Standards are published documents ensuring the products and systems we use are safe, reliable, and perform the way they were intended.
Consumers’ Federation of Australia (CFA) plays an important role in ensuring consumer interests are represented in the development of Australian standards. Standards establish the common language used to define quality and safety criteria. CFA has provided consumer representation to Standards Australia and peak standards setting bodies for more than 20 years.
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. They are the Australian member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission. 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. Please contact CFA’s Standards Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org and/or register your interest in becoming a volunteer representative of CFA as part of this project.
CFA representatives have been volunteering on Standards Australia technical committees for more that 20 years.
The main goal of the CFA Standards Project is to recruit and support suitable and effective representatives of CFA 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
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.
We are also guided by the UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection (2016).
Other tasks of the project include:
- Maintaining the database of consumer representatives and committees
- Involving consumer representatives in important international standards meetings
- Encouraging public comment on 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.
CFA regularly seeks skilled volunteers to represent CFA 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 email@example.com and/or register your interest.