How is a new Standard in termite management agreed upon? Termite professional Dr Don Ewart explains.
Producing a Standard that actually works takes years, and a lot of negotiation. The drafting Committee has representatives of all the major stakeholders. A proposal is drawn up with the need, benefits and impacts of the proposed revision fully covered. A scope is decided and work begins. The words used are painstakingly chosen to meet the needs of the scope while not creating extra problems and many working drafts are produced along the way. The wording has to be formulated under the requirement that new Standards are to be written in mandatory language.
ABCB technical committees in each State and Territory have the option of commenting on the working drafts and often strike out bits they don’t like or feel are outside the BCA’s needs The Committee then works on/around these changes and a new draft goes back to the technical committees. This is repeated many times. Standards’ own editors have input and then, once the Committee is agreed, the draft document is put out for public review. Suggested changes are reviewed, changes and corrections made, compliance checked and then it is back to the editor before publication by SAI Global.
The Committee has completed a draft of the revised post- construction management Standard AS 3660.2 which is now available for public comment until the third week of January. The biggest changes are around a forced move from guidelines to mandatory (shall do) statements in every clause. Comments have to be submitted in the right manner and must identify the particular clause, explain why a change is warranted and most importantly, suggest wording that achieves that change. This is done online through Standards Australia’s website, with the draft available free at SAI Global when you follow the links.
AEPMA is working on a code of practice for termite management that also includes ‘Standard’ in its title. This document has also been many years in the making and is expected in 2017. Like the Code of Practice for Prior to Purchase Timber Pest Inspection, this new code is expected to guide, inform and reduce conflicts. Unlike the BCA, compliance with such industry codes is not compulsory, but any significant variation should be well documented.