Standards Coordination Process

Program 1 - Analysis

The first stage of analysis is collating all relevant standards and codes currently under the auspices of Standards Australia. Many standards are managed under the Timber Standards Coordination Group (TSCG). However, there are other standards in teh built environment (e.g. windows, bushfire, insulation, waterproofing) that may have a significant impact on timber usage. There may also be standards outside the built environment that could be of interest to FWPA members and levy payers (e.g. pallets, biofuel pellets).

Standards database development

A database of all relevant standards and their key attributes has been developed to help manage future work activity. The suite of relevant standards will evolve as some standards retire or the implications of a particular standard on timber usage become better understood.

Preliminary assessment

The second stage of the analysis will be to undertake a preliminary assessment to establish the level of importance of the code or standard to members and stakeholders.
The following criteria is used to prioritise standards:

table 1 to go here
table 2 to go here

Priority ranking:

  • High importance rating (120 to 190)
  • Medim importance rating (60 to 119)
  • Low importance rating (less than 60)

Program 2 - Consultation

Successfully providing an industry service in coordinating standards and codes is largely dependent on creating an effective means of consultation across the whole forest and wood products sector.

A fragmented industry

Historically, consultation on standards has been largely restricted to discussion within specific product groups (e.g. panels, treated timbers, framing timbers) and some informal conmunication between representative associations. This reflects the high level of competition between product groups within the industry and evne in the structure of Standards Australia's eight TM committees that are often product group focused.

Developing an integrated view

As a consequence, there are very few companies (or individuals within those companies) that have a strong grasp on the totality of the standards and codes that impact on timber usage. Also, the technical complexity of some subject matter makes it difficult for people to allocate the time and effort to understand the standards and codes in any great detail or they simply may not have the training or experience in the area concerned.

Creating an encompassing consultation process

The proposed mechanisms for consultation are the following:

  • Establish a network of interested parties
  • Regular update of activities
  • Form an expert Reference Group
  • Implement Standards documentation management

Program 3 - Development Progress

The new Standards Australia funding model suggests that hte cost of standards development is going to increase substantially. FWPA will explore ways of improving the development process to save time and money and be inclusive to the broadest constituency across the sector.

Progam 4 - Adoption

Industry feedback indicates there is an issue with national adoption and use of standards and codes.

One of the key advantages of standards is that they can improve user acceptance and reduce problems associated with incorrect use of products.

Improving adoption of standards must occur with both suppliers and users. Using the established network, FWPA will keep members and stakeholders updated of newly developed or amended standards. In addition, staff training materials will be developed to assist better understanding by first-line sales staff of the implications of the standards. For users of standards, FWPA can assist in encouraging the use of the latest codes and standards through its specifier marketing program.

Training programs help with the awareness of the change and ensure the correct use and a consistent understanding and adoption of the new requirements.

Organisations that represent industry groups such as architects, engineers, building surveyors and builders will be approached to deliver training to their members on their behalf as part of a continuous professional development program.