Standards Australia accredits other organisations to develop Australian Standard® brand standards. The accreditation function provides a framework to ensure accredited organisations are able to develop their own industry standards and have them recognised as Australian Standards®.
Standards Australia has a long history of developing voluntary standards, but certain companies may find it more suitable to become an accredited Standards Development Organisation (SDO), depending on their sector or industry’s circumstances.
The accreditation responsibilities of the Standards Australia Board, which have been delegated to the Standards Development and Accreditation Committee (SDAC), are:
Accrediting (or, where appropriate, declining to accredit) bodies in Australia to develop and maintain Australian Standards®.
Withdrawing any accreditation granted.
Setting policies and guidelines in relation to the preparation, maintenance, development, and publication of Australian Standards®.
Auditing accredited bodies to ensure compliance with all policies and guidelines of SDAC.
SDAC has replaced the Accreditation Board for Standards Development Organisations (ABSDO).
There’s no such thing as a typical business. Similarly, no two organisations working towards Standards Development Organisation (SDO) accreditation are the same. However, there are some common features of the organisations we work with:
Usually representative organisations (e.g. industry associations, professional bodies or consumer associations)
Have allied members (either corporate or individual)
Aim to further the interests of their members through education, research and advocacy
Produce a series of publications (e.g. guides, training materials or codes)
Are mostly non-profit, but may have commercial subsidiaries
Are well-regarded within their sector, with a keen interest in the issues impacting it
Are sufficiently resourced to carry out standards development work in a reasonable timeframe.
The length of time to achieve accreditation depends on the scale, experience and preparedness of the organisation. If the process runs smoothly, accreditation can be achieved in three to four months. To retain accreditation, SDOs need to develop at least one Australian Standard®.
The standard term for SDO accreditation is three years. Once an SDO develops a standard, it is then responsible for maintaining, reviewing and revising that standard. SDOs are required to pay fees to Standards Australia to cover their accreditation, use of the logo and audit costs.
Neutrality is central to the success of the standards development process. As a result, SDOs are unable to dictate or directly influence the content of the final standard. The primary role of the organisation is to act as an impartial platform for standards development that benefits the sector as a whole.
It is Standards Australia policy that each SDO takes responsibility for a defined scope of standardisation. This means that SDOs are free to develop any standards within that scope, but we avoid conflicting standards and ensure our standards are user-friendly.
SDOs are also encouraged to participate in international standardardisation through the adoption of International Standards and attendance at international meetings.
Please be aware there are certain websites purporting to offer Australian Standard® brand standards for sale that are not authorised or controlled by Standards Australia Limited. People wishing to purchase Australian Standard® brand standards or any of our other publications can do so at Standards Store or from our distributors.