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 large and small businesses and organizations the means to unlock potential opportunities for growth and innovation.
Canadian innovators can leverage standards development and conformity assessment activities to help them lead the creation of new markets, encourage complementary innovation, influence marketplace rules and enhance market access at home and around the world. SCC works directly with innovators to help them access new markets, overcome trade barriers, scale up and go global.
Standards and conformity assessment also mean Canadians can feel confident that the goods and services they depend on every day are reliable. Standards also reduce costs for consumers and give us access to products from around the world, and we know these products are safe because of standards and product certification.
In 2017–2018, SCC focused on the following strategic priorities to advance standardization solutions and deliver results for Canada:
SCC supported Canadian innovators in the development of standards and conformity assessment programs that help bring Canada to the forefront of new and emerging fields in international standardization.
Canadian Leadership – National, Regional, International
SCC protected and promoted Canada’s interest in the economic sectors that matter most to our country and our citizens, and helped provide access to global markets for Canadian businesses.
Value to Canada
SCC delivered value to Canada by developing and implementing standardization solutions that created a more competitive and innovative economy and protected the health and safety of all Canadians.
As highlighted in this report, SCC has redoubled its efforts over the past year to support these priorities and continue its solid leadership of Canada’s standardization network to enable innovation, facilitate trade and protect the health and safety of Canadians, today and into the future.
In today’s world, innovation drives economies. To compete globally, countries must focus their attention and resources not only on research and development but also on helping their innovative technologies make it to market. If Canada is to succeed in this competitive global economy, it is vital that we be first out of the gate in producing and commercializing new technologies. And standards play a critical role in making this happen.
To ensure Canada is a leader in today’s evolving technological environment, SCC is aligned with the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan. We are helping to identify and develop standardization solutions for innovative technologies in sectors of priority for Canada that have high growth and export potential. If Canada can set the international standards for the technologies we develop, we will gain a position of leadership and a competitive market advantage.
If we do not make innovation a priority, we may find ourselves relying on standards developed without Canadian input. That is why SCC continues to cultivate and promote standardization solutions that will help to ensure we become a nation of innovators. Our ambitious goals over the past year reflect SCC’s commitment to collaborating with government and industry to kick-start the development of new and innovative Canadianmade technologies so that our nation can remain competitive in today’s global economy and thrive in the years to come.
Throughout 2017–18, SCC continued its efforts to embed standardization earlier in Canada’s innovation ecosystem by engaging innovators in areas that have the greatest potential economic value for Canada. We have been working to ensure standardization is considered early in the development phase of new technologies so that Canadian companies can set new standards and get products to market faster. We also remain focused on fostering strong relationships with government, research institutions, businesses and industries to develop initiatives that will help propel innovative Canadian products and services to the global stage.
CREATING A “QUANTUM-SAFE" WORLD
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
"The Standards Council of Canada and standards have opened up a world of opportunity for us! We are leading and collaborating on the development of critical international standards for quantum-safe cryptography."
ISARA Corporation is an Ontario-based innovative cybersecurity company specializing in creating production-ready quantum-safe solutions for today’s computing ecosystems. These solutions use algorithms that are resistant to attacks using both traditional and quantum computers.
The global threat of serious data breaches continues, and this is an important issue not only for Canadians, but for citizens and organizations around the world. Sophisticated users of security and cryptography systems, including governments and original equipment manufacturers, now insist on global standardized cryptographic solutions developed by a range of experts to instill confidence in users.
We need to change the way we protect our data now, and for the future.
SCC is working with ISARA Corporation to help address and fill current gaps and develop new global standards for quantum-safe solutions. This is the first step in ensuring that the publickey encryption infrastructure operating in some of the world’s most essential systems—from banks to governments—can be upgraded to use quantum-safe digital signature algorithms without stoppage or system duplication. With ISARA Corporation leading the development of quantumsafe cryptography standards at the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)— where ISARA Chief Operating Officer Mark Pecen is the chairman of the Working Group on Quantum-Safe Cryptography (WG-QSC) and a founder of the group—we are helping to address this global requirement.
STRATEGIC ENGAGEMENT WITH CANADIAN INNOVATORS
This past year, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) launched the Innovation Superclusters Initiative (ISI) as part of the federal government’s Innovation and Skills Plan. The ISI is a first of its kind for Canada, and was designed to support business-led innovation superclusters with the greatest potential to energize the economy and become engines of growth.
Here again, SCC is focusing on our priority of helping support Canada’s innovators. SCC is actively engaged in Canada’s innovation ecosystem, and we are bringing our unique capabilities and strengths to bear in order to help Canadian innovations become global success stories. In 2017–18, SCC worked with key stakeholders, including ISED, to develop a Sector Engagement Strategy to support the ISI. This strategy outlines how SCC will lead the development of new international standards and conformity assessment schemes, thereby ensuring the interests and priorities of Canadian businesses are promoted and protected within those standards and schemes, as well as ensuring Canadian intellectual property and technical approaches are increasingly embedded in them.
