SCC's Operating Environment and Context
The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) monitors national and global trends, as well as social, economic and political factors, that impact on the organization's operating environment and ability to deliver against strategic priorities. Business and government priorities—such as reducing trade barriers to expand market access within Canada and internationally, fostering innovation and improving economic performance—all continue to be essential to strengthening Canada's standardization network. Delivering value to consumers through increased product choice and reduced cost is of paramount importance to Canadians.Back to top
Supporting Regulatory and Policy Objectives
Standardization has long been a pillar that supports economic prosperity, enhances competitiveness and fosters innovation and growth. Standardization activities directly support the federal government's plan for a strong and competitive Canada and serve as a valuable tool that influences many public policy objectives, including building a strong economy, reducing barriers to domestic and international trade, and supporting clean and innovative technologies to reduce environmental impacts and create resilient infrastructure.
"SCC approaches challenges as opportunities, thus ensuring that standardization continues to fuel a more competitive and innovative economy. We can achieve so much by working together in a strong national network. Providing the right standards for Canadian business benefits all of us. We continue to work with Canadian industry to determine where Canada has specific and unique expertise in order to drive innovation and to ensure long-term economic growth for Canada."John Walter, CEO, SCC
Federal, provincial and territorial government regulators turn to SCC for standardization solutions that support their regulatory objectives. We work closely with Canadian regulators to offer standardization solutions to help achieve policy objectives and to track and advise on the status of standards, codes, and inspection and certification requirements referenced in regulations. The federal Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) Committee on Standardization is helping SCC work with federal regulators to continue to identify and align standardization priorities that will provide the greatest benefit to Canada.
Having standards and accreditation services in place ensures that products and services meet regulatory requirements. This limits risks, improves safety and increases the marketability of Canadian products across the country and around the world. Through standardization, organizations are able to adopt the latest technological advances and improve processes and production. This, in turn, leads to reduced costs, enhanced performance and increased consumer confidence.
An important policy objective for the Government of Canada is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. This is an area where standardization can help, particularly in terms of supporting efforts to ensure that infrastructure is resilient in the face of a changing climate. For example, SCC will facilitate the development of urgently needed standards for the collection and acquisition of weather data and climate information. SCC will also initiate a program to support the update of a broad range of existing critical standards currently referenced in federal, provincial and territorial regulations and codes. These measures, as well as ongoing investments in new standards to support Northern infrastructure, will support the climate readiness of infrastructure projects not only in Canada's North but across the country.Back to top
Breaking Down Trade Barriers Within Canada's Borders
Although Canadians can travel freely between provinces and territories, many goods and workers cannot. The mobility of some products, tradespeople and professionals between Canadian jurisdictions is subject to certain restrictions. Requirements such as educational qualifications and certifications, paperwork to meet provisions, or product-specific manufacturing and testing may differ between jurisdictions. As a result, internal barriers to trade exist between Canadian provinces and territories.
For example, different Canadian Registration Number (CRN) requirements for boilers, pressure vessels and fittings between all provinces and territories create extra costs and burdensome registration requirements for industry. Some products, like water heaters, must also adhere to different standards in various jurisdictions, or undergo duplicative testing requirements for identical standards between jurisdictions. This is either due to the differences between federal, provincial, territorial and municipal requirements, or to the differences in how these jurisdictions adopt federal requirements.
For Canadian consumers, these trade barriers translate into higher costs and less choice. SCC is working to identify and support the alignment of standards in order to break down these internal barriers to trade to build a stronger, more competitive economy.Back to top
Reducing Barriers to International Trade
The world of trade is changing: international trade is more competitive and complex than ever before. As Canadian organizations enter new export markets, they face increasingly stringent legal, technical and regulatory requirements. At the same time, the world of standardization is adapting to this changing landscape to better support the needs of both exporters and importers. By supporting Canadian businesses as they enter new markets or expand in existing markets, standardization plays a key role in promoting global trade and helping Canada to reach its full potential.
Standardization has had a significant impact on smaller-sized exporters in particular. For these businesses, becoming certified to standards and establishing credentials with global customers greatly enhances the probability of long-term growth and success. Third-party conformity assessment is a way for these small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to demonstrate that they have met the necessary criteria to do business in a given market. By being certified to applicable standards, SMEs can become suppliers of choice and gain a competitive edge in markets around the world.
Canadian exporters must adhere to a broadening and evolving spectrum of standards and conformity assessment requirements to access U.S. and global markets. SCC recognizes that a more responsive and effective standardization network will provide the flexibility necessary to adjust to the realities of this shifting marketplace. The organization is working to further align standardization practices to help improve economic opportunities for Canadians.
