The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) is delighted to participate in the celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. For each month in 2017, we will feature stories about standardization and SCC’s progressive leadership to deliver innovative standardization solutions and how they have helped to shape Canada’s history. Read the whole feature series here.
During the 1990s, the trends of globalization, environmentalism and multilateralism forced countries around the world to examine their place in the global economy. The creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995 added urgency to this task, and inspired many countries to move away from national standards and toward adopting international standards that would support free trade and economic development.
As a nation with an export-driven economy, it was in Canada’s best interest to be a part of these international movements. It was important to participate in the development of international standards in key sectors to make sure that they met Canada’s needs. To participate effectively, Canada needed a plan that encouraged participation from all Canadian stakeholders to guide its standardization activities in this new global environment.
SCC helped provide one.
The Canadian Standards Strategy, published in 2000, was one of the world’s first national standards strategies. Countries including China, France, Germany, Japan and the United States went on to develop their own standards strategies with principles similar to Canada’s.
Under SCC’s leadership, a stakeholder committee that included representatives of industry, government, non-governmental organizations, standards development organizations and conformity assessment bodies was engaged. The Strategy was the first to commit Canada's standardization goals to writing, and it helped Canada focus its standards activities both nationally and internationally by:
Providing a structure, led by SCC, for Canada’s diverse standards stakeholders
- Increasing Canada’s profile internationally, particularly with the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission
- Raising awareness about how standards can influence Canada’s economy
- Helping Canada prioritize its standards activities in certain sectors
The SCC remains committed to the core components first identified in the Strategy, which are reflected in our annual Corporate Plan Summary. By prioritizing work in these areas, SCC has emerged as a leader nationally and in international standardization in many key areas. In the process, SCC has embraced our role as a leader and trusted advisor for other countries seeking to contribute to bilateral, regional and international standardization forums by following Canada’s example.
SCC’s support of Canadian strategic priorities, activities in international and regional bodies, and work on leveraging standardization to encourage innovation will ensure that we remain able to provide standardization solutions that offer value to Canadians for the next 150 years—and beyond.
Accreditation is a vital component of standardization. The first World Accreditation Day took place on June 9, 2008.
SCC’s work in support of standards alignment is critical if trade agreements like NAFTA are to reach their full potential in increasing trade.