In 2017–18, SCC collaborated with the nine shortlisted superclusters to offer standardization advice, guidance and leadership. The importance of standardization to their success was recognized, as evidenced by the fact that all of the successful ISI applicants included standardization in their applications to ISED. SCC is now working closely with ISED’s five selected superclusters to ensure they have access to the standardization services and solutions that will enable them to deliver global results.
In addition, SCC is working with ISED’s Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) to provide highly promising companies with access to standardization services. The SIF, another component of the Innovation and Skills Plan, is designed to simplify application processes, accelerate processing, and provide assistance that is more responsive and focused on results. SCC is supporting companies sponsored by SIF and a similar program, ISED’s Accelerated Growth Service, to commercialize their innovative technologies by providing them with our standardization expertise.
ADVANCING INNOVATIVE STANDARDIZATION PROJECTS
As part of a pilot project launched just over two years ago, SCC has been working on three projects to facilitate the development of international standards in sectors of strategic importance to Canada. By working with the innovators behind these made-in-Canada ideas, SCC was able to help all three have their standards proposals approved for development under their respective international technical committees. As a result, these Canadian innovators are spearheading the development of the resulting international standardization solutions, and will be able to shape global marketplace rules that support of Canadian business interests.
Getting these standardization proposals onto committee work plans was just the beginning of SCC’s ongoing engagement with innovative companies. Building on the success of the three pilot projects, SCC began a program to help additional innovators through standardization. SCC’s Innovation Program is an ambitious five-year plan to offer standardization support to 63 innovation proposals. In 2017–18, SCC identified more than 40 innovators in strategic, high-potential economic sectors, and successfully engaged many of them in the past 12 months to advance their innovation programs.
By participating in standards-setting committees to influence and steer the standardssetting process, innovative Canadian companies gain first-to-market advantage. This can help accelerate the commercialization of their ideas and facilitate global market access. SCC will continue to build on our successes and will engage more Canadian innovators to provide standardization solutions that will help them advance their technologies and compete in the global marketplace.
DID YOU KNOW?
Canadians are taking on more leadership roles in international standardization. According to SCC’s Facts and Figures database, as of March 31, 2018, 181 Canadians were in leadership roles, such as International Chair, International Secretary, and International Convenor, at ISO and IEC. Standards are not neutral—they reflect the views of those who invest time and expertise in the development process. When Canadians participate and lead in the development of international standards, they help Canada’s entrepreneurs succeed on the global stage.
TOTAL MEMBERS WITH LEADERSHIP ROLES PARTICIPATING WITH ISO/IEC
To ensure that innovative Canadian ideas, products and services succeed in today’s highly competitive market, it is critical that Canada remains a leader in standardization. As the leader of Canada’s standardization network, SCC plays a critical role in representing our country and advancing solutions on regional and international forums. We also manage the participation of Canadians on the technical committees that matter most to Canada. In 2017–18, SCC focused on delivering results through a strong Canadian voice nationally, regionally and internationally and ensured we had the most qualified experts to participate on Canada’s behalf.
REGIONAL COLLABORATION IN A GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT
Participation in regional standardization organizations is a critical part of SCC’s vision to be an international standardization leader. This past year, SCC continued to build on its reputation as a regional leader and trusted advisor by strengthening its collaboration and strategic involvement with important regional standardization bodies, such as the Pan American Standards Commission (COPANT) and the Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC).
In 2017–18, SCC hosted the annual meetings of the ISO Committee on conformity assessment (ISO/CASCO) as well as those of COPANT and PASC in Vancouver. Canada’s profile among members of these organizations increases each time we host these events, and SCC’s reputation as a trusted advisor and world-leading national standards body is enhanced.
By hosting the COPANT and PASC meetings consecutively, SCC demonstrated our leadership in bringing regions together for mutual benefit, an important goal which was reflected in the meetings’ theme, Regional Collaboration in a Global Environment. SCC has an ongoing commitment to regional cooperation in standardization, between individual countries within regions, and between regional standardization organizations will benefit all of us and support greater standardization alignment. During the meetings, we hosted a joint innovation workshop to showcase SCC’s work in developing and implementing an innovation program and to share lessons learned and best practices to help members enable and commercialize innovative solutions through standardization.
IMPROVING EFFICIENCY AND EFFECTIVENESS IN THE GLOBAL POWER UTILITY SECTOR… AND BEYOND
"Participating in standards development helps us shape the global market for our services. And standardizing HMI will help our clients save time and money!"
TESCO Automation, part of the Tesco Group of Companies operating in Canada and the United States, delivers consulting, design, configuration and testing support services, as well as training, to the global power system sector.
Power stations operate by using various systems and software but there is no consistency in the way this type of information is currently displayed. By standardizing the software and images used to run the systems in power utilities, TESCO Automation realized they could run more efficiently and operators could be trained more quickly. Not only would standardization thereby reduce risk, but it would also enhance interoperability and reduce reconfiguration requirements. Engineering time could potentially decrease from months to minutes, resulting in huge time and financial savings for power stations.