We know that the adoption of international standards further eases the entry of products and services into foreign markets, leading to increased opportunities for Canadian businesses. By working closely with our stakeholders, we have taken significant steps to improve Canada's policies on adopting international standards and other international deliverables (i.e. technical reports or specifications) making these adoptions timelier and more cost-effective.
“If you think about our catalogue of domestic standards, 15 years ago we used to have more than 5,000 standards in our catalogue. We have approximately 2,900 now and the trend is to have fewer domestic standards. We rely more and more on regional or international standards and whether it is in sectors such as forestry or mining, or to support the export of products and ensure safety, more and more we are seeing that you need to comply with regional and international standards if you want to succeed.”Michel Girard, Vice-President, Strategy and Stakeholder Engagement Branch, SCC
Canada's marketplace framework encourages entrepreneurship, innovation, investment and competitiveness, while protecting the interests of Canadian citizens. For a growing number of accreditation service providers, the move to align standards across the globe is opening the doors to both regulated and non-regulated markets. As such, SCC supports this marketplace framework by continuing to provide value to its customers. The Accreditation Services Branch continues to prioritize its programs for delivery, review its pricing model for all programs, and ensure that it remains activity-based, transparent and fair.Back to top
Positioning Canada as an International Leader
SCC continues to engage industry leaders to ensure that they have a solid understanding of how participation in the standardization network can contribute to their bottom line. To further strengthen Canada's standardization network, the organization works with leaders in industry sectors that are key to Canadian competitiveness to ensure that they understand how standardization supports and advances their priorities, delivers returns on investments and enhances Canada's economic and social well-being.
Countries around the world are strategically positioning themselves to gain a global competitive edge and achieve greater economic benefits. Many of these countries adopt standards and seek positions on international technical committees to promote their own technologies and to influence the marketplace in their favour. As the global economy further aligns, SCC will ensure that Canada has a strong voice on international committees that are of strategic importance to our country and will have the greatest benefit to our economy and our citizens.
To maintain Canada's place as an international standardization leader, SCC will attract our nation's best experts to participate in international standards development, especially in those sectors that are most important to Canada's economy. With input from its stakeholders, SCC continues to update its policies and procedures to reduce barriers to participation on international technical committees and ease the way for qualified young professionals to replace retiring experts on key international committees.Back to top
Putting the Focus on Innovation
Innovation and international standards-setting increasingly go hand-in-hand. Standards can help a new technology secure its place in a global supply chain or a growth position in an emerging economy. SCC is collaborating with Canadian innovators who are developing emerging technologies that have potential economic value for Canada and where standards could strategically support their market entry or growth. Examples of emerging technologies include boron nitride nanotubes in advanced materials manufacturing (which is a large fraction of Canada's future high-value manufacturing) and geotube dewatering technology (a geotextile technology that has the potential to save Canada billions of dollars a year through the reduction of wastewater volume).
|Number of active Canadian standards||2,927||Increased||2,943|
|Number of standards maintained by key international standardization organizations (ISO, the IEC, ITU)||31,958||Increased||32,988|
|Number of active technical committees of ISO, the IEC and ITU||1,012||No Change||1,012|
|Number of Canadian volunteer members participating in international standards development committees||3,049||Increased||3,153|
|Number of standards incorporated by reference in federal regulations||1,354||Increased||1,377|
Standards do more than just protect our health and safety, they open the doors to a wealth of opportunities. Standards fuel the economy by breaking down trade barriers and by creating access to new domestic and international markets. They provide regulators with an efficient and effective policy tool. They also help companies reduce costs, increase productivity, reduce risk and gain the competitive edge needed to succeed in today's global economy. In fact, using and complying with standards offers businesses and organizations—big and small—the means to unlock potential opportunities for growth and innovation.
But standards do not just support business and drive our economy. Having effective standards in place means Canadians can feel confident that the goods and services they depend on every day are safe and reliable. Standards also reduce costs for consumers and give us access to products from around the world—products that we know are safe because of standards.
In 2015-2016, SCC focused on the following strategic priorities to create new and exciting opportunities for Canada.
- Value to Canada SCC delivers value to Canada by developing and implementing standardization solutions that create a more competitive and innovative economy and protect the health and safety of all Canadians.
- International Leader SCC protects and promotes Canada's interest in the economic sectors that matter most to our country and our citizens, and helps provide access to global markets for Canadian businesses.
- Innovation SCC supports a more innovative economy by ensuring that Canada's standardization network delivers value to government, industry and consumers. With the support of an efficient and effective standardization network, Canadian businesses are developing and adopting innovative practices that help them gain a competitive edge.
