Like all developed economies, Australia’s construction sector relies on a robust set of codes and standards.

The Australian sector is lucky in that the performance based nature of our construction codes in the building and plumbing sectors allows choice in design and compliance paths.

Standards Australia, with its partners and contributors, have long played a key role in making the system work. The system is not perfect (how many are?) but it works.

Transforming a national asset

Standards Australia (SA) has been working steadily on a five-year strategic plan that will empower users, empower end customers, and hopefully supercharge the positive impact that standards have on Australian life.

This is about taking what works and thinking about how we can truly connect in a digital world rather than bolting on technology to an existing world.

Recently, SA released a 12-month Action Plan that will see the organisation working towards another set of positive changes focused on one thing: its core business of standards development, adoption and promotion.

The Action Plan will see SA working across five streams:

  1. A comprehensive governance review
  2. Continuing its digital transformation
  3. Enhanced stakeholder communications and engagement
  4. A focus on talent
  5. Establishing an incubator for innovation

Ensuring SA’s governance structures

The governance review will see SA openly, transparently, and with support from independent experts review its arrangements to ensure that all elements of our governance are fit for purpose.

SA looks forward to engagement through this process from our members, key stakeholders and from anyone who uses its products or contributes to its work.

Building on SA’s digital foundations

Over the last 12 months, SA has invested in a best of breed data repository that will enable its continued transformation well beyond books and PDFs.

This is a cornerstone of SA’s transformation work. The next stage will move beyond important but unseen infrastructure to the experience of our contributors.


Because without contributors, there is no Standards Australia.

Communicating with stakeholders

SA believes standards are the most important piece of technical infrastructure that go unknown, unseen and never discussed until something goes wrong.

The challenge here is to change this perception in a positive and impactful way.

SA will be investing in its communication capability through engagement and public affairs teams to ensure that the organisation remains relevant for those it works with today, and increasingly supports new and emerging technologies and sectors across the Australian economy and internationally.

Managing talent

Every organisation is built on its people, and SA has 100 people on board, along with many thousands of contributors.

As its transformation continues and functions change, especially on the digital side, SA will need people doing work in areas that it doesn’t do today.

But it’s not only about the inside of Standards Australia.

The release of SA’s digital academy will allow the organisation to share skills with contributors that will help all involved in a way that makes sense, when the contributors have time.

Bringing the agility, thinking and processes of a start-up to Australia’s national standards body

The last but in no way least pillar of SA’s plan is to establish an incubator to embed an innovation mindset across the entire business. The trick here is to make real, action focused innovation a cornerstone of the rest of the plan so that SA doesn’t start at ‘incrementally better’ but at ‘why do we even do this.’

The next 12 months will see progress that will set SA up to make an even bigger positive impact on the economy. When it comes to the construction sector, SA is looking forward to engagement, contributions and feedback from all involved along the way.