Jane Pires is the 2022 recipient of the Meritorious Contribution Award — National. Ms Pires is a valued member of the Standards Australia community. Standards have been developed under her leadership and implemented by significant bodies, including the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals.
Jane Pires is currently the Energy and Water Ombudsman in Queensland. She is known as an Australian expert on the International Organization for standardisation (ISO) 176/SC3 Committee, the international committee dealing with complaints handling.
With more than 30 years’ experience in customer service, and more than half of this time spent solving and resolving complex problems, Ms Pires is committed to excellence and is passionate about complaint management, dispute resolution, risk management and customer experience.
Ms Pires first became involved with standards development and Standards Australia (SA) in late 2010, on the revision of AS 10002. At the time, she was working with Suncorp in their complaints department.
“In early 2011, Queensland was devastated by extreme floods, and I interacted with people who had suffered significant loss and were facing many issues and had complaints to be resolved. In many instances there was a lack of structure for these complaints to be managed and the persons perspective and circumstances understood. This was when I knew that we needed to ensure this was a focus for the standard, and that the standard could be applied to large and small organisations,” Ms Pires said.
Having shown exceptional leadership in her role as Chair of QR-015, Complaints Handling, Ms Pires’ extensive knowledge in this area has been the driving force behind the creation of standards. Ms Pires has had an active role in revising AS 10002, from her first involvement with AS ISO 10002-2006, to AS/NZS 10002:2014 and most recently in the revision of AS 10002:2022, Guidelines for complaint management in organizations, (published 25 March 2022).
Her contributions have been significant, specifically in reviewing and drafting the standard and facilitating discussions to achieve consensus.
“Ms Pires is knowledgeable, quick to adapt to changes and an exemplary Chair. Her incredible career has made Jane a hugely valuable contributor to SA. This is why we have acknowledged her work with the Meritorious Contribution Award — National at the SA Awards in 2022,” said Kareen Riley-Takos, General Manager Operations at Standards Australia.
Ms Pires also continually engages internationally with the objective of having Australia’s leading focus on best practice complaints management adopted globally.
Her work across the ISO 9000 series has been officially recognised and implemented by the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals (SOCAP) — an organisation with members from many of Australia’s leading companies and chaired by Ms Pires for a number of years— and is now the standard to follow when dealing with their customers. The standard is also widely used by many other Australian and New Zealand organisations and public sector agencies.
On receiving the Meritorious Contribution Award, Ms Pires said it was a total shock but was very touched and honoured to be nominated and awarded.
One of Ms Pires’ favourite quotes is by Reba McEntire: “To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.” This is certainly true of her contribution to standards and Standards Australia.