For companies like TESCO Automation that service this sector, a standardized approach (versus needing to learn, configure, install and train on multiple systems) also means it can compete faster and more effectively. And, getting involved in the development of the very standard that would help shape the industry—and demonstrating how companies can save time and money— gives TESCO Automation a critical competitive edge.
SCC has been working with TESCO Automation to facilitate their participation in the relevant IEC committees responsible for developing an international standard to fill this industry gap.
Participating in—and leading—international standards development not only enables Canadian businesses to help shape and influence their markets, but also exposes them to key stakeholders, regulators and potential customers for their innovative products, technologies and services.
At the meetings, building on our reputation as a leader in standardization, SCC signed a cooperation agreement with the Instituto Boliviano de Normalización y Calidad (IBNORCA), the national standards body of Bolivia. The agreement will facilitate the exchange of information between the organizations, and further improve the mutually beneficial relationship between SCC and IBNORCA.
Strong relationships and alliances within international standardization bodies are critical to SCC’s ability to deliver on government priorities to strengthen exports and help companies grow. SCC continued to strengthen existing relationships with other standardization bodies in the Americas and Asia Pacific, enhancing our reputation as a regional leader and increasing our ability to advance solutions internationally and deliver results for Canadians.
EMBRACING OUR ROLE AS A TRUSTED ADVISOR
In October of 2017, SCC signed a cooperation agreement with Peru’s national standards body, the Instituto Nacional de Calidad (INACAL). The agreement outlined an opportunity for SCC to share knowledge and assist in capacity-building for INACAL, and may lead to an attestation of their compliance to requirements for Non-Domestic Standards Development Organizations (SDOs).
This innovative initiative follows a similar capacity development project successfully conducted with the Instituto de Normas Técnicas (INTECO), Costa Rica’s national standards body, in 2016. As part of the agreement with INTECO, SCC provided an attestation of their compliance against prescribed requirements that align with provisions in the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement. This work is part of SCC’s ongoing commitment to be a trusted advisor and regional leader, and our capacity to provide meaningful and reliable guidance is recognized by our neighbours.
COOPERATION AGREEMENT WITH PERU’S NATIONAL STANDARDS BODY
In October 2017, Rocío Barrios Alvarado, the Presidenta Ejecutiva of Peru’s Instituto Nacional de Calidad and Chantal Guay, SCC Vice-President, Standards and International Relations, signed a Cooperation Agreement on behalf of their respective organizations.
SIMPLIFYING TRADE WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION
The landmark Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was approved by Canadian and European parliaments in 2017. It is a modern and progressive agreement that will reinforce the strong linkages between Canada and the EU. According to Global Affairs Canada, CETA will create vast new opportunities across Canada and the EU, opening new markets for our exporters and forging closer links between our economies.
In support of the agreement, SCC has developed a stakeholder engagement strategy to identify key sectors that should be prioritized in order to bolster trade between Canada and the EU and offer the greatest benefit to Canadians. We are leveraging our cooperation agreement with the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA), which was signed in 2016, to facilitate the implementation of the CETA’s Conformity Assessment (CA) Protocol. The protocol is designed to allow for the mutual acceptance of test results and product certifications by Canadian and EU-recognized bodies and will ultimately help Canadian companies by supporting increased trade between Canada and the EU.
WHAT IS CETA?
The Canada-European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, is a ground breaking trade agreement that will provide Canadian businesses with access to the world’s largest market, as the EU represents more than 500 million people in 28 countries and a combined GDP of $20 trillion.
In support of CETA implementation, SCC is working with the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA) to facilitate the implementation of the CETA’s Conformity Assessment Protocol. The protocol is designed to allow for the mutual acceptance of test results and product certifications by Canadian and EU-recognized bodies and will ultimately help Canadian businesses by simplifying trade with the EU.
In 2017–18, SCC and EA developed a framework for mutual recognition of accreditation to be applied to the product categories included in the CETA CA Protocol. As an initial step, SCC and EA established mutual recognition of accreditation for equipment used in potentially explosive atmospheres (ATEX equipment). This pilot project helped advance and refine the development of the framework for mutual recognition of accreditation. The implementation of the second product category is now underway. SCC will continue working with EA and other relevant stakeholders to advance the implementation of the CETA CA Protocol to deliver benefits for Canadian industry and consumers.
SCC is also working to increase our collaboration with the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), the bodies responsible for standardization in Europe. SCC is a companion standards body with CEN, and in 2017–18 we established a presence on four CEN technical committees, with applications for other committees still outstanding. Having a Canadian presence on these CEN committees, SCC may also apply to CENELEC for recognition as a companion standards body next year.
