: How do the standards your committee (MB-279) develop impact everyday Australians?

BR: The standards bring a number of insights from overseas to Australian innovation managers. This is important as we continue to improve our innovation outcomes in Australia. For businesses, they can align innovation activities with their strategic priorities to drive profitability and growth. They help to frame the various components to focus on, and cover all types of innovation and approaches to it, such as internal open innovation, user-driven technology, design-led, etc.For consumers, there’s a level of reassurance that next generation products and services developed here in Australia have been exposed to robust systematic processes. And for investors, whether they’re private or public funders, the de-risking that a structured approach offers is more attractive when they’re calculating the potential ROI.

SA: What is the future of standardisation for the innovation sector?

BR: We have several interesting standards in the pipeline, including an SME handbook that is being developed with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and innovation measurement guidelines. The intent behind them is to encourage organisations to share best practices rather than meet compliance regulations. The focus is on helping organisations to align innovation with strategy and seek a return on investment. We see these standards as supporting a shift from ad hoc activities, to managed innovation systems, through to improving existing innovation systems.

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 November (PDF)

  • WTO’s achievements and challenges addressed at 25th anniversary event.
    Learn more here.
  • Ecological Restoration: Proposal for a New Field of Technical Activity.
    Standards Australia invites stakeholders to share their views on the proposal to help inform the Australian position.
  • Breaking silos with the Digital Factory framework.
    Learn more here.

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