Document Sample
March 2008


In October last year Standards Australia (SA) undertook an inclusive, consultative
review of existing Co-ordination Groups, Co-ordination Committees, Standards
Sector Boards (SSBs) and Standing Forums to determine best alignment, inclusion
and incorporation of stakeholder contributions under SA’s new operating and
governance framework.

The consultation arose out of a decision by the SA Board that SSBs not continue in
their current form beyond mid 2008, and that alternative mechanisms be identified for
Standards oversight and consultation. Key drivers for these recommendations
included the need to reduce the burden of participation on stakeholders, and to
reduce the size and complexity of SA’s governance framework. These
recommendations were consistent with feedback from the Productivity Commission
and other reviews undertaken in recent times.

The purpose of this report is to provide feedback on the results of the consultation.
The first part of the paper summarises the feedback received from the consultation,
and the second part outlines how SA will implement the changes to Standards
development and strategic stakeholder engagement.


2.1     General

The consultation paper and survey were circulated to 166 stakeholders and 41
responses were received. This represented a 25% response rate. Notwithstanding
this response rate, stakeholders who responded provided some significant
information and insights.

Stakeholder Consultation Report, March 2008                                             1
2.2       Key Themes

An overview of the key themes in the responses is outlined below.

      !  Significance of the Productivity Commission Report
      Almost all respondents agreed that the PC recommendations and implications
      were significant for SA.

      !   Structures Within Standards Development
      Considerable support was expressed for the proposed structures within
      Standards Development. However, some stakeholders expressed concern about
      the proposed changes to Sector Boards. Specifically, concern was expressed by
      some groups that SA may be undermining stakeholder engagement in decision
      making and effective strategy areas. Some respondents from the Gas,
      Electrotechnology and Timber areas were concerned the changes would limit
      their effective participation in decision making. Some consumer representatives
      also expressed this view.

      !   Industry-Wide Model for Stakeholder Engagement
      Approximately half the respondents supported the industry-wide model for
      stakeholder engagement. Many respondents registered concern at the staffing
      and skill implications of the industry-wide model for both SA and stakeholders.
      While the idea was supported, there was concern about whether sufficient
      resources would be available for effective implementation.

      !   Stakeholder Representation
      Views varied about how well the current SSBs, Co-ordination Groups and
      Forums represented their sector. Respondents from the Timber,
      Electrotechnology and Gas sectors and most of the respondents from the
      Communication, IT and E Commerce sector saw the current structures as
      representative. Some groups were seen as no longer representative, often
      lacking effective participation or full coverage of the sector.

      Consumer representatives expressed the need for broader and more strategic
      consumer recognition and input, but also noted resourcing issues.

      Almost without exception, stakeholders reported personal value from

      !   Process Issues and Improvements
      Respondents welcomed the proposed improvements to the Standards
      Development process. Some respondents sought more information about the
      Standards Hub, improved IT and communications and the new project selection

Stakeholder Consultation Report, March 2008                                             2
Several groups endorsed greater public participation or greater opportunities for
broader groups to systematically review drafts.

2.3       Next Steps

SA has considered the feedback from stakeholders and will now implement the new
framework for stakeholder engagement as described below. The framework for
engagement is very similar to that described in the consultation paper. Much of the
feedback from stakeholders will be addressed in the implementation of the
framework rather than in the framework itself. This will be discussed in more detail
in the remainder of the paper.


3.1       Areas of Engagement

Stakeholders have traditionally engaged with SA by:

      •   contributing to the development of Australian and international Standards
          (Standards Development)
      •   providing oversight of Standards Development (Standards Development
          Governance), and
      •   engaging with SA around strategic, sectoral issues (Strategic Engagement).

As previously advised to stakeholders, responsibility for Standards development
governance has now been consolidated under the Standards Development
Committee (SDC) of the SA Board. This means that the model for stakeholder
engagement will not include stakeholder structures for Standards development
governance. This provides a significant opportunity to reduce the burden on
stakeholders and allow stakeholder input to be focused on participation in Standards
Development and Strategic Engagement. These areas are addressed below.

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3.2      Standards Development

After consideration of the feedback from the stakeholder consultation, and further
internal review, SA has determined that the following structures will operate within
Standards Development:

      ! Co-ordination Groups
      These are high-level groups that will co-ordinate an approved program of
      Standards development work. They will be responsible for ensuring that all
      aspects of the work are properly co-ordinated and aligned, and that adequate
      communication is maintained between Technical Committees carrying out the
      development work. Co-ordination Groups will exist on an as needs basis and will
      not necessarily exist in all areas.

      ! Standing Technical Committees
      Standing Technical Committees will be responsible for carrying out on-going
      programs of SA’s Standards development work, and for maintaining a significant
      body of published Australian Standards.

