Business

Industry Standards & Why They Are Important

When you go into a supermarket, you pick up items without thinking about them; you trust that the food you are about to buy is fit for consumption. Why is that? The answer is ….. standards. Take Australia, for example, there is a national organisation that is dedicated to designing and maintaining standards, which are essential benchmarks for all industries to follow. 

What is the definition of a standard?

A standard is a set of specifications, procedures and guidelines to ensure that products, systems and services are both safe and reliable. The fishing standards in Australia are constantly being revised with research data being collected around the country. It is essential that certain species are not overfished and there are very specific fishing quotas and methods that must be used when harvesting marine life.

Types of standards

There are 3 main types of standards.

  • International standards – Developed by ISO, IEC, and ITU. Nations adopt the standards they prefer.

  • Regional standards – Europe, North America, Australasia set regional standards for their countries to follow.

  • National standards – Set by a government agency, such as Standards Australia or other accredited bodies.

Standard development

When a standard is proposed, there are a total of 6 stages that must be undertaken.

  1. Project proposal – Either an internal or external proposal is submitted.

  2. Project start – A selected board of experts start outlining main points.

  3. Drafting – A draft is put together that the board thinks is acceptable.

  4. Public comment – After the draft is published, people are invited to comment. Further drafting may be required and this process can take time.

  5. Ballot – The committee votes on the final draft.

  6. Publication – Once the final draft is approved by the governing body, it is published.

Industrial sectors

Standards apply to every industry and stakeholder managers assist stakeholders; the Australian sectors are as follows:

  • Agriculture, forestry & fishing 

  • Construction

  • Electricity & gas

  • Education & training

  • Information media & telecommunications – Digital marketing

  • Healthcare & social assistance

  • Manufacturing

  • Mining

  • Retail

  • Rental, hiring & real estate

  • Accommodation & food services

  • Scientific & technical

  • Arts & recreation

  • Public administration & safety

  • Wholesale trade

  • Water & waste services

Stakeholders are encouraged to participate in developing standards, which are then voted on and if they pass, the standard is published and is implemented nationwide. Standards Australia is responsible for many industries, while they also have ongoing projects, which include the following:

  • Blockchain – This decentralised ledger-based data storage system is being implemented across the board, due to the fact that a blockchain cannot be hacked. Standards are crucial with the development of blockchain and they evolve alongside the industry.

  • Digital healthcare – Many GPs deliver their services via video consultations and standards are set after deliberation by a panel of IT specialists.

  • Wiring rules – It is paramount that safety standards are developed and wiring rules are set across the nation.

 

Australian standards are developed with the help of many stakeholders and reviews are carried out at specific intervals.

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