CFA plays an important role in ensuring consumer interests are represented in the development of Australian standards. Standards are published documents setting out specifications and procedures designed to ensure products, services and systems are safe, reliable and perform the way they were intended to. They establish the common language which defines quality and safety criteria. The CFA has provided consumer representation to Standards Australia and peak standards setting bodies for more than 20 years.

We all rely on an objective, rigorous set of standards to ensure the products and systems we use are safe and reliable.

Standards Australia is an independent, not-for-profit organisation, recognised by the Australian Government as the peak non-government standards body in Australia. Standards Australia develops internationally aligned Australian Standards® that deliver a net benefit to Australia and is the Australian member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission. Further information is available here. The “Consumer Representatives on Standards Australia Committees Project” is funded by Standards Australia.

Consumer Action Law Centre manages the Standards Project on behalf of CFA.

Aims of the CFA Standards Project

The main goal of the CFA Standards Project is to recruit suitable and effective consumer representatives to standards committees that develop standards of direct interest to consumers.
Those committees are chosen according to a list of priorities as follows:

  • Health, safety and welfare of vulnerable consumers, and overwhelming public interest
  • Health, safety and welfare of consumers generally
  • Accessibility and fair trading of essential services
  • Information – consumers’ right to know
  • Environmental impact of services and products
  • Fair trading of non-essential services and products

Other tasks of the project include:

  • Maintaining the database of consumer representatives and committees
  • Involving consumer representatives in important international standards meetings
  • Publishing draft Australian Standards
  • Conducting consumer awareness campaigns, including publishing articles about the importance of consumer input into standardisation; and
  • Developing briefing papers on significant issues that arise for consumer representatives on their standards committees.

Areas of consumer interest and involvement have expanded over the years and the range of committees that the CFA is involved in reflects contemporary consumer concerns about environmental issues, information technology and security, emerging technologies, business practice and governance and consumer health issues.

The CFA regularly seeks skilled volunteers to be CFA representatives on Standards Australia Technical Committees. If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a CFA standards representative, please contact CFA’s Standards Coordinator at standards@consumeraction.org.au.