SCC continuously monitors national and global trends, as well as social, economic and political factors that impact on our ability to deliver on strategic priorities. This enables us to adapt to the environment we operate in, so we can continue to help fuel Canada’s economy by fostering innovation, reducing trade barriers and expanding market access—both within Canada and internationally. We know that following through on these priorities is essential to strengthening Canada’s standardization network and delivering on our core mandate to:
- advance the national economy;
- support sustainable development;
- benefit the health, safety and welfare of workers and the public;
- assist and protect consumers;
- facilitate domestic and international trade; and
- further international cooperation in relation to standardization.
Countries around the world seek positions on international governance and technical standardization committees to gain a competitive advantage for their businesses. SCC is among the leaders in implementing this strategy, and we are ensuring that Canada has a strong voice on committees of strategic importance to our country. By connecting Canadian experts and innovators with our national standardization network, we guarantee Canadian input into areas with the greatest potential benefit to our economy—and our citizens.
To cement Canada’s place as an international leader, SCC engages our nation’s most skilled and knowledgeable experts to participate in international standards development, especially in those sectors that are critical to Canada’s economy. To ensure this occurs, SCC—with input from its stakeholders— updates programs that encourage participation and ease the way for qualified young professionals to become involved in key international committees.
Spearheading the development of international standards is critical to driving innovation. For Canadian-made technologies or innovations to succeed and secure their place in global supply chains, Canada must be proactively involved in shaping the standards around these new technologies. To seize these opportunities as they arise, SCC collaborates with Canadian innovators in sectors with demonstrated potential to leverage standardization as a tool to strategically support market entry and growth in sectors with demonstrated potential.
SCC supports Canadian innovators in the development of standards and conformity assessment programs to effectively shape global marketplace rules to Canada’s advantage. SCC’s support in bringing Canadian innovators to the table includes, but is not limited to: analyzing key trends, opportunities and stakeholder dynamics; advising, orienting and training Canadian innovators on standardization, the standards development process and deliverables; advancing strategic innovative project proposals at the international level; accrediting Canadian experts and innovators to actively participate on international standardization technical committees; nominating Canadian innovators to take leadership positions on international committees; supporting Canadians to take on international governance positions on standardization bodies; and coordinating Canada’s national positions.
Value to Canada
Standardization is critical to Canada’s economic prosperity. Standards can influence public policy objectives in diverse areas, and they can directly support the federal government’s plan to build a strong and competitive national economy. Regulators and regulatory advisory bodies across Canada recognize SCC as a trusted advisor with the ability to deliver standardization solutions to help them achieve their regulatory objectives.
SCC has worked with federal, provincial and territorial representatives—through the Provincial-Territorial Advisory Committee (PTAC), the National Public Safety Advisory Committee (NPSAC) and direct consultations with government departments—to offer innovative standardization solutions that promote the use of up-to-date standards in regulations. SCC is also encouraging regulators to consider the alignment of standards in regulations to reduce barriers to trade within Canada.
Certification and testing requirements can differ between Canadian jurisdictions, impeding the mobility of some products, tradespeople and professionals. As a result, internal trade barriers have been created, even within our own borders. For example, differing Canadian Registration Number (CRN) requirements for boilers, pressure vessels, and fittings across the country create red tape and increase costs for industry. Differences between federal, provincial, territorial and municipal requirements mean manufacturers also face conflicting and duplicative requirements—again increasing their costs. In order to eliminate these impediments to trade—which can ultimately translate into higher prices and reduced choice for consumers—SCC supports the provinces and territories in the development of a common approach across Canada for the CRN. Making these improvements within Canada’s standardization network benefits us all.
To further strengthen Canada’s standardization network, the organization has continued to work with industry leaders in the sectors that are key to Canadian competitiveness. We engage these leaders to ensure they are fully aware of how standardization supports and advances their priorities, delivers returns on investments and enhances Canada’s economic and social well-being. For example, SCC leverages its Canadian National Committee of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), whose members include top senior leaders of Canada’s electrotechnical sectors from hydroelectricity, renewable energies, electric cars, to electrical products and consumer electronics, to ensure Canadian interests are considered in the development of IEC plans.
We are also aware that today’s increasingly competitive and complex international marketplace has created challenges for Canadian small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). For these smaller-sized exporters, third-party conformity assessment is a way to meet the criteria necessary for doing business in any given market. By being certified to these standards, SMEs can become suppliers of choice and gain a competitive edge in markets around the world— enhancing their bottom-line and ensuring their long-term growth. By offering innovative accreditation solutions and encouraging international harmonization, SCC makes it easier for Canadian companies to participate in the global economy.
The move toward aligning standards across the globe is also opening doors to both regulated and non-regulated markets for a growing number of accreditation service providers. As the leader of Canada’s standardization network, SCC supports this by continually assessing and improving the efficacy of accreditation programs and offerings. SCC’s Accreditation Services Branch continues to prioritize the delivery of its programs and review its pricing model so that fees remain transparent and fair.
The international trade arena is more competitive than ever before. As Canadian businesses enter new export markets, and as Canada increasingly diversifies its trade away from traditional markets, this evolving landscape means that SCC must continue developing new strategies that support the needs of both exporters and importers so they can compete globally. Standardization plays a key role in promoting global trade and in helping Canada to reach its full potential. For example, through SCC’s agreement with the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), SCC was able to work with CEN to ensure that revisions to a European lumber grading standard did not adversely impact access to the European market for Canadian lumber companies.
Developing strong relationships with national standardization bodies of key trading partners is one way SCC embraces its international leadership position to create opportunities for Canadian businesses and offer value to Canada. To facilitate implementation of conformity assessment within the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), SCC has signed a Cooperation Agreement with the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA). We are also using our recently renewed and strengthened Cooperation Agreement with the Standards Administration of China (SAC) to assist the federal government as it considers a possible Canada-China Free Trade Agreement.
To access U.S. and global markets, Canada must constantly adapt to a shifting marketplace. SCC has made strategic investments to build a responsive and effective standardization network that puts Canada first. To provide this flexibility, and help increase economic competitiveness for Canadians, our goal is to align standards nationally, regionally and internationally.
Key Facts, Figures and Trends
SCC continuously updates and monitors its database of facts and figures. These have been compiled from several sources, including: SCC-accredited SDO standards catalogues; data published by ISO, IEC and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU); and, SCC’s own database of international technical committee participants. Below are some examples of what is monitored in this database.
|2015—16||Trend||2016—17||What Does This Mean?|
|Number of active Canadian standards||2,953||No Change||2,978||This number has stabilized since the need for uniquely Canadian standards is diminishing as Canada and the world moves towards more global alignment. SCC must keep pace with this global shift by working to more quickly influence and adopt international standards.|
Number of standards and related documents maintained by key international standardization organizations (ISO, the IEC, ITU)
|32,988||Increased||34,054||With global alignment, there has been an increase in standards being maintained by international organizations. International standards lessen trade barriers easing entry into international markets.|
|Number of National Standards of Canada approved by SCC (yearly)||182||Increased||251||SCC has sought to efficiently adopt international standards, to ensure Canada’s competitive edge on the global stage.|
|Number of standards incorporated by reference in federal regulations||1,377||No Change||1,344||SCC must continue to work with federal departments to ensure standards incorporated by reference in federal regulations are relevant and up-to-date in order to protect the economic and social well-being of Canadians.|
|Number of Canadian volunteer members participating in international standards development committees||3,153||Increased||3,276||To effectively influence marketplace rules to benefit Canada, SCC must continue to attract and retain Canadian volunteers, and must strategically target the committees on which these volunteers participate.|