“Our recent commissioned study, Getting Aligned: How Adopting Standards Affects Canada's Productivity and Growth, which was undertaken by the Conference Board of Canada, clearly demonstrates that developing and using standards helps fuel a more competitive and innovative Canadian economy. As the leader of Canada's standardization network, SCC remains committed to delivering strategic standardization solutions in sectors that support Canada's economic well-being.”Back to topSandra Watson, Vice-President Communications and Corporate Planning Branch & Corporate Secretary, SCC
Value to Canada
Over the past fiscal year, SCC continued to strengthen Canada's standardization network and deliver standardization solutions that bring real value to the nation. Through a shared vision and cooperation with governments, standards development organizations (SDOs), Canadian industry and partners around the world, SCC has been able to do even more to protect consumers, promote domestic and international trade, support sustainable development and drive Canada's economy. By remaining focused on our work with industry and government to secure the right support to advance our priorities, we are confident that we will continue to deliver significant value to Canada.
Research continues to show that there is a clear link between standards, labour productivity and economic growth. In fact, a study commissioned by SCC entitled Getting Aligned: How Adopting Standards Affects Canada's Productivity and Growth confirmed that standards are critical to our nation's economic growth—in 2014 alone they contributed nearly $3 billion of the $39 billion increase in Canada's real GDP.Back to top
Breaking Down Internal Barriers to Trade
As the result of varying rules, requirements and certifications between territories and provinces, internal barriers to trade have been created that restrict the mobility of some products, tradespeople and certified professionals. These trade barriers restrict Canadian businesses and workers, and often translate into higher costs and less choice for consumers. That is why SCC continues to focus on creating more opportunities for Canadian companies and workers by identifying and supporting the alignment of standards in priority sectors.
SCC is also helping break down internal trade barriers by providing input into the negotiations for a modernized Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), an intergovernmental trade agreement that came into effect in 1995. Through our work with the Provincial-Territorial Advisory Committee (PTAC) and with the National Public Safety Advisory Committee (NPSAC), SCC is helping to ensure that the updated AIT supports efforts to align standards, conformity assessment practices and regulations across Canada.
In 2015-2016, SCC completed the second year of a three-year research initiative to identify the impact and cost of unaligned standards, codes or certification requirements in key sectors. The first case studies looked at technical barriers to trade in the crane sector, heating and plumbing sector, water heater sector and emerging regulatory sectors. The second phase of the project is currently examining the impact of duplicative CRN requirements.
This research supports SCC's ongoing focus on aligning standardization requirements from coast to coast to coast. Having one standard and one test across the country will not only reduce internal barriers to trade, it will also benefit all Canadians by creating a healthier economy and opportunities for growth in the years ahead.Back to top
Generating Concrete Results for Government
Our governments are responsible for protecting the health, safety and security of all Canadians. Regulations are the primary means by which they do this. These regulations often contain references to standards, known as"incorporation by reference" or IBR. There are thousands of different standards incorporated by reference in federal, provincial, territorial and, in some cases, municipal regulations. SCC is working with regulators across the country to identify and align standards, codes and testing, and inspection and certification requirements referenced in Canadian regulations. To help make this happen, SCC is completing an inventory of standards referenced in provincial and territorial regulations, which is an important first step toward achieving our long-term goal of reducing internal trade barriers and enhancing coordination across Canada.
But achieving this coordination will take more than identifying areas where standards are referenced in regulation and determining where updates are needed; we must also ensure that best practices are followed as we go forward. That is why SCC has also shared lessons learned with federal regulators and provided advice on how to effectively incorporate standards in federal regulations to ensure that standards referenced in regulations are relevant and up to date.Back to top
Providing Standardization Solutions to Support National Priorities
Standardization has long been a pillar that supports economic growth, enhances competitiveness and fosters innovation. Standardization directly supports the federal government's plan for a strong and competitive Canada by influencing many public policy areas—including the economy, domestic and international trade, the environment and healthcare.
Federal, provincial and territorial government regulators also look to SCC to help support their regulatory objectives. SCC will continue to work closely with Canadian regulators to offer standardization solutions as policy alternatives and to track and advise on the status of standards, codes and testing, as well as on inspection and certification requirements referenced in regulations. SCC's ADM Committee on Standardization is also working with federal regulators to identify and align the standardization priorities that are of the greatest benefit to Canada.
In 2015-2016, SCC continued to follow through on its commitment to modernize standards referenced in regulations. This was clearly demonstrated with the release of four new National Standards of Canada (NSCs). Over the past fiscal year, SCC worked with the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to publish two updated NSCs for the organic agriculture industry. These standards prevent deceptive practices in the marketplace and assess operational compliance of organic production systems to ensure that they are in keeping with the principles of organic agriculture. SCC also worked with the Bureau de normalisation du Quebec (BNQ) and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to publish two national standards that will help ensure the safe storage and manufacturing of explosives.
