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Standards New Zealand's annual performance survey results

From 16 February to 10 March this year, through research company, Andrew Fletcher Consulting, we invited over 8300 stakeholders to participate in our annual web-based performance survey. This year, responses totalled 1494 or 17.8%, which was very close to last year's response rate of 18.4%.

On behalf of the team at Standards New Zealand, I would like to thank everyone who took part in this year's survey. It serves as a key formal measurement tool for us – the results are linked to our organisational key performance indicators. These are included in our Statement of Intent (as targets), and in our Annual Report (as results against those targets).

As you'll see in the summary below, the results show satisfaction among development clients and purchasing customers remains high – this is a credit to my team here at Standards, to our development committee members who generously contribute their time, talent, and effort, our funding clients who enable the development process to continue, and all our customers who are a delight to provide service to.

I'm especially proud to see such very good results given we have had many changes at Standards during the past year, and, along with the rest of the business community, we have been weathering the economic downturn.

Performance ratings for purchasing Standards 2008/09

We are always very interested to hear what you think we're doing well, and what you think we could do better. Several of those who provided comments said they believe '…Standards New Zealand is doing quite a good job under difficult conditions…' We appreciate the candour of the feedback provided.

We will use your feedback to inform and support improvements to our online service and support, webshop functionality, web usability, and development process. The survey results also provide useful inputs to the Standards New Zealand future planning and development.

Summary of results

  • Overall purchaser satisfaction with the supply of Standards rated 6.04 out of 7, the same level as last year
  • Overall sponsor satisfaction with the quality of service received for Standards development rated 5.55 out of 7, against 5.59 last year
  • Membership rated 5.12 out of 7 for providing value for money
  • The Standards used rated 5.08 out of 7 for providing value for money
  • Ordering of Standards through our webshop climbed to 67% of all orders placed by respondents
  • Those purchasing overseas Standards through Standards New Zealand's webshop increased to 48%, along with another 20% purchasing through us by phone, mail, fax, or email.

The importance and value of Standards

We included new questions asking respondents to rank the importance and value of Standards. The results and associated comments have given us valuable insights into how Standards are perceived.

  • 88% of respondents rated the importance of Standards to their industry or sector at 6 or 7 out of 7.

Importance of Standards
Respondents were also asked to rate the value of Standards against areas such as compliance, regulation, trade facilitation, and so on. Suggestions included promoting the value of Standards across all these aspects to increase people's understanding of the benefits they can provide, particularly in the areas of research and development, competitive advantage, labour productivity, and innovation.

International representation

Respondents were asked to rate the importance and value of Standards New Zealand representing New Zealand in the international Standards community.

  • The importance of our role in representing New Zealand's views internationally rated at 5.79 out of 7, with 62% of respondents rating it as 6 or 7 out of 7
  • The value of our international representation rated slightly lower at 5.46 out of 7 (within the margin of error), with 48% of respondents rating this value at 6 or 7 out of 7.

The comments on international representation showed quite divergent views – at one extreme, our representation in the international Standards community is regarded as being of critical importance. At the other extreme, New Zealand is seen as being inconsequential on the world stage and some respondents commented that 'we should not try to reinvent the wheel'.

Fulfilling the Standards Act 1988

We asked respondents to rate how well Standards New Zealand fulfills its obligations under the Standards Act 1988.

  • A little over half of respondents rated Standards New Zealand at 6 or 7 for fulfilling our current purpose under the Standards Act 1988.

Comments were made that Standards New Zealand is inhibited from fully meeting its requirements under the Act by its current funding model – both for Standards access, where cost is perceived as a barrier, and in Standards development, where lack of funding is thought to be an inhibitor for public good Standards.

Standards accessibility

There was a high level of agreement with the statement 'Standards should be available to everyone', with 75% giving it a rating of 6 or 7 out of 7.

Comments indicated that the cost of Standards is a barrier to uptake and that free access would improve their use to the benefit of society. Some respondents feel that Standards that are legislated ought to be available free, and public good Standards should receive government funding.

Standardisation

Respondents provided many comments about the importance of standardisation, with many saying some industries and international trade could not function without it.

Summary

Quite a few comments said that respondents would like to see Standards New Zealand operate with a different funding model that makes Standards more affordable. Many suggestions were made on enabling more access to the public. More promotion about the use and benefits of Standards was also suggested to enable non-Standards users and the general public to better understand Standards New Zealand's purpose and value.

Thank you again for taking the time to participate.  I look forward to working with you to improve our customer and client experiences and to continue to improve the lives of New Zealanders through standardisation.

Debbie Chin
Chief Executive

Published in general.

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