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In this Edition

CEO Report

Standards Australia hosted the ISO Annual Meeting in Brisbane last month – the first time in 20 years it was held in our country. The event attracted stakeholders from around the world to discuss the role of standards in addressing global needs, such as the impact of climate change on our Pacific Island neighbours; emerging technology issues such as AI, quantum computing and cybersecurity; and the challenges to the wider needs of the community for a safe and sustainable world.
The event was also the venue for important strategic discussions that will help guide the global agenda for standards well into the future.

More than 500 participants from over 140 countries attended in-person, and nearly 4000 participated online.

Australians were prominent amongst the international line-up of speakers and panellists who shared their knowledge during the week.

Conferences like these are important not just for the content of the sessions, but also for strengthening international relationships  and making new contacts amongst the global standards community – it was wonderful to meet old and new acquaintances over the week.

Standards Australia has produced a lot of content covering the ISO Annual Meeting sessions, and I encourage you to read it on our showcase web page, here.

In addition, ISO has a recap and session videos here.

World Standards Day Event

October 14th is World Standards Day!

Join us virtually on Wednesday 11th October, for a panel event featuring a series of presentations from industry experts on artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), and health informatics, as well as a presentation from Standards Australia.

Speakers will include:

- Lyria Bennett-Moses - Professor & Director of the UNSW Allens Hub for Technology, Law and Innovation

- Richard Dixon-Hughes - Managing Director & Principal Consultant DH4, Chair of IT-014

- Frank Zeichner - CEO, IoT Alliance Australia

- Soraya Selinger - Strategic Initiatives Manager, Standards Australia

Register here

Employer of Choice Award

Standards Australia is proud to be named the 2023 Employer of Choice by The Australian Business Awards.

This recognition speaks to our commitment to excellence, innovation and fostering an inclusive and nurturing workplace where talented individuals collaborate in the pursuit of advancing Australian standards for the benefit of the community.

Read more

In Conversation with Paul Robinson

Paul Robinson, IBM Australia’s National Standards Engineering Manager, brings more than 50 years of experience in electronics, communications, and information technology. In 2021, he was selected to the Board of Governors for the IEEE Product Safety Engineering Society. Paul chairs two critical national standards committees for Standards Australia: TE-001 for information and communications safety and CT-002 for broadcasting. Additionally, he leads the Communications Alliance's national standards Publications Advisory Group and the Australian Information Industry Association's (AIIA) Product Requirements Standards Group.

When did you first become involved in standards development?

In the mid-1980s, I was very fortunate to join IBM, where the company’s worldwide corporate policies insisted (and still do) on compliance with applicable standards for all its products wherever they are sold.  My role was to obtain national regulatory certification and approval for our equipment in Australia and New Zealand for safety, electromagnetic compatibility, telecommunications, radio communications and other issues.  

This opened me to an in-depth exposure to all these standards fields and more, to national, international, and internal corporate product standards areas. As early as 1989, I was representing the AIIA on Committee TE-001 at Standards Australia. Working with national standards committees for some 34 years, I’m a member of nine Standards Australia committees and participate with the Communications Alliance in national telecommunications standards development. Internationally, I’ve been representing Australia on IEC Committee TC 108 (safety of ICT/AV equipment) ever since its first meeting many years ago.

How do standards impact and interact with your industry?

IBM and the electronics industry don’t want safety to be determined reactively by accident, but proactively by design. Industry, government authorities, test laboratories and users share knowledge and experiences of safety risks in the development of concisely worded standards documents.  Engineering solutions and pathways are designed collaboratively to ensure that safety, as well as functional and quality requirements, are built in by design of the product from the outset.  

Further, international standards enable international free trade with confidence that national issues have been taken into consideration in their development. National standards can be adopted from international standards with no (or few) differences included in the adopted standard. It means that one test can be applied worldwide for safety and can satisfy the safety requirements for many countries. This reduces compliance costs and time to market for demand-driven products. It additionally enables access to foreign markets for Australian-designed products.

Why is access to standards important?

Standards should be specified right from the concept stage of product design - not only for mains-operated equipment but for any equipment with a safety risk profile which has a potentially hazardous energy source. For example, small child-accessible button-battery products which are out of scope of vertical (product-specific) standards have a history of serious injuries and deaths associated with their use from poor safety design or construction choices.

The community is entitled to receive safe products, so I’m working with Standards Australia’s Committee CS-118 to develop a new national horizontal safety standard for button battery-using products.

Access by designers to safety standards from the outset helps ensure design and build quality can result in a product that is acceptable to government safety authorities and meets or exceeds the community’s expectations. Standards compliance significantly reduces liability cost exposures for suppliers due to the resultant minimisation and avoidance of potential harm.

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

As electrical and electronic technologies continue to evolve, and as previously disparate product types converge, the challenges going forward are to unify the safety, security, and privacy standards of product types which were previously treated in different ways, and deal with new risks such as functional safety.

We’ve seen much convergence in the past, and technologies like the Internet of Things with any-to-any communications are driving ICT into other business, household, vehicular, and lighting products, for example, that presently have separate suites of safety standards. Safety standards need further convergence to ensure there are no gaps in their application caused through these merging technology systems.  

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.