Working Together to Keep Canadian Goods FlowingBack to top
Duplicative standards and conformity assessment requirements cost our economy billions of dollars every year, whether it is duplication between Canada and our largest trading partner—the United States—or within our own country. They also increase costs for Canadian consumers by widening the price gap between products in Canada and the United States. But SCC is working hard to create opportunities for Canadian companies by breaking down barriers to trade between Canada and the United States—and the world. By doing our part to identify and develop standardization solutions that will make the concept of one standard, one test... accepted everywhere a reality, SCC is creating a stronger standardization network that will benefit industry, governments and consumers.
This year, SCC continued to take a leadership role in the harmonization of standards and certification programs. SCC continues to work with its counterparts in North America to explore mechanisms for greater harmonization of standards and conformity assessment procedures in order to enhance regulatory cooperation and increase economic ties. SCC recently signed memorandums of understanding with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Mexico's Direction General for Standards (DGN), which are instrumental in promoting cooperation and the harmonization and alignment of standards, testing and certification procedures at the regional and international level.
In February 2016, John Walter, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), SCC, and Michel Girard, Vice-President, Strategy and Stakeholder Engagement Branch, SCC, spoke to U.S. stakeholders and business associations at the Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C., about the importance of working together to identify opportunities for developing joint Canada-U.S. standards. Walter and Girard pointed out that joint Canada-U.S. standards will not only ease the flow of goods between our two countries, they will also reduce duplication, increase the efficiency of supply chains, lower costs for exporters and importers, and lead to the development of joint standards in new and emerging technology sectors.
During the past year, SCC launched several pilot projects that will promote the development of joint Canada-U.S. standards and create opportunities for greater collaboration and cooperation in the future. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC), the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating, and the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada have been instrumental in this work. In the case of UL, the organization worked with Transport Canada and the U.S. Coast Guard to develop joint Canada-U.S. standards for marine flotation devices by developing joint standards for life jackets and immersion suits.Back to top
Helping Canada's North Adapt to Climate Change
A key priority for the Government of Canada is finding solutions to facilitate the adaptation capacity and to strengthen the resilience of Northern communities and infrastructure to the impacts of climate change. Changes in climate have made Northern buildings, bridges and other infrastructure vulnerable, threatening public safety and potentially disrupting economic activities. In recent years, Canada's standardization network has become a leader in developing standardization solutions that will help mitigate the risks that come with climate change—building stronger communities in Canada's North in the process.
With support from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, SCC continued to lead the Northern Infrastructure Standardization Initiative (NISI), which includes developing a suite of standards and a corresponding training program, including training videos that provide information and know-how for people living in the North to address the impact of climate change in Canada's North. SCC commissioned the development of five standards to address issues such as how to ensure appropriate community drainage systems, deal with changing snow loads on roofs, improve thermosyphon foundations and manage the effects of permafrost degradation on existing buildings. Four standards have already been completed and approved as NSCs, and work on a fifth standard dealing with geotechnical site investigations for building foundations in permafrost began in 2015.
SCC is also working with federal partners, as well as provinces and territories, to prioritize critical infrastructure standards across Canada that need to be developed or updated and deployed. In the 2016 federal budget, SCC received additional funding that will create even more opportunities to improve Canada's ability to adapt to climate change by:
- Facilitating the development of urgently needed standardization guidance for weather data, climate information and climate change projections to ensure that infrastructure is resilient to a changing climate
- Initiating a program to support the update of a broad range of existing critical infrastructure standards currently referenced in federal, provincial and territorial regulations and codes in order to ensure that infrastructure projects across Canada are climate-ready
- Continuing to invest in new standards to support Northern infrastructure
SCC also began a collaboration with the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program, the world's largest voluntary greenhouse gas (GHG) program, to create more choice when it comes to accreditation services for Canadian greenhouse gas validation and verification bodies (VVBs). Under this agreement, SCC and VCS are working together to expand SCC's GHG accreditation program offering. VCS project developers will now have more options in selecting a VVB as SCC can now accredit additional VVBs to provide GHG validation and verification services.Back to top
Helping Canadian Businesses Compete Globally
Over the past year, SCC continued to engage leaders in key sectors such as plumbing and heating, manufacturing and exporting to ensure that they have a solid understanding of the benefits of standardization and how participation in the standardization network can open doors for them—and, ultimately, boost their bottom line. To succeed in today's global economy, it is essential for businesses to know which standards to use and how to apply them. Participating in the standardization network can give industry leaders an advantage over their competitors by providing insight into the latest business and technical developments and can help them play a leading role in supporting the economy.
