International Standards and Risk Assessments

Tuesday 15 December 2015


As part of the Australian Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda and the broader Regulatory Reform Agenda the Government has adopted the principle that if a system, service or product has been approved under a trusted international standard or risk assessment, then Commonwealth regulators should not impose any additional requirements for approval in Australia, unless it can be demonstrated that there is a good reason to do so. The objective of this principle is to reduce regulatory burden and remove barriers to trade.

To implement this principle, Education, in consultation with portfolio regulators, has developed the following criteria for assessing the appropriateness of adopting a particular international standard or risk assessment.

Portfolio criteria for the adoption of International Standards and Risk Assessments

Where a potential international standard exists:

  1. Is the international standard or risk assessment trusted in that:
    • it has been agreed multilaterally within an authoritative forum or is from an overseas jurisdiction that is at the forefront of international best practice in the relevant area
    • approval processes are sufficiently rigorous and of a comparable or superior standard to Australia?
  2. Is there evidence of Australian conditions and government policy objectives that warrant Australian specific regulatory standards or risk assessment processes?
  3. Would adopting the international standard or risk assessment result in an overall net regulatory, economic or social benefit? Net benefit includes assessing whether:
    • the least regulatory cost option is already being implemented
    • Australia is at the forefront of world-best practice
    • not adopting the standard could affect Australia’s international standing, trading or negotiating position
    • there has been significant investment in the development of Australian specific standards.
  4. Have stakeholders been consulted about the feasibility of adopting the international standard or risk assessment?