When creating legislation and resources to enhance, establish and maintain quality across business and trade sectors, Australia follows a quality framework. Each body plays an important part in the overall quality infrastructure for the building sector.

Essentially, Policy, Regulation and Contracts, all of which are legally binding, are supported by:

Specification procedures and guidelines: Australian and International Standards are voluntary documents but serve as public policy tools and become mandatory when they are referenced in regulations, determinations or contracts. Standards represent one component of the broader Australian technical and policy infrastructure, providing consensus-based solutions to the market.

Conformity assessment bodies: The role of conformity assessment bodies is to certify compliance to a standard.

Accreditation bodies: Accreditation bodies are tasked with accrediting the certification bodies (checkers that check the checkers). The role of JAS-ANZ is to accredit certification and inspection bodies, while the role of NATA is to accredit laboratories and technical facilities.

Market surveillance: The market surveillance function is typically undertaken by organisations such as the ACCC or relevant regulatory bodies.

Metrology: The National Measurement Institute is responsible for coordinating Australia’s measurement system and regulation of national trade measurement.

Understanding this enables us to understand the importance of guidance material such as the Australian Standards and how they contribute to the bigger picture. This is more important than ever as reforms by the Building Commissioner aim to knuckle down on poor practices across the building industry and restore confidence to the market. This all begins with getting the foundations right so that the resources and best practices in place are followed through and successfully carried out on site.

The bigger picture is to make NSW the preferred state for purchasers to invest in new apartments, for financiers to regard NSW as the preferred market for new projects, for insurers to regard NSW as a preferred risk and as insurable, for NSW to be branded by developers as preferred and trustworthy, and to change the public perception of the industry to attract tomorrow’s constructors.

Credit: Most of the content has been taken from the NSW Fair Trading Course: The Importance of the Australian Standards 2021