      ! Project Based Technical Committees
      Project Based Technical Committees will be Technical Committees formed for
      specific projects, and will be disbanded once the relevant project/s are complete.

      ! Working Groups
      Working Groups will be formed to undertake specific work, for the approval and
      carriage of a Standing or Project Based Technical Committee.

SA will transition to these structures throughout the remainder of 2008. The first step
in this transition will be a review of all current Technical Committees. Further
information will be provided during April and May about this process.

SA will also announce during April the launch of its new business model which will
incorporate alternative pathways for Standards development, and will provide options
for fast-tracked and stakeholder driven solutions.

Stakeholder Consultation Report, March 2008                                                4
3.2.1     Process Improvements

SA continues to be committed to improving the Standard Development process with
on-going focus on rigorous and contestable processes for project selection and tools
for more efficient and effective participation.
The emphasis going forward will be on:

      •   Delivering projects which result in the greatest net benefit for the Australian
      •   Providing multiple pathways for Standards development
      •   Stakeholder driven solutions
      •   The use of technology to enable greater and more efficient use of stakeholder

These process improvements will align with the Accreditation Board for Standards
Development Organisations (ABSDO) requirements for accreditation of organisations
to develop Australian Standards, and will enhance outcomes for stakeholders.

More detailed information will be available shortly as part of SA’s launch of its new
business model.

3.3       Strategic Engagement

SA re-affirms its commitment to an industry-wide approach to stakeholder
engagement. This will be a broader and more comprehensive approach that
acknowledges the diversity of sectors and communities of interest outside SA’s
traditional areas of Standards development.

An outline of the sectors is attached for information as Annexure A. However, the
purpose of the sector framework is to provide a structure for organising SA’s
resources and activities. There are many issues and interests that are cross sectoral,
and SA will endeavour to take a broad, inclusive approach to its liaison with
stakeholders. Further, the sectors listed may change over time in response to
changing interests, issues and stakeholder needs.

The following structures will operate to provide strategic engagement with

      !   Advisory Boards
      Advisory Boards will be established to provide an on-going link with stakeholders
      in key areas. These Boards will be formed around natural communities of
      interest in defined industry sectors or sub-sectors. In some areas an Advisory
      Board may become the central point of liaison and communication with an
      industry or sector. Advisory Boards will typically meet twice per year.

Stakeholder Consultation Report, March 2008                                             5
    !   National Industry Forums
    These will be high profile events held on an as needs basis to discuss current
    issues relevant to a particular sector or community of interest. National Industry
    Forums will not be as structured as Advisory Boards, and the broadest possible
    base of participation will be encouraged.

    !  Cross Sectoral Forums
    Cross Sectoral Forums will operate on the same basis as National Industry
    Forums, however they will be aimed at facilitating a specific regional or issue
    based dialog. Issues would typically cross traditional sectors or interest groups.

    !   International and Regional Co-ordination Groups
    These Co-ordination Groups will exist to facilitate and co-ordinate Australia’s
    participation in international fora.

In addition to these structures, SA is considering the formation of a National
Standards Advisory Committee (NSAC). This would be a high level forum for
collaboration between SA and its stakeholders about SA's role as Australia's peak
standards body.
The purpose of this collaboration would be to ensure that SA's activities and priorities
are aligned to stakeholder needs for the net benefit of the Australian community.
A diagram showing the engagement structures described in this paper is attached as
Annexure B.

3.3.1 Resourcing

The feedback from stakeholders about resourcing and practical issues related to the
industry wide approach has been noted. In response it is noted that the SA Board
has given approval for resourcing specifically to support this engagement.
Engagement with each sector will also be undertaken in a phased approach so that
each sector can be mapped and structures determined in a thorough and realistic
way. Effective stakeholder engagement will also be underpinned by strategic
relationship management and enhanced stakeholder communications as described

3.3.2   Relationship Management

SA is also allocating significant resources to engaging with stakeholders through a
network of Relationship Managers. The role of the Relationship Manager will be to
liaise and communicate with stakeholders about relevant issues and to assist
stakeholders to engage with SA around SA’s new business model. Relationship
Managers will provide a contact point for stakeholders and will develop an extensive
knowledge of the relevant industry sector, including key public policy issues. SA will
also, over time, build technical resources to support its Relationship Managers.

Stakeholder Consultation Report, March 2008                                              6
3.3.3       Enhanced Stakeholder Communications

Communication with stakeholders will also be enhanced through more accessible
information available on SA’s website. This will include advertising of proposed new
projects for the development, amendment or withdrawal of Australian Standards.
Stakeholders will be able to have input into decisions about proposed projects by
submitting feedback via the website.

An e-newsletter addressing relevant sectoral issues will be available periodically on
SA’s website from October 2008. Stakeholders will be encouraged to respond to
issues and to raise topics of interest to their peers in the relevant sector. These
measures are aimed at addressing stakeholder concerns about lack of input into
priorities for project selection.