In 2015-2016, SCC also created a Canadian Young Professionals Program Advisory Panel to offer the next generation of experts the opportunity to participate in Canada's standardization network in the future. By engaging young professionals now, we can ensure an even stronger standardization network in the future. SCC also introduced a new online portal to make it easy for Canadians to have a say in the development of international standards, including simplifying the process for Canadians to either suggest new standards they think are needed or recommend changes to existing ones.
SCC honoured the work of five dedicated consumer volunteers at a Consumer Representative Award Ceremony held on June 30, 2015, during the annual meeting of SCC's Consumer and Public Interest Panel (CPIP). Consumers play a key role in Canada's standardization network. CPIP members represent Canadian consumers and provide important feedback on consumer issues that can have an impact on standards development, both nationally and internationally. The following five award recipients were recognized for being outstanding and active consumer representatives in standardization.
- Elizabeth Nielsen, Ph.D., (Ottawa, Ontario) was recognized for her work on SCC's Consumer and Public Interest Panel, National Mirror Committees and ISO technical committees to reduce injuries caused by consumer products, especially among children and seniors. On behalf of SCC, she was the International Chair of ISO Technical Committee 243, Project Committee: Consumer product safety. She also led the development of ISO 10377, Consumer product safety - Guidelines for suppliers.
- Jennifer Hillard (Winnipeg, Manitoba) was recognized as a leading consumer expert, an active member of SCC's National Mirror Committee to ISO Technical Committee 207, Environmental Management, and as the Chair of the Environmental Labelling Subcommittee. She also represented Canada on working groups for ISO 14067, Greenhouse gases - Carbon footprint of products - Requirements and guidelines for quantification and communication.
- Norma McCormick (Winnipeg, Manitoba) was recognized for her work as a consumer representative on CSA Group committees addressing workplace safety and ergonomics, such as CSA Z1600, Emergency Management and Business Continuity, and CSA Z1000-06, Occupational Health and Safety Management. She also served two terms representing SCC as the International Chair of the ISO Consumer Policy Committee (COPOLCO), and served as past Chair of CPIP for two terms.
- Christine Simpson (Toronto, Ontario) was recognized for her contribution to several national technical committees, as well as to a National Mirror Committee for ISO Technical Committee 181, Safety of Toys. She is well respected for her expertise in injury prevention and product safety.
- Jeanne Bank (Toronto, Ontario) was recognized for playing a leading role in several COPOLCO working groups, including being International Convenor of the Priorities Working Group on behalf of SCC. She has worked on standards projects that meet the needs of an aging society and persons with disabilities, and led the establishment of the Consumer Program at CSA Group.
The world of trade is changing, which offers new opportunities for Canadian business, but it also creates new challenges. To enter new export markets, Canadian organizations face more stringent legal, technical and regulatory requirements than ever before. But through SCC's leadership, Canada's standardization network is adapting to this changing landscape to better support the needs of both exporters and importers and help them remain competitive in today's global marketplace. By supporting Canadian businesses as they enter new markets or expand into existing ones, standardization plays a key role in promoting global trade, ensuring Canadian competitiveness and helping Canada reach its full potential.
As a world leader in standardization, SCC also continues to work hard to ensure that Canada remains an influential voice in the international arena. By ensuring that the best and brightest Canadian experts take part in international standardization activities, we are helping to provide Canada with a strategic advantage and to open the doors to economic opportunities for Canada.Back to top
Providing a Strong Voice for Canada on the International Stage
Countries around the world are adopting standards and strategically positioning themselves on international technical committees to promote their own technologies and gain a competitive edge by influencing the marketplace to their advantage. As economies around the world become even more integrated, SCC will ensure that Canada has a strong voice on international committees that are of strategic importance to our country. This will help Canadian businesses take advantage of the opportunities that international standards can provide and will position our nation to achieve greater economic growth in the future.
To maintain Canada's place as a leader internationally, SCC has remained focused on recruiting and retaining our nation's best experts to participate in international standards development, particularly in those sectors that are most important to Canada's economy. With input from our stakeholders, SCC continues to update its policies and procedures to break down barriers to participation on international technical committees and ease the way for qualified young professionals to replace retiring experts on key committees.
SCC also continues to build on its reputation as an international standardization leader by working with regional standardization organizations, such as the Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC) and the Pan American Standards Commission (COPANT). SCC has worked closely with these organizations in recent years to develop their strategic plans and help set their priorities. We are now providing support to them as they implement these plans. By ensuring that these plans align with SCC's international interests, SCC is ultimately helping to enhance trade opportunities for Canadians.
