Standardisation is a critical aspect of modern society and without it, we would not have the infrastructure we enjoy today. Standards are benchmarks and they facilitate systems, while also ensuring that safety measures are put in place and equipment is made in such a way that it is reliable and safe to use.
International Standards Organisation (ISO)
This is one of the major bodies that manage standards around the world, which comprises of representatives from many countries that work together to create global standards, while Australia has the standards development organisation that is non-governmental and non-profit, which has a close association with ISO.
In order for standardisation to work globally, there needs to be legal compliance and that means consequences for companies that do not meet specific standards. Every industry must comply with a wide range of standards and there is close monitoring at every level to ensure that all standards are met.
It isn’t just products and equipment that have standards, management practices must be strictly followed; when you drive around, you will see many company signs that state they have ISO approval, which is very much globally recognised. Click here for tips on making a business more profitable.
Standards Development Committees
When a new standard is created, a committee is tasked with responsibility for its development and working with industry, they develop the standards based on the knowledge and experience they gained over many years.
Australian Standards Development
There are 6 important steps involved with standards development, which are as follows:
- Project proposal – The Australian community would propose a standard to be developed.
- Project kick-off – When a project is approved, it is handed to a technical committee and a timeline is discussed and set.
- Standard draft – The technical committee splits into smaller working groups and the standard is developed, with all groups coming together to review their work.
- Draft available to the public – A time period of 9 weeks is allocated for the general public to view the draft and suggest any modifications. All public comments are studied in detail and some are taken onboard and the standard is amended.
- Voting on the final draft – Once a final draft is complete, there is a ballot and members either approve or reject the draft; if rejected, the member must show technical data to back up their vote.
- Publication – Once the ballot is over and the standard passed, it is given one more check, then the standard is published and must be followed by all relevant parties.
Updating Existing Standards
The universe is in a constant state of change and existing standards are often reviewed and updated, which ensures a higher level of safety.
Standards are used in all walks of life and national agencies come together to form international standards organisations such as ISO. Many professionals work tirelessly in the background to ensure that all Australian standards are in place across a wide range of industries.