Section 3: Standard or Risk Assessment Selection

This section provides a simple assessment process that can be used to identify an appropriate standard or risk assessment to support policy and programs objectives.

A list of the types of standards and risk assessments that can be used is provided at Annex B. Different sources of standards and risk assessments are provided in further detail at Annex C.

Policy officers should work through each consideration in consultation with their stakeholders. As policy officers complete these processes, any analysis undertaken should be documented. Further information on assessing the performance and outcomes of standards and risk assessments is detailed in Section 4.

Identification of standards and risk assessments

The first step is to identify an applicable standard or risk assessment that already exists to achieve the desired policy or program outcome. There are many different sources of standards in use throughout the world. Standards may be developed by international organisations, regional groupings, nation states and industry.

Officers should commence their search for an applicable international standard or risk assessment in consultation with stakeholders. If an applicable international standard or risk assessment cannot be found, then a regional, national, industry or other standard can be used.

When searching for standards, policy officers should consider the current status of the standard. Policy officers should always search for and use the latest (or amended) version of the standard or risk assessment. If policy officers have not been able to identify a standard or risk assessment for the desired outcome, they have the option of initiating a new standard through a standard development process. The Trade Facilitation team can provide assistance to policy officers identifying the applicable standard or risk assessment and can be contacted at TradeFacilitation@industry.gov.au.

Applicability to the Australian context

Once policy officers have identified a standard or risk assessment they need to determine if it can be applied or adopted to an Australian setting. When considering which standard to use, officers should preference those that are already in wide circulation and use. The list at Annex C highlights the general hierarchal order in which preference should be given for use in Australian policy settings.

There are five criteria that should be used to make this assessment. If it is determined that the standard or risk assessment cannot be used in an Australian context, it is recommended that policy officers seek an alternative policy response.

Figure 2 on the next page describes the criteria that should be used by policy officers to make an assessment.

Assistance in selecting standards and risk assessments

The department’s Trade Facilitation team manages the Australian Government’s relationships with the standards and conformance bodies and can assist if you have questions regarding the selection of standards and risk assessments to be used in support of policy and programs. The Trade Facilitation team can be contacted at TradeFacilitation@industry.gov.au.

Figure 2 - Criteria to assess applicability of standards and risk assessments to the Australian context

Feasibility & Appropriateness

Can the standard or risk assessment be used by stakeholders?

Policy officers should ask stakeholders whether the standard or risk assessment is easy to access and whether the requirements can be performed without significant organisational change or investment.

Accepted Best Practice

Is the standard or risk assessment in wide circulation and use?

Policy officers should ensure that the standard or risk assessment is widely accepted amongst stakeholders and can be used and followed.

Harmonisation

Does the standard or risk assessment have an impact on state/territory procedures?

Policy officers should work with their counterparts in State and Territory governments to ensure the standard or risk assessment can be applied across jurisdictions and that practices and procedures are harmonised.

Influence

Has Australia had some involvement or influence in the development of the standard or risk assessment?

Policy officers should confirm whether Australia has been involved or influenced the development of the standard or risk assessment. This will provide assurance that the standard is from a credible source and can be used in an Australian context.

International Obligations

Does the use of the standard or risk assessment allow Australia to meet its international obligations?

Policy officers should ensure that the standard or risk assessment does not create a barrier to trade or an impediment to other international agreements or treaties that Australia is a signatory to. i.e. Australia is a party to the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.

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