In 2015-2016, SCC continued to solidify relationships with key trading partners such as the United States, Mexico, Korea and members of the European Union. The organization signed cooperation agreements to reinforce these important trade relationships and build integrated standardization networks that will help to open doors for Canadian businesses in the years to come. SCC also met with Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand to discuss opportunities for our organizations to work together more closely in the future. SCC and Standards Australia are also collaborating to ensure that national standardization member bodies of similar size and economies are well-represented at international and regional levels.
SCC also hosted delegations from China, Costa Rica and Trinidad and Tobago to exchange information on Canada's standards and conformity assessment system and share practical knowledge of how standards are applied in Canada. This collaboration helps advance trade opportunities for Canadian companies in those countries.Back to top
Establishing Canada as a Standards Maker
Canada's long-term economic health depends on our ability to take advantage of new opportunities in the global marketplace. SCC remains determined to secure a competitive advantage for Canadian companies by ensuring that Canada plays a leading role in the development of key international standards. As the member body at both ISO and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), SCC has the power to influence and shape international standards in areas that are critical to Canada and to our ability to compete globally. Ensuring international standards align with Canadian priorities will help open the doors to key foreign markets and provide a platform for innovative Canadian technologies, products, processes and services.
“At the 6th IEC General Meeting in October 2015, not only did we get to learn more about the IEC, but we were also able to pursue opportunities to collaborate with other young professionals, influential committees and members. I am pleased to have had this incredible opportunity to represent Canada's young professionals.”
—Dustin Tessier, SCC representative to the IEC Young Professionals Workshop
“Over the coming years, the IEC will be faced with many challenges, including the need for standards to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, the "Internet of Things,"security and safety. Standards are often invisible to Canadians, but their use is critical, and our place on IEC's Standardization Management Board will ensure that Canada's interests are represented while solutions are developed to meet these worldwide challenges.”Tony Capel, Owner and President of Comgate Engineering Limited, elected in 2015 to a three-year term on the IEC's Standardization Management Board
Our nation's future success depends on our ability to ensure that Canada has a strong voice internationally and that Canadian perspectives are infused in new international standards. To maintain Canada's place as an international leader, we are also paving the way for qualified young professionals to replace retiring experts on key international committees through initiatives such as the Member Mentorship Program, designed to support ongoing leadership in standardization by connecting new members with experienced members.
In 2015, SCC released updated Requirements & Guidance - Committee Accreditation and Financial Assistance, which outlines how organizations participating in international standards development on behalf of SCC can obtain SCC accreditation and financial assistance. Through this program, SCC supports and facilitates the participation of 860 Canadians on more than 450 international committees in areas that are of strategic importance to Canada's economic success and long-term well-being. Having Canadians participate in standardization at the international level ensures that the views of Canadian stakeholders are reflected in the international standards development process and helps Canadian businesses grow by learning about developments in their field.
SCC has also taken significant steps to improve Canada's policies on adopting international standards and other international deliverables, such as technical reports or specifications. This makes these adoptions timelier, and more cost-effective.Back to top
Creating Trade Opportunities for Canada Around the World
In 2015, SCC hosted a meeting of the Chairs and CEOs of SCC-accredited SDOs to discuss ways to break down trade barriers by aligning North American standards. By working closely with our stakeholders, SCC also continues to ensure that Canada has a strong voice internationally. As emerging nations strategically position themselves to gain a more influential voice internationally, Canada and its North American counterparts Mexico and the United States need to work together more than ever before to protect our shared interests and support North American competitiveness.
SCC also continues to help create trade opportunities for Canada by providing advice on standardization-related components of international free trade agreements that are critical to Canadian competitiveness, such as the Canada and European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). By assisting emerging countries with standardization-related capacity-building projects through COPANT and PASC, the organization is also forging new relationships that will open the doors to future trade opportunities for Canada.
“International trade activity has established the need to use as reference the standards agreed by world consensus within international bodies. A partnership between SCC and Direction General for Standards avoids technical barriers or unfair competition, as well as provides technical assistance to merge more between both Canadian and Mexican systems.