We expect that our presence on CEN committees will create new opportunities for Canadian businesses by providing insight on standards-related strategic developments in Europe. For example, SCC assisted an innovative Nova Scotia-based company called CarbonCure in becoming an observer on relevant European standardization technical committees for concrete specifications. By supporting technical alignment within major European markets and allowing Canadian stakeholders to participate in European decision-making forums, SCC is supporting government priorities by leveraging our international relationships and providing growth opportunities for Canadian businesses.
SUPPORTING CANADA’S ENGAGEMENT WITH CHINA
Canada and China enjoy strong and longstanding cultural and people-to-people ties, as well as a robust economic relationship. China is Canada’s second-largest trading partner, and our trading relationship is growing.7 This trading relationship could be expanded even further through standardization cooperation, and SCC is continuing to support the federal government’s engagement with China.
In July 2017, a delegation from SCC conducted a highly successful relationship-building trip to China. The meetings featured an interactive session at the Canadian embassy hosted by The Honourable John McCallum, Canada’s Ambassador to China. SCC also met with the Standardization Administration of China (SAC) to review and continue implementing our Cooperation Arrangement, and agreed to hold annual meetings and to move forward in establishing a bilateral working group to discuss standardization and alignment strategies.
During this trip, the SCC delegation also met with the Certification and Accreditation Administration of China (CNCA), China’s national conformity assessment body. SCC and CNCA discussed opportunities to work together in areas of mutual benefit, and both sides agreed to continue building our relationship.
In November 2017, SCC hosted representatives from China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) to discuss how ongoing cooperation on standardization between Canada and China can help to facilitate bilateral trade. During the meeting, SCC also introduced senior AQSIQ officials to representatives from Canada’s Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED). ISED and AQSIQ are the government departments responsible for overseeing standardization activities in their respective countries.
In the meeting between SCC and AQSIQ, it was agreed that SCC will continue to leverage its Cooperation Agreement with SAC to work together to develop international standards in innovative sectors, where feasible. This cooperation is especially important as the trade relationship between Canada and China continues to grow. Another trip to China is planned for May 2018, during which representatives from SCC will meet once again with SAC, CNCA and AQSIQ.
FACILITATING TRADE THROUGH STANDARDIZATION
In November 2017, SCC was pleased to welcome representatives from China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) to discuss how ongoing cooperation on standardization between Canada and China can help to facilitate bilateral trade. During the meeting, SCC also introduced senior AQSIQ officials to representatives from Canada’s Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED).
Through ongoing engagement with Chinese standardization bodies, SCC is supporting government priorities to diversify Canada’s trade portfolio. When we facilitate trade for Canadian exporters through standardization solutions, we help them scale up and go global, setting set the stage to support Canada’s long-term economic growth.
Additionally, in 2017–18, SCC’s CEO John Walter participated as an advisor on the China Standardization Expert Committee (CSEC). SCC is also participating in the Canada-China Joint Committee (CCJC) on Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation, which was established to facilitate collaboration and cooperation between the governments, private enterprises and academia of both countries within defined priority sectors. These roles allowed Mr. Walter the opportunity to influence Canada’s strategic direction when it comes to collaborating with China in the areas of science, technology and innovation.
Through ongoing engagement with Chinese standardization bodies, SCC is supporting government priorities to diversify Canada’s trade portfolio. When we facilitate trade for Canadian exporters through standardization solutions, we help them scale up and go global, setting set the stage to support Canada’s long-term economic growth.
MAPPING THE INDOOR WORLD
FOUNDER AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
"Our work with the Standards Council of Canada and retail REIT leaders to create indoor mapping standardization solutions has built the initial stepping stones to incredible indoor experiences!"
Mappedin is an innovative company based in Ontario. Its platform allows property owners and managers to maintain accurate maps of indoor spaces, enabling a best-in-class wayfinding experience for their visitors and consumers. The platform gives users the ability to efficiently manage and present spatial data for their properties through a number of different mediums, as well as associated data analytics. Mappedin’s main customers are major real estate investment trusts (REITs) from around the globe, and the platform can be used for other spaces as well, such as commercial office space and health care locations.
Along with growing competition from online retailers, there is consumer demand for a physical world experience that mirrors the online world; one that is informed, customized, and frictionless. Brick and mortar retailers must find a way to digitize their property data, keep that data up to date, and integrate it into digital consumer experiences. Currently, however, there is no consistency between mapping tools, digital maps offered by service providers and property owner maps. This lack of consistency and interoperability creates inefficiencies across the industry.
SCC has been working with Mappedin to develop standardization solutions that will address the lack of consistency and compatibility. This includes leading the creation of an industry consortium of major mall facility owners and digital device providers from around the world to collaboratively create solutions to address common challenges identified by members. Taking a leadership role in bringing independent operators together to create a mutually beneficial standard will create an increased level of quality for the indoor mapping industry.
The standard would specify an interoperable format to represent indoor spaces. It would be used uniformly by providers of indoor mapping tools as well as digital device and service providers. The standard would provide performance requirements for displaying relevant information of indoor spaces to enable the production of consistent and accurate indoor maps to allow effective navigation for any indoor space.
