What is a Standard?
In essence, a Standard is an agreed way of doing something.
It could be about making a product, managing a process, delivering a service or supplying materials,
standards can cover a huge
range of activities undertaken by organizations and used by their customers.
Each standard is developed by a
committee made up of people with technical, business, academic,
government and community wisdom and expertise who come together to debate how a product or system should perform
and how it should be made. They represent people such as manufacturers, sellers, buyers, customers, trade
associations, users or regulators.
Standards are published
documents setting out specifications and procedures designed to
ensure products, services and systems are safe, reliable and consistently perform the way they were intended to.
They establish a common language which defines quality and safety criteria.
These documents are practical and don't set
impossible goals. They are constantly reviewed to ensure they keep pace with new technologies.
Standards cover a wide range of subjects
from construction to nanotechnology, from energy management to
health and safety from cricket balls to goalposts. They can be very specific, such as to a particular type of
product, or general such as management practices.
The point of a
Standard is to provide a reliable bases for people to share the
same expectations about a product or service. This helps to:
Provide a framework for achieving economies,
efficiencies and interoperability
Enhance consumer protection and
Standards come in a range of guidance
Standards Australia History
Originally called the Australian Commonwealth Engineering Standards Association,
Australia Standards have been established for 90yrs.
were used as far back as 7000yrs buy ancient civilisations such as the Babylonians and early
The earliest Standards were the
for weights and measures. They provided a single reference point against which all other weights and measures in
that society could be
Written Documents or
soon evolved which set down mutually agreed
for products and services such as Buildings, Ships, weapons and Agriculture, as trade and commerce
were initially a unique document and part of a single contract between purchaser and supplier. The concept
evolved, where the same Standard could be used across a range of transactions. This portability, offering a uniform
set of criteria, is the bases for modern day Standards.
The early 19th Century brought us rapid industrialisation in the form of the Industrial
However huge inefficiencies
caused by lack of conformity and National Standardisation were beginning to become
With Steam powering the technology of the late 19th century, fatalities and occupational injuries were common, high
pressure steam boilers and vessels were fraught with danger.
The American Society of
Mechanical Engineers (ASME), one of the first voluntary standardising
bodies, was established in 1880
in responses to numerous boiler explosions and established the
Boiler testing code of 1884.
By the end of the 19th Century the value of standardisation in
specifications, materials, testing and confirmation was recognised as a National
On January 22nd 1901 the same day that marks the end of Britain’s Victorian era
British Standards Institution (BSI)
along with the familiar
BSI was the world’s first
National standard body
, one of the first Standards it went on to produced was to reduce the number of sizes of tramway
In 1918 the first
American National Standards
body was formed when five engineering societies one of which was the ASME and three government agencies founded the
American Engineering Standards Committee which later became known as the
Standards Institute (ANSI).
In 1922 the
first Australian National Standards body was founded
called the Australian Commonwealth Engineering Standards Association which later became known
Australian Standards History in brief:
Standard Association of Australia (SAA)
to recognise wider role in society.
The International Organization of standardization (ISO)
is established with SAA as founding member.
SAA received a Royal charter to develop Standards in the national interest.
SSA drops 'Association' from name and becomes
. Signs a memorandum of understanding with the
Federal Government which recognises Standards Australia as the peak non-government standards development
Standards Australia is
one of the first National Standards bodies to develop an internet delivery
for its Standards and technical publications.
Standards Australia changes its name to
International limited (SAI Limited)
and becomes incorporated as an Australian public company limited by guarantee.
Standards Australia sells its commercial businesses to
and this company is floated on the Australian Stock Exchange. Initially it
retained a 40 percent interest in SAI Global, but progressively sold down this share holding down
to zero, enabling it to focus exclusively on its core business of developing and managing its collection of
7000 Australian Standards and representing Australia's
interest in International
Standards Australia becomes principal sponsor of the
Australian International Design Awards (AIDA).
have now become such an integral component of our economic, social and legal systems with
half million Standards
John Bedwell Obvius Access 2015