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Is it your time to shine on a standards development committee?

Standards development committees are central to creating new standards, reviewing and revising existing standards, and adopting and modifying international standards. Standards are written by committees of volunteers who dedicate their time and knowledge to the job.

Committee members come together to discuss scopes of work, write content, revise and review draft standards, test and challenge methods, review public comments and together create solutions that are robust and workable in real life. 

Standards development committees are made up of representatives of the diverse interests of the field in question. They come together to offer their knowledge, perspective and skills, and to agree positions that balance all interests. The Standards Approval Board have a role to approve committee nominations or applicants, seeking balance and appropriateness. This includes an eye to the balance of the interests of specialists, such as industry players, while including those who are impacted by the standards, such as consumers.

Once a consensus of committee members are happy with the content, having considered public feedback, the standard can be finalised. The balance of interests ensures that it will work for all parties. This process is not just internationally aligned but required under the Standards and Accreditation Act 2015.

For more information on the standards development process, and what standards are, see our guidance below.

How standards are developed

Explaining standards

"I believe committees need a good balance of younger and older, more experienced people and not just those involved in policy writing, but creatives, innovators and pragmatists."
—Alison Holt, IT specialist and committee chair


Which type of standards committee?

Standards New Zealand is the gateway for participation on standard development committees for different types of standards.

Different types of committees may have different requirements, and different standards have different timelines or roles. Some are complex and take many years, others are less complex and take much less time.  

International ISO and IEC standards

We are closely aligned to the two largest global standards organisations, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). We are the New Zealand member of ISO and provide the secretariat to the IEC New Zealand National Committee.  We connect New Zealand experts with opportunities on both ISO and IEC committees and enable members to work with diverse people from across the world.

International Organization for Standardization(external link)

International Electrotechnical Committee(external link)

Joint Australian and New Zealand standards (AS/NZS)

Many standards used throughout New Zealand are developed jointly with Standards Australia, our counterparts across the Tasman. These committee members work with other members in both countries.

New Zealand standards

We have over 300 New Zealand-only standards developed to meet specific domestic needs. Committees developing New Zealand standards are made up of New Zealand-based experts.

Committee types quick comparison

Nominating organisations

Both joint Australian/New Zealand standards and New Zealand standards committee representatives require a nominating organisation to endorse their participation. Nominating organisations help ensure individuals don’t bring a biased view instead representing a common interest or industry perspective. Nominating organisations are most often regulators, professional bodies, research institutes or industry associations. They can also be your employer, or a professional organisation of which you are a member. 

If you are interested in joining a development committee for joint Australian/New Zealand standards or New Zealand standards, you can approach a nominating organisation for their endorsement. A nominating organisation may also put you forward for participation.  

International ISO and IEC committee representatives do not need a nominating organisation.

Why join a committee?

Industry experts on committees find great personal reward in participating.

Participation gives you:

  • direct access to shaping the standards you might use
  • an extensive professional network of industry experts relevant to your work, both in and outside of New Zealand
  • an opportunity to learn from others and build your knowledge
  • real experience for your professional development
  • the opportunity to contribute and give back to your sector.

If you are endorsed by a nominating organisation, your organisation gains sector representation and the benefits that come with growing professional staff.

Why participate? Standards nominating organisations [PDF, 3.8 MB]

What is involved?

At any given time we can have hundreds of representatives involved in standards development. These representatives may work across multiple standards. Some are in the early stages of their careers, while some have been involved for decades. 

You’ll need to be prepared to:

  • read and write drafts, provide feedback, analyse public comments and feedback, and do research or test content
  • attend meetings   – either online or in person
  • report back to your nominating organisation or Standards New Zealand on progress.

Committee members come from all walks of life. There is no minimum (or maximum) age and we encourage diversity, as long as you are:

  • highly knowledgeable and skilled in your field
  • attentive to detail
  • open to others’ ideas and new ways of doing things
  • a team player and collaborative
  • timely and responsive
  • inquisitive to search and expand your learning
  • articulate to explain your thoughts and ideas.

The Standards Approval Board approves applications for committee members, ensuring suitability, balanced perspectives, and professional and relevant experience.

What's involved in Standards development committees [PDF, 2.8 MB]

Complete an expression of interest

If you think you have the skills and knowledge and would like to volunteer, complete the expression of interest form to register your interest.

Express your interest in joining a standards committee  

"You need the courage and inquisitive mind to ask questions that are rarely voiced, which keeps all committee members learning. New Zealand is good at finding innovative and elegant solutions that enable us to punch above our weight."
—Brian Fitzgerald, energy sector committee member

Last updated: 13 March 2024