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Standards and Accreditation Bill Update

Published 21 April 2015, from Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

The Commerce Select Committee reported back on the Standards and Accreditation Bill on 31 March 2015.
The Bill amends and consolidates the law relating to standards and accreditation of conformity assessment bodies, and repeals and replaces the Standards Act 1988 and the Testing Laboratory Registration Act 1972.

Key aspects of the Bill include: 

  • establishing a new independent statutory board to approve New Zealand Standards and membership of Standards development committees
  • retaining and strengthening key elements of the current arrangements, such as codifying in legislation the role of balanced committees of technical experts in developing Standards
  • locating the Standards development function in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) ensuring closer alignment with government objectives 
  • strengthening the existing cost recovery model, by providing for full lifecycle costing of Standards 
  • repealing the Standards Act 1988 and disestablishing the Standards Council
  • repealing the Testing Laboratory Registration Act 1972 and incorporating its provisions into the Standards and Accreditation Bill
  • better reflecting the Testing Laboratory Registration Council's accreditation activities, including renaming the Council the Accreditation Council.

The Commerce Select Committee considered the Bill and recommends a number of changes. Many are minor and technical in nature. 

The main changes recommended by the Select Committee: 

  • provide for a more flexible and proportionate approach to managing actual and perceived conflicts of interest for members of standards development committees
  • make it clear that New Zealand will continue to be involved in the development of international standards.

You can read the Bill and the Select Committee commentary here

The Select Committee report and the Bill will now be debated by Parliament before the Bill is finalised and passed into law. The changes to accreditation will take effect immediately. The main changes to the institutional arrangements for Standards are expected to come into effect several months after that. 

Standards New Zealand and the Standards Council will continue to provide support for Standards development, approval and access in the meantime. These parties are working closely together with MBIE to ensure there is a seamless transition to thenew arrangements.