—Jesus Lucatero, General Deputy Director of Operations, Direction General for Standards (Mexico)
“As an international standardization leader, SCC helps open doors for Canadian industry to create more opportunities in the global marketplace. By supporting the negotiation of appropriate clauses on standards development and conformity assessment programs in international trade agreements, such as CETA and TPP, SCC helps to reduce trade barriers. As a result, Canadian businesses have greater access to international markets.”Back to topSylvie Lafontaine, Vice-President, Standards and International Relations Branch, SCC
Canadian industry leaders elected to key positions at the International Electrotechnical Commission
Canadian industry leaders Ed Tymofichuk and Tony Capel were elected to leadership positions at the 2015 International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) General Meeting, a significant opportunity to have credible and expert Canadians representing Canada's interests internationally.Back to top
The important role standards play in creating trade opportunities is increasingly understood by governments and industry. But standards also play a key role in fostering the innovation necessary for our nation's long-term growth. In fact, standards can often make the difference between success and failure when it comes to innovative businesses. Standards play an integral role in the system that works behind the scenes to support a business' ability to bring innovative ideas and products to markets around the world. They create a common framework for innovation and, as a result, can accelerate an organization's path to success by providing credibility, helping to attract investment and stimulating further research and development. That is why SCC has made it a priority to ensure that both governments and industry understand how standards can help create opportunities when it comes to innovation.
As an organization, SCC is also providing innovative services that make use of technology. These services make it easier for Canadians to suggest new standards, comment on draft standards, and participate on committees, thereby engaging Canadians in standards development work and making the country's standardization network stronger than ever before.Back to top
Fostering Canadian Innovation for Long-Term Growth
In today's world, generating and commercializing new technologies is fundamental to a country's economic health. More and more, businesses, leaders, governments and customers understand that international standards play a key role in successfully introducing these innovative technologies and products into the marketplace. SCC is committed to creating opportunities for Canadian innovators to compete globally by ensuring that Canada plays a leadership role in the development of international standards for new and emerging technologies. SCC is also helping innovators understand how to navigate the standardization process and how they can take advantage of opportunities to use standards to their benefit.
There is no question that innovation and international standards-setting increasingly go hand-in-hand. When new standards are shaped around an emerging technology, it can help that technology secure its place in global supply chains or capitalize on growth opportunities in emerging economies. In 2015-2016, SCC began laying the foundation to play an even greater role in building a more innovative economy and driving innovation through international standards setting. By proposing an initiative to identify, prioritize and guide emerging technologies, services and processes through the course of the development of a new standard, SCC hopes to support the advancement of both influential international standards and commercially successful Canadian innovations.
SCC is working closely with the federal government and international stakeholders as it focuses on using standardization to encourage and support innovation. For example, SCC partnered with the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC=IRAP) to leverage mutual strengths and expand respective networks. We also hosted a meeting with an ISO Ad Hoc Group, chaired by John Walter, CEO, SCC, on the future standards development environment. At the meeting, international leaders convened to discuss emerging trends in standards development, including innovative technologies that could shape the future of standardization. By actively participating in these discussions, we have positioned ourselves to be better aware of trends influencing standardization around the globe. This way, we can continue to bring value for stakeholders and ensure that Canada benefits, where possible, and influences standardization developments, as needed.Back to top
Using Technology to Engage Canadians in Standardization and Accreditation
Encouraging more Canadians to participate in standardization and accreditation is essential to making the standardization network even stronger going forward. On World Standards Day 2015, SCC celebrated the international theme of "Standards—the world's common language" with online activities that increased awareness of the value of standards to the global economy and to our everyday lives. To promote the benefits of accreditation and certification to Canadian stakeholders for World Accreditation Day, SCC launched an online orientation module entitled Accreditation: Where Standards Conformity and Quality Meet. We also created three new videos containing interviews with Accreditation Services customers focusing on the benefits and value of three different SCC accreditation programs.
Over this past year, SCC also made improvements to its website to better serve Canadian businesses and help them understand the opportunities that standardization offers—and how it can boost their bottom line. New online resources provide information to help users identify how standardization can help businesses access new markets, gain a competitive advantage, reduce costs, increase revenue and manage business risk—within Canada and around the world.
To increase Canadian participation in standards development, SCC introduced a new online portal to allow users to provide input into the development of international standards. By taking an active role in the standardization network, Canadians can influence the standards that impact them the most, gain insight into business and technical developments and play a role in supporting sectors that are critical to Canada's economic growth.Back to top
Offering Accreditation Solutions that Support Canadians
SCC's Accreditation Services Branch helps strengthen the quality of products, systems and services used by Canadians every day by offering in-depth technical expertise that is essential to the development of a strong and effective standardization network.
This fiscal year, the branch successfully completed a peer evaluation by the Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC), an international, non-governmental organization of laboratory accreditation bodies. SCC's accreditation programs for laboratories and medical laboratories were successfully evaluated in conformance to international standards, an achievement that remains key to SCC's ability to continue to deliver value to Canadians.
