Standards offer an alternative to regulation, with less red tape and business costs, while still providing security for families, business and consumers;
FRDC’s Standards Development Process
The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation’s standards development process is based on Standards Australia’s time proven standardization principles and models. This ensures that FRDC developed standards:
- have a high level of integrity and credibility
- have the support of the industry and stakeholders
- are developed in an open and transparent manner
- may be developed into a formal Australian Standard through a much more efficient and straight forward process than would otherwise be the case.
Standards Development Organisation
FRDC is accredited by the Standards Development and Accreditation Committee (SDAC) to develop Australian Standards for the seafood industry. The SDAC accreditation process and annual audit ensures that:
- FRDC has the competency to develop Australian Standards; and
- FRDC uses procedures that give equivalent transparency and openness to Standards Australia’s procedures, particularly to the manner in which committees are formed, ensuring balanced representation on committees, and how comments are disposed of and decisions reached; and
- FRDC is able and willing to interact with Standards Australia, necessary in the process leading to the publication of Australian Standards; and
- FRDC has an agreed business arrangement regarding rights, sales and distribution of Australian Standards developed and published under this arrangement.
Types of Standards
FRDC develops standards to meet the needs of seafood industry businesses, sectors, associations or industry wide standards. These include:
- Sector based standards: set out product specifications (e.g. quality standard) or procedures aimed at improving the sectors performance or to provide a competitive market edge (e.g. environmental, fishing practices or workplace practices);
- Industry wide standards: such as product specifications, industry practices or workplace practices;
- Industry standards with community wide benefits: that aim to improve marketing efficiency or strengthen customer or community confidence (e.g. fish names);
- Australian Standards
FRDC is authorised to develop Australian Standards for the fishing and aquaculture industries, within the scope of its Standards Development Organisation accreditation.
The decision of whether a standard being developed is to be an Australian Standard should be made as early as possible so that FRDC can register the project with the National Standards Office as early as possible, thereby minimizing the potential for additional work and costs. However, this decision may be made later in the process to enable the industry to test or fine tune the standard, or to gain wider industry support through demonstrating the associated benefits. FRDC’s standards development procedures also aims to minimise the additional work and costs involved in developing an existing industry standard into a formal Australia Standard.
The Many Benefits of Standards
Standards give businesses and consumers confidence that goods and services are safe, reliable and will do the job they were intended for;
Standards help consumers make everyday choices between one product and another;
Standards support Australian innovation by providing a platform on which to build new ideas;
Standards reflect the latest technologies, innovations and community needs;
Standards boost Australian production and productivity;
Standards save businesses time and money and cut production costs;
Standards help cut energy bills and foster new technologies;
Standards enable small businesses to become more efficient and grow by using standards, guidelines and handbooks developed by industry experts;
Standards make Australian businesses more competitive – products that comply with standards have a competitive edge over products that don’t – consumers know the difference;
Exporters using International Standards have a head start in overseas markets;
Standards ensure products manufactured in one country can be sold and used in another;
Standards reduce technical barriers to international trade, increase the size of potential markets and position Australian firms to compete in the world economy;
Standards complement regulation and make markets work better;
Standards help make laws and regulations consistent across Australia – by using a standard, a consumer law in one jurisdiction becomes consistent with a fair trading regulation in another.