Over the last five years in particular we have been striving to build a modern, responsive and innovative organisation that can fulfil its potential as an independent and self-sustaining public purpose organisation – one that adds enormous value to Australia, its economic and social advancement, and to the region in which we live.
We are far from perfect and still have a way to go to where we need to be. However, we continue adapting and innovating in all aspects of our work to deliver for our stakeholders and community. As you can see from our annual review and other reports to members and contributors, 2023 has been another year of improvement, transformation and delivery for Standards Australia.
This year has seen delivery on a set of important standards projects, further development and delivery of our systems and technology capability, and new standards access models customised for different user needs at much lower prices.
Importantly, we will deliver on our commitment to a mobile app providing digital access to key standards. There will be an extensive launch immediately after the Christmas/New Year break.
We are continuing our trials to incorporate artificial intelligence technology in our standards search and information workflows. In 2023 we delivered on our Reader Room platform, which provides access to Australian Standards for personal, domestic and household users. We also delivered our new Committee Workspace for contributors to standards development.
In addition, we launched our new project proposal and international participation platforms, both of which moved us from paper-based to electronic lodgement. We implemented an alternate and streamlined pathway for standards development, with the first publication now pending.
Our international program remains strong, with projects being undertaken across the region, and a particular focus on the Pacific.
In September in Brisbane we hosted what many regard as the most successful ISO annual meeting that can be recalled.
The organisation's financials remain strong, and we are well-placed to continue delivering on our mission into the future.
These advances would not have been possible without the ongoing commitment of our members, nominating organisations, contributors and staff - thank you for your support and dedication in 2023.
Changes to plumbing and drainage standards discussed in recent live event
Standards Australia recently hosted a live event that discussed changes to the AS/NZS 3500 series, the key set of standards for plumbing and drainage systems across Australia and New Zealand. Click here to read the Q&A and watch the video.
Quantum Quandary: Standards Australia & UTS findings reveal lack of talent amid growing demand
Standards Australia and the University Technology Sydney (UTS) have launched a whitepaper on Quantum education, training and literacy which highlights gaps in the number of experts available in the field and the lack of government support for the training of the future quantum technology workforce.
Standards Australia and the IoTAA welcome 2023-2030 Cyber Security Strategy
Standards Australia and the Internet of Things Alliance Australia commend the release of the Australian Government’s 2023-2030 Cyber Security Strategy, which aims to create a digital environment that is safe, trusted and secure for Australian communities, businesses and government agencies.
Joining forces to boost trade and investment opportunities – your input needed
The Australian Government, represented by the Department of Industry, Science and Resources (DISR) has partnered with Standards Australia to help harmonise standards in energy, mining, and resources sectors, fostering trade and investment between Indonesia and Australia.
Your voice matters!
A survey is being conducted as part of a consultation process with stakeholders, alongside a workshop, which will assist in the development of a roadmap report to provide recommendations to reduce technical barriers to trade in the sectors to build on trade and investment opportunities.
Have your say by 22nd December.
Click here to access the survey.
If you wish to know more about this initiative, please reach out to Intsect@standards.org.au
In Conversation with Richard Hayman
Richard embarked on his toy industry journey in 1983 as an industrial engineer at Milton Bradley. Tasked with establishing a factory in New Zealand for the Asia Pacific region, Richard played a key role in developing production processes and overseeing facility construction. His responsibilities extended to ensuring product compliance with standards and regulations, sparking his involvement in their formulation. In 1998 Richard moved to Australia as Director of Operations.
Continuing his commitment to standards, he eventually founded a Product Safety and Compliance Consultancy in 2007, with the Australian Toy Association as a key client, shaping his professional trajectory ever since.
When did you first become involved in standards development?
In the mid to late 1990’s, the toy industry came together to create a set of safety standards for toys that could be applied around the world. This initiative became the ISO 8124 series of standards which we adopt for Australia and New Zealand as the AS/NZS ISO 8124 series.
I was responsible for Hasbro’s factory in New Zealand at the time - making games, puzzles and toys for the Asia Pacific region - and was asked to represent Standards New Zealand on the committee. From that, I also joined the Joint Standards Australia and New Zealand committee for the safety of toys, CS-018.
We now have 12 documents in the series covering everything from mechanical and physical properties to microbiological safety.
I’ve had a role in a number of other documents including swimming aids, babies' dummies, trampolines, and button batteries.
Why is access to standards important and how do they impact and interact with your industry?
It would be very hard for a supplier to start in the toy industry without some guidance on how to make safe products. We have a vulnerable user group from ages zero up to fourteen that may challenge products in ways that are not immediately obvious, or aware of the possible consequences as an adult might be. An example for me was a child around nine years old at the time who intentionally swallowed strong magnets to see if he could get a spoon to stick to his belly. The results of such actions can be tragic. Our standards contain the collective experience and knowledge of all stakeholders on how to make toys that are safer for our kids.
Products for kids are also more strongly regulated than those for adults. The development methodology for standards, being a consensus approach amongst all relevant stakeholder groups, along with our approach of international development has meant that the requirements in our documents have generally been considered to be suitable for referencing in regulations when they are needed.
This gives suppliers confidence that complying with our standards also means that they are complying with relevant legislation.
Why is access to standards important?
In the toy industry, there are two aspects. Firstly, they facilitate the supply of products that are fit for purpose and safe for their intended users. Secondly, as we align requirements around the world they act to facilitate international trade, which ultimately provides greater choice and lower costs for consumers.
What is the future of standardisation in your area of work?
I expect that there will be continuing innovation in the features and characteristics of toys, and that we will continue to build our knowledge of what is required for them to be safe. It is therefore likely that we will be updating and maintaining the documents for the foreseeable future.
Updates to website terms and conditions
We have updated Standards Australia’s Website Terms and Conditions, effective from 10 November 2023. The updated Website Terms and Conditions are available on our website at https://www.standards.org.au/website-terms-and-conditions
Please note that these terms govern the general use of Standards Australia’s website for visitors and do not apply to the use of Standards Australia Store, Products or Services, Standards Australia’s Applications or Accounts.
The updates include changes to:
- The variation, suspension and liability provisions; and
If you have any questions, please contact our Customer Support Team to discuss.
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.
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.