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Concrete In Australia : March 2008
FROM THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE Is the standards development model broken? Is the standards development model broken? The Concrete Institute of Australia has a number of representatives on significant standards development committees. These committees, through a process under the management of Standards Australia, are responsible for the development of Australian Standards. Recent activities across a range of committees have demonstrated that the model used to develop standards is not perfect. In one instance, it has been reported to the Institute that the relationship between a number of committee members is such that there is little or no hope of outstanding issues being resolved while the protagonists are part of the committee. In another case, a major standard development process was shelved after more than seven years because the committee members could not agree on part of the standard. Together with other associations in the industry, the Institute made representations to Standards Australia which have resulted in at least the agreed material being issued as part 1 of the standard, avoiding the wasting of seven years of work. From time to time the Institute has been criticised for a perceived lack of consultation with the broader membership when developing responses to standards development issues. While there may be some validity in these criticisms, members need to be aware that the standards development process is dynamic in nature and as such presents challenges which the Institute and its nominated representatives are often forced to face without the opportunity for wider consultation. In addition, Standards Australia has a policy of “committee – in confi dence” which, when taken We hope you are able to consider the contribution you are able to make so that the Institute’s position on any standards development issue is appropriate, representative and valid. at face value, is extremely limiting in what nominated representatives can and cannot openly discuss. In response to the need to better respond to members in this important area, the Institute’s Council has adopted a policy which, when implemented, will see the Institute’s nominated representatives to various standards committees supported by reference groups comprised of interested members who are qualifi ed and prepared to contribute to the standards development process. This policy is being implemented to ensure the Institute’s position on any standard is based on the general views of members. Recently members were invited to nominate for representative and supporting reference group positions for two standards committees. The noise associated with the response has not exactly been deafening. As further calls are made for the full range of standards committees to which the Institute nominates representatives, we hope you are able to consider the contribution you are able to make so that the Institute’s position on any standards development issue is appropriate, representative and valid. Ian Booth Chief Executive Officer Concrete Institute of Australia firstname.lastname@example.org 6 Concrete in Australia Vol 34 No 1