Given the unfolding situation relating to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Australia and across the world, we wanted to provide you with an update about the measures we are taking at Standards Australia. Our first priority is the wellbeing of staff and our wider Standards Australia community. Our second priority is to ensure business continuity in our role as Australia’s national standards body as we navigate restrictions and healthy working practices.
We have been closely monitoring the recommendations made by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Australian Government. Given widespread concerns regarding this virus and that the situation has been rapidly evolving, we are implementing some restrictions and social distancing measures in order to ensure the safety of our community.
International Meetings being hosted in Australia
As of 13 March 2020, ISO has advised members and stakeholders that all ISO governance and technical meetings planned until 30 June 2020 will be held virtually or postponed until after that date. This means that several meetings Standards Australia were due to host in Australia will no longer take place in person. We fully support ISO’s decision in this regard.
Although IEC has not issued a similar advice yet, we have decided, with the support of the Australian IEC National Committee President, that all IEC International meetings scheduled to be hosted in Australia before 30 June 2020 will not proceed as physical meetings.
We are contacting key stakeholders impacted by this decision directly and are working with them on alternatives (date changes or remote meetings).
Australian delegates attending international meetings
As noted above, ISO has taken the lead by cancelling face to face meetings and exploring different ways of working. In the event you were scheduled to attend either an ISO or IEC meeting please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
. Our team will be able to give you details of what to do specific to your situation.
Given the fluidity of the situation, Standards Australia is not considering international travel approvals for physical attendance at meetings until there is greater clarity regarding the resumption of physical meetings. However, we will be processing approvals for remote attendance at ISO and IEC meetings. We will continue to review this position and provide advice as appropriate.
National committee meetings, forums and training being held at SA or alternative venues
At the date of this communication, Standards Australia has decided not to cancel scheduled physical meetings of Australian technical committees and related working groups etc. However, this matter is under active consideration and we will advise immediately of any decision to move to virtual e-meetings only. If you are due to attend a national committee meeting and are unwell, we would appreciate your support in asking our team to make remote meeting attendance available.
Other specific things we’re doing right now
We are enforcing the Australian Government’s recommendations for our own staff while also monitoring their health and asking them to follow government health instructions if there are any areas of doubt.
In addition, we have decided that there will be no international travel for our staff until further notice and are minimising domestic travel as much as possible.
How are we planning for the coming days, weeks and months?
Our scheduled international meetings will be held online. We will continue to work closely with ISO and IEC to facilitate remote/online meetings. We are asking ISO and IEC to take account of time zones and to accommodate Australian attendance when scheduling meetings. Our staff are equipped to work remotely in order to ensure our ongoing operations and we will provide updates on business continuity measures as they evolve.
Ongoing safety focus
We will continue to provide updates to you as appropriate. Our approach is to manage the situation in a balanced, calm and measured way, and when required act swiftly and communicate clearly.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch through the contacts below if you would like to discuss any of the above or require further clarification.
- Adrian O’Connell, Chief Executive