VALUE TO CANADA
Everything SCC does is in support of its mandate to lead a strong standardization network that protects consumers, promotes domestic and international trade, supports sustainable development and advances Canada’s national economy. To position Canada for the future, SCC has made it a priority to ensure that standardization effectively delivers results that help accomplish the objectives and strategies of both government and industry.
ENHANCING CANADIAN LEADERSHIP IN INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS DEVELOPMENT
As Canada’s member body to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), SCC knows we must be innovative, responsive and efficient in our approach to international standards development. To this end, in 2017–2018 SCC updated our International Standards Development (ISD) Program in order to enhance Canadian leadership, promote Canadian innovative solutions, and increase our flexibility when responding to new challenges.
In reviewing the ISD Program, SCC consulted extensively to gather the insights of stakeholders across the standardization network. Approximately 80 pages of comments were received through this consultation period. They were carefully considered and integrated into the updated program documents, which were adapted to suit the needs of stakeholders. The changes to the ISD Program will extend the ability of other organizations to administer mirror committees, mandate committee leadership succession planning, add flexibility for participation in standardization bodies beyond ISO and IEC, and introduce new efficiencies and improved guidance.
These new measures will ensure SCC can continue to nimbly assess and respond to Canada’s standardization priorities, promote the goal of one standard, one test… accepted everywhere, and ensure stakeholder needs are met. Ultimately, this more dynamic program will ensure SCC continues to deliver value to Canada by improving support for Canadians who participate in international standards development.
MAKING CANADIAN STANDARDS DEVELOPMENT MORE INNOVATIVE, RESPONSIVE AND EFFICIENT
In 2017–18, SCC began to realize the benefits of our more efficient and simpler process for the publication and approval of National Standards of Canada (NSCs). The NSC designation certifies that a standard meets certain requirements, and NSCs provide value by offering regulators a tool with demonstrated credibility.
The modernized Canadian Standards Development (CSD) Program was based on the expressed needs of stakeholders. Changes were focused on provisions for the self-declaration of compliance for National Standards of Canada by SCC-accredited standards development organizations (SDOs), updates to the duplication resolution process to include more proactive SCC facilitation of complaints and simplified and clarified program requirements.
DID YOU KNOW?
SCC has sought to efficiently adopt international standards, to ensure Canada’s competitive edge on the global stage.
TOTAL NUMBER OF NATIONAL STANDARDS OF CANADA (NSCS) APPROVED BY SCC (YEARLY)
DID YOU KNOW?
As the leader of Canada’s national standardization network, SCC coordinates the participation of stakeholders in mirror committees that represent Canadian interests in regional or international standardization forums. These stakeholders, whom we refer to as members, volunteer their time, skills, knowledge and energy to contribute to the development of standards in areas of priority to Canada.
According to SCC’s Facts and Figures database, as of March 31, 2018, SCC managed the participation of 3,189 Canadian members across all international standards development committees.Click to expand
SCC began the implementation of the new CSD Program in April 2017. During the implementation period, we continued to support SDOs as they incorporated these new opportunities into their operations. By the end of fiscal year 2017–18, one SDO had obtained selfdeclaration status and three others began using the updated CSD Program requirements.
By implementing these improvements, SCC, as the leader of Canada’s standardization network, is ensuring that Canada continues to be innovative, responsive and efficient in its approach to standards development. All NSCs continue to be developed under SCC oversight to guarantee they are based on consensus, involve a balanced committee of stakeholders, follow international best practices, promote international harmonization, and meet the needs of Canada and Canadians.
INVOLVING AND SUPPORTING THE BEST MINDS IN CANADA IN INTERNATIONAL STANDARDIZATION
Throughout 2017–2018, SCC worked to optimize and strengthen the services offered to members to ensure they have the support required to fully and effectively represent Canada in international standards forums. Although the member survey satisfaction rate of 72 per cent exceeded the target, there are always opportunities to improve the ways SCC supports our members on international technical committees.
Improvements to the SCC membership program, to be implemented over a three-year period, will cover the full relationship, from attracting qualified members to training and investing in their development, and to providing resources through a member-services website. By engaging new, and empowering long-time, members, SCC is working to optimize and strengthen its program to equip participants in standards-setting activities to deliver maximum value for Canada.
DELIVERING CLEAN COMBUSTION TO THE WORLD
PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
"Questor is delighted to be working with the Standards Council of Canada to find standardization solutions to help us increase sales of our solar-powered incinerators."
Questor Technology Inc. is an innovative Canadian clean tech company in Alberta that specializes in the design, sale and rental of high-efficiency, solar-powered waste gas incinerators that are deployed around the world. These combustors, used primarily in the oil and gas sector, are one end-of-pipe method used to limit air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions.
The Paris Agreement is driving demand for equipment used to reduce greenhouse gases. With varying degrees of effectiveness, flares, incinerators and other combustion equipment can be used to control these emissions.