In June 2015, SCC also conducted an online customer satisfaction survey of Accreditation Services customers. The survey responses will help Accreditation Services Branch focus on solutions that will help them to do an even better job of meeting the needs of its customers and improve the efficiency of its services. SCC's post-assessment surveys with customers demonstrate that the Accreditation Services Branch continues to consistently deliver high quality assessments and provide good customer service.
“Having standards and accreditation services in place ensures that products and services meet regulatory requirements and build customer confidence—limiting risks, improving safety and increasing the marketability of Canadian products across the country and around the world. ”Chantal Guay, Vice-President, Accreditation Services Branch, SCC
|Laboratories - Medical||2||No Change||2|
|Laboratories - General||230||Decreased||226|
|Laboratories - SCC partners||94||No Change||94|
|Good Laboratory Practice (GLP - OECD) Recognition||44||Increased||46|
|Product certification bodies (ISO/IEC Guide 65)||40||No Change||40|
|Management systems certification bodies (ISO/IEC 17021)||21||Increased||23|
|Personnel certification bodies (ISO/IEC 17024)||7||Decreased||5|
|Inspection bodies (ISO/IEC 17020)||20||Decreased||19|
|GHG verification bodies (ISO 14065)||6||No Change||6|
|Standards development organizations||8||No Change||8|
|TOTAL NUMBER OF ACCREDITATIONS ISSUED||472||Decreased||469|
Modernizing the Canadian Standards Development Program
In 2015, SCC released a new suite of requirements and guidance documents for the accreditation of SDOs and for the designation of NSCs and National Adoptions of Canada. The documents are an integral part of SCC's modernized business processes. They were developed with input from all eight SCC-accredited SDOs and will help to advance the Canadian economy, promote the health and safety of Canadians, and further strengthen the Canadian standards development system by ensuring that it responds effectively to regulatory and market needs. These new documents make the requirements for accreditation clearer and will allow SDOs to address the duplication of standards and effort.
Each year, SCC presents Employee Recognition Awards for staff to honour their years of service and to thank them for their ongoing commitment and contributions to the organization's success.
SCC CEO John Walter (back row, third from left in photo) presented this year's awards during the organization's all-staff meeting on February 19, 2016. Receiving awards were (back row from left) Guyang Zhang, David Folkerson, Pat Bonnilla, Sylvie Lafontaine, (front row from left) Jennifer Fowler, Cristina Draghici, Stephen Head, Hélène Couturier and Claude Potvin.
Building a Culture of Excellence
To ensure the organization continues to retain and attract highly qualified staff with the skills and expertise to serve Canadians effectively in the future—and build capacity to meet future priorities—SCC will foster a culture of excellence through training and development, improving leadership skills and ensuring succession planning and management strategies that reduce organizational risk.SCC is a knowledge-based organization. Our success rests on our ability to attract and maintain a skilled and engaged staff who are equipped with innovative tools and processes to efficiently respond to stakeholder needs. To effectively compete for these highly skilled workers, SCC is committed to maintaining a stigma-free, healthy workplace that focuses on respect, integrity and professionalism. With a 73 per cent overall score, a recent staff survey demonstrated that SCC employees continue to be engaged. And the 92 per cent response rate for this survey is yet another positive indicator of a high level of engagement of staff—something senior management and council members are very pleased with.
In 2015-2016, staff were also provided with SCC's Statement of Values: Respect, Integrity and Professionalism and associated Code of Conduct in an orientation module. These tools demonstrate SCC's commitment to fostering a healthy, supportive and respectful workplace that does not tolerate harassment or discrimination and where all employees are respected.
In June 2015, SCC moved to a new, lower-cost office space at 55 Metcalfe Street in downtown Ottawa. The new officea predominantly open space that brings all staff together on a single floor—is consistent with Government of Canada Workplace 2.0 standards.
SCC also confirmed alignment of its policies, guidelines and practices for travel, hospitality, conference and event expenditures with Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) policies and directives, demonstrating an ongoing commitment to responsibly managing public funds while accomplishing the goals of the organization.Back to top
SCC Year in Numbers
469 Accreditation services customers
In areas such as:
- The Environment
- Food Safety
$965,000+ Invested to support a stronger Canadian voice at ISO and the IEC
In areas such as:
- Healthcare Technology
- Information Technology
- Health Protection and Safety
- Petroleum and Related Technologies
1,377 References to standards in Canadian regulations
Including Federal, Provincial, and Territorial (approximately)
Active Canadian standards
Active ISO, IEC, ITU Technical Committees
3,153 Volunteer Canadian experts participating in
521 Active international standardization technical committees at ISO, the IEC and ITU, on which Canada participates
184 Canadians in leadership roles
at the ISO and the IEC
99.6% Voting Submission Rate
Maintained by Canadians in ISO and IEC technical standards development work