SA will also enhance its communications with stakeholders through –

        •      an annual National Standards Congress with plenary, technical/process
               and sectoral streams; and
        •      regular discussion forums (for example, Boardroom lunches) to enable
               communication and synergies between stakeholders involved in
               Standards development work.


SA will communicate directly with existing SSBs, Co-ordination Groups and Standing
Forums about implementation of the new framework for stakeholder engagement.

Specifically, SA will provide a strategy for engagement with each specific sector,
including the specific structures which will exist in each area.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss the effective implementation of the new
framework and to continuing to work with our stakeholders through this transition
phase and beyond.

Stakeholder Consultation Report, March 2008                                             7
                             Annexure A - Sector Framework

    No             Sector                                       Sector Scope

1        Agriculture,                  Agriculture and Aquaculture
         Forestry,                     Food, Beverage and Tobacco manufacturing
         Fishing and                   Food wholesaling and retailing
         Food                          Food technology
                                       Fish, Fishing and Fishing Support services
                                       Forestry and Logging

2        Mining                        Coal mining
                                       Oil and Gas extraction
                                       Metal ore mining
                                       Non metallic mineral mining

3        Manufacturing and             Wood product
         Processing                    Pulp and paper product
                                       Petroleum and coal product
                                       Non metallic mineral
                                       Primary and fabricated metal product
                                       Textile, leather, clothing and footwear
                                       Chemical products
                                       Polymer and rubber products
                                       Machinery and equipment manufacturing
                                       Furniture; Toys; Precious Metals and other products
                                       New technology – eg Nanotechnology

4        Building and Construction     Building – residential and non-residential
                                       Heavy and Civil Engineering – roads and bridges
                                       Construction services – land development; building structure
                                       Building installation services; - plumbing; fire and electrical
                                       Building completion services and landscaping

5        Energy                        Electricity Supply – generation, transmission and distribution
                                       Electrical installation (other than building)
                                       Electrical appliances
                                       Gas supply; Gas Installation; Gas Appliances
                                       Nuclear; Renewable and other energy sources

6        Water and Waste               Water supply, sewerage and drainage
         Services                      Waste collection, treatment and disposal

7        Transport and Logistics       Transport equipment design and manufacture
                                       Motor Vehicle retailing and repairs
                                       Road Transport
                                       Rail Transport
                                       Water Transport – including ports and stevedoring
                                       Air and Space Transport – including airports
                                       Transport support services
                                       Postage and warehousing

Stakeholder Consultation Report, March 2008                                                     8
    No             Sector                                       Sector Scope

8        Health and                    Medical devices equipment design and manufacture
         Community Services            Hospitals
                                       Medical and other health care services
                                       Residential care services
                                       Social assistance services – including child care

9        Consumer Products,            Accommodation and food services
         Services and Safety           Financial and insurance services
                                       Rental, hiring and real estate services
                                       Retail trade services
                                       Motor vehicle retailing and repair services
                                       Admin and support services
                                       Tourism services
                                       Arts, sport and recreation services
                                       Repair and maintenance services
                                       Personal services
                                       Consumer Product Safety Framework

10       Education and Training        Preschool
         Services                      School
                                       Adult, community and other
                                       Educational support services – eg Tutoring

11       Communications,               Radio, computer and electronic equipment design and
         Information Technology        manufacture
         and e-Commerce                Communication services
         Services                      Computer and Information services
                                       Audio visual services

12       Public Safety;                Defence
         Public Administration;        Public Order; Justice and Security; Forensics
         Business and                  OH&S
         Management                    Acoustics
                                       Local Government
                                       Small and Medium Enterprise services
                                       Corporate Governance
                                       Risk Management
                                       Corporate Social Responsibility
                                       Quality Management
                                       Project Management


Stakeholder Consultation Report, March 2008                                                  9
Annexure B
                                                     STANDARDS AUSTRALIA
                                                Governance and Functional Structure

                                                       Council and Members


  Accreditation Board for        Australian                    Production      Standards     National        National
  Standards Development         International                 Management      Development   Standards       Standards
      Organisations            Design Awards                     Group         Committee      Office         Advisory
         ABSDO                      AIDA                         PMG              SDC         NSO           Committee

    Appeals Committee
                                                                  Co-ordination Groups        Advisory        Cross
                                                                                              Boards         Sectoral
                                                                Standing       Project                       Forums
                                                                Technical      Based
                                                               Committees     Technical
                                                                                               National    International
                                                                                               Industry    and Regional
                                                                Working        Working         Forums      Co-ordination
                                                                Groups         Groups                         Groups

   ACCREDITATION            DESIGN ASSESSMENT                       STANDARDS                  STAKEHOLDER LIAISON
      OF SDOs                 AND PROMOTION                        DEVELOPMENT                  AND CO-ORDINATION

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