While standards exist for the design of flares, a similar standard does not exist for the design and performance of incinerators. This makes it difficult for companies like Questor Technology to compete on a level playing field with companies offering technology alternatives.
Protecting our environment is a priority and standards can help. That’s why SCC is working with Questor Technology to address gaps in the existing suite of standards for combustion equipment for the oil and gas sector and to bring greater market confidence in the use of this technology for pollution control. This will also set the bar for “clean combustion" of greenhouse gases and air pollutants using this type of equipment and could eventually be leveraged to set regulatory requirements or become the basis of a certification program.
When we support innovators like Questor Technology, we can be sure that a clean environment and a strong economy go hand in hand.
CANADIAN AWARD WINNERS
In 2017–18, a number of Canadian experts were recognized for their contributions to international electrotechnical standardization.
THOMAS A. EDISON AWARD
The Thomas A. Edison Award recognizes exceptional achievement, dedicated service and significant contributions to the IEC through the effective management of Technical Committees or Subcommittees by their officers, or by officers of IEC Conformity Assessment Systems and their subsidiary bodies.
Mr. Joe Gryn
For his contributions as Chair of the IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components (IECEE) Peer Assessment Committee (PAC), and in recognition of his outstanding record of achievements in the IEC Conformity Assessment work. He is the fifth Canadian to win the prestigious award since its inception.
Pictured from left to right:
John Walter, SCC CEO; Jacques Régis, CANC/IEC President; Shawn Paulsen, 2017 1906 Award winner; James Shannon, IEC President; Chantal Guay, SCC Vice-President, Standards and International Relations Branch
IEC 1906 AWARD
The IEC 1906 Award recognizes the contributions of international experts to a project or activity that significantly contributes to advancing the work of the IEC.
Mr. Ryan Nicoll
Expert of IEC TC 114: Marine Energy – Wave and Tidal Energy Converters
For the significant leadership he provides to IEC TC 114, as convenor of AHG 6 and Canadian Head of Delegation.
Mr. Steven Lawrence
Expert of IEC TC 108: Safety of Electronic Equipment within the Field of Audio/ Video, Information Technology and Communication Technology
For using his industry experience and knowledge over many years to help IEC TC 108 reach meaningful decisions on the technical requirements that are included in IEC 60065 and IEC 60950-1.
Mr. Alfred M. Dolan
Expert of IEC TC 62: Electrical Equipment in Medical Practice
For his exemplary leadership of IEC TC 62/SC 62A/JWG 1 with ISO TC 210.
Ms. Brigitte Boyer
Expert of IEC TC 4: Hydraulic Turbines
For her valuable technical contributions to IEC/TC4 working groups, including to the development of IEC 60193.
Mr. Gilles Proulx
Expert of IEC TC 4: Hydraulic Turbines
For his extensive technical and administrative contributions to IEC 60041.
Mr. Shawn Paulsen
Expert of the IECEE: IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components
For his commitment to promoting the IECEE, and the IEC, for the last six years, and also as convenor of a number of strategic IECEE Working Groups/Task Forces.
SUPPORTING THE CANADIAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
Federal, provincial and territorial governments are committed to implementing the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) in order to remove internal trade barriers. Canadian provinces and territories often have different rules, requirements and certifications that can create internal barriers to trade. These barriers restrict the mobility of some products, tradespeople and certified professionals. Aligning standards and conformity assessment requirements across the country is one area SCC is working hard with provinces and territories to advance, with the aim of reducing red tape for businesses and offering greater choices and lower prices for consumers.
To remove unnecessary trade barriers and encourage the freer flow of goods and workers within Canada, SCC is focused on identifying and supporting the alignment of standards in priority sectors. By working with governments to monitor standards referenced in regulation, SCC is promoting cooperation between provinces and territories with the aim to align standards and reduce duplicative certification requirements across jurisdictions. In the process, we are supporting free trade within Canada and making Canadian businesses more competitive in the global marketplace.
By working with and encouraging cooperation between the Provincial-Territorial Advisory Committee (PTAC), the National Public Safety Advisory Committee (NPSAC) and the Standards Development Organizations Advisory Committee (SDOAC), SCC is supporting efforts to align standards and regulations across Canada, in support of CFTA implementation. These actions enable regulatory reconciliation, the process through which governments can harmonize their regulations and eliminate internal trade barriers.
DID YOU KNOW?
SCC’s Monitoring Standards in Regulations (MSR) Program has identified 1,132 references to standards in 139 Canadian federal regulations, as of March 31, 2018. Identifying references to standards in regulations is the first step in identifying opportunities for alignment in order to remove unnecessary trade barriers and encourage the freer flow of goods and workers within Canada.
NUMBER OF REFERENCES TO STANDARDS IN CANADIAN FEDERAL REGULATIONSClick to expand
SCC has completed inventories of standards incorporated by reference in the regulations of all participating provinces and territories. We are now working with PTAC to encourage discussions between provinces and territories that would identify opportunities to harmonize regulations in sectors in which regulatory reconciliation could offer the greatest benefits for Canadian businesses.
One example of SCC’s work on internal trade relates to the Canadian registration number (CRN) requirements for boilers and pressure vessels across Canadian jurisdictions. To be used across Canada, a boiler or pressure vessel undergoes multiple review and registration processes (one for each province and territory). These processes can require thousands of dollars and lead to delays of weeks or months before the product gets to market.
SCC has worked with NPSAC, PTAC, technical experts and regulatory stakeholders in an effort to identify a possible common approach for the CRN. By engaging these various stakeholders from Canada’s national standardization network, SCC is leading the important effort to eliminate unnecessary trade barriers that cost Canadian businesses and consumers both time and money.
WHAT IS THE CFTA?
The Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) is an intergovernmental trade agreement that seeks to reduce or eliminate barriers to the free movement of persons, goods, services and investments within Canada and offer better access, prices and opportunities to Canadians.
A key priority in the implementation of the CFTA is the alignment of standardization requirements in codes and regulations. When different provinces or territories reference different standards in regulations for similar products, it can create unnecessary technical barriers to trade that can increase the cost to consumers. To promote free trade in Canada, SCC is working closely with the federal government and participating provinces and territories through initiatives like our Monitoring Standards in Regulations (MSR) database. The MSR database tracks information about standards referenced in regulations across different Canadian jurisdictions, which simplifies the identification and elimination of potential trade barriers.
INCREASING COLLABORATION WITH REGULATORY STAKEHOLDERS
As the leader of Canada’s standardization network, SCC must continue to innovate and improve our own processes so we continue to provide value to Canada. That is why SCC is forging stronger relationships with regulatory advisory bodies to ensure that standards, conformity assessment procedures and other regulatory tools are up-to-date and aligned across the country.
In 2017–18, SCC began implementation of its memoranda of understanding with the Canadian Advisory Council on Electrical Safety (CACES), the Interprovincial Gas Advisory Council (IGAC) and the Canadian Regulatory Council on Plumbing (CRCP). By providing secretariat services for meetings held by these Regulatory Authority Advisory Bodies (RAABs), SCC will be able to better coordinate activities and decisions on standards, conformity assessment procedures, and other recognized documents in their respective sectors. This is an important step forward in our ongoing work to modernize standards governance in Canada and to ensure Canada’s standardization network is functioning as effectively as it needs to.
Moving forward, SCC plans to continue strengthening our relationship with RAABs to help ensure that regulations are better aligned and up to date.
ENHANCING STANDARDIZATION GOVERNANCE
In Canada’s national standardization network, regulators do not rely strictly on standards for their requirements. Sometimes, alternative standardization solutions can effectively serve the needs of certification bodies and regulators.
An Other Recognized Document (ORD) is one of these standardization solutions. An ORD is a document developed by a certification body, in the absence of a National Standard of Canada, to establish safety and performance criteria for a new product. In 2017–18, SCC engaged with RAABs and SDOs in order to develop and implement a modernized ORD process, which will include provisions to address legacy ORDs in need of attention.
Alternative standards solutions like these will allow stakeholders to be more nimble and responsive to changing landscapes in regulated sectors while retaining the safety, security and oversight that Canada’s standardization network can provide.
In addition, SCC is enhancing the standards framework for incorporating alternative standards deliverables. This framework will call for increased SCC oversight of these documents and their use in Canada’s standardization network. In collaboration with key stakeholders, SCC will develop this framework and identify an approach to enhance its effectiveness.
ADAPTING INFRASTRUCTURE TO CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS
Protecting Canadian communities from the challenges of climate change is a key priority of the Government of Canada. To support this priority and meet the urgent need to ensure Canada’s infrastructure is climate-ready, SCC has initiated a program to support updates to a broad range of existing standards currently referenced in federal, provincial and territorial regulations and codes. SCC will give stakeholders the information they need to insert climate considerations into critical new or updated infrastructure standards. In 2017–18, SCC commenced the process to update five critical infrastructure standards as a first step in this ongoing program. Updating these standards will help ensure Canadian infrastructure can withstand the impacts of extreme weather conditions and a changing climate.
SCC has also continued to invest in new standards. This work has focused on standards to support infrastructure and communities in Canada’s North, a region particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. SCC is working with experts from the Northern Advisory Committee (NAC) to facilitate the development of seven standards in areas such as wastewater treatment, selection of foundation types, fire resistant building materials, high wind adaptation techniques, and erosion protection in northern communities. The work for four of these solutions, being developed by SCC-accredited SDOs, moved forward in 2017–18; three new standards (on wastewater treatment in northern communities, fire resilient building design in northern communities, and erosion protection for community infrastructure in northern communities) are underway, and the fourth solution is an updated technical guideline on infrastructure in permafrost. These products will deliver more standardization solutions to protect northern infrastructure from climate change impacts.
By leveraging the expertise of regional stakeholders through the NAC, SCC is making real progress toward establishing roadmaps and identifying solutions to reduce the North’s vulnerability and ensure the continued health and safety of all Canadians.
CLIMATE-READY INFRASTRUCTURE STANDARDS FOR CANADA’S NORTH
Canada’s North is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. From 2011 to 2016, SCC led the Northern Infrastructure Standardization Initiative (NISI) to address the unique circumstances found in Canada’s North through the effective use of standards. This program resulted in five new National Standards of Canada that are helping address unique challenges for northern infrastructure.
Building on the success of NISI, SCC is continuing our work to provide standardization solutions that can safeguard northern infrastructure in a changing climate. As part of our Adapting to Climate Change infrastructure program, SCC will be developing seven more standards or technical specifications on northern infrastructure.
SCC is also pioneering a new program to help develop standardization guidance on weather data, climate information and climate change projections, in support of the Government of Canada’s priority to adapt infrastructure to climate change impacts. A new research report titled Standardization Guidance for Weather Data, Climate Information and Climate Change Projections, supported by SCC and conducted by Ouranos, a Montrealbased consortium on regional climatology and adaptation to climate change, examines the state of climate information in our country and highlights how it can be integrated into infrastructure design decisions to make us more climate resilient and better able to adapt to a changing climate. The report is based on interviews with experts in the field, and recommends several standardization priorities for gathering and using weather and climate data in the infrastructure design process to ensure that Canadian infrastructure is better protected against climate change impacts.
In addition, in September 2017, SCC funded a report on how to help Canadians protect their greatest asset—their homes—in the face of a changing climate. Preventing Disaster Before It Strikes: Developing a Canadian Standard for Flood-Resilient Residential Communities, identified 20 best practices to design and build new residential communities that are more flood resilient. The research was conducted by the University of Waterloo’s Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation with support from SCC and it involved consultations with municipal and provincial stormwater management experts, policymakers, engineering consultants, developers, insurers and homebuilders. SCC is working to develop these recommendations into a National Standard of Canada.
Standardization solutions can help Canada adapt to the impacts of climate change, and the examples above demonstrate how they do so. By engaging in this effort in multiple ways, SCC is working to provide tools that will help mitigate the impacts of extreme weather conditions and a changing climate.
DELIVERING VALUE-ADDED ACCREDITATION SERVICES
SCC’s Accreditation Services Branch (ASB) helps strengthen the quality of products, systems and services used by Canadians every day by offering in-depth technical expertise that is part of a strong and effective standardization network. Accreditation provides evidence of quality and safety, brings global recognition and offers competitive advantage to customers—all while serving consumers through rigorous testing and monitoring.
In 2017–18, a team of international peers evaluated SCC to once again confirm and renew our status as a signatory to the Inter-American Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC) and the Asia-Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) international arrangements, which facilitate trade through the mutual recognition of accreditation. The results of this evaluation were the best we have ever received from an international peer evaluation. The evaluators noted several opportunities for process improvements that SCC worked quickly to implement, ensuring our accreditation services continue to offer exceptional service to our clients and value to Canada.
ACCREDITATION SERVICES AT A GLANCE
NUMBER OF ACCREDITATION SERVICES CUSTOMERS*, 2013-2018
NUMBER OF ACCREDITATION SERVICES CUSTOMERS* AS OF MARCH 31, 2018
* Includes applicants as well as customers who have been accredited or suspended.
In 2017–18, SCC conducted its biennial customer satisfaction survey and combined with ongoing post-assessment customer satisfaction surveys, achieved a customer satisfaction score of 84 per cent—higher than the past two surveys, and with notable improvements in many areas of customer service. We continue to work on improving the service we provide to our clients and monitor our targets. We believe that the account management model, a more mature quality management system and stability within the accreditation services team are all contributing to better quality of service.
INVESTING IN A CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION
Throughout 2017–18, SCC remained focused on staff development, training and succession planning to ensure we maintain high performance teams that have the skills necessary to deliver value to Canada, today and in the future. To deliver on our priorities, we need to make sure we have top-quality staff, and that we develop our capacity now and into the future.
This year, SCC continued to implement our Human Resources Strategic Plan to enhance and strengthen capacity, support a high performance culture and optimize human resources infrastructure, policies and tools. As part of this plan, SCC implemented a competency-based talent management system to inform staff development plans and foster a high performance culture. We also began collecting diversity data and modified our recruitment process to support staffing that better reflects Canada’s diversity.
In addition, SCC continued our mental health campaign and provided staff with wellness sessions, mental health activities, and resources and information on the importance of monitoring and attending to mental health, managed by an employee-based Mental Health Committee. Additionally, all staff began a Courageous Conversations Workshop Series with a focus on fostering effective interpersonal communications, reflecting SCC’s commitment to creating an open and supportive organizational culture.
SCC’S EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION AWARDS
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, pictured at left, presented this year’s awards at SCC’s December Town Hall meeting for staff. Receiving awards were (from left, after CEO John Walter) David Hunter, Donna Graser, Chantal Guay, Holly Hedd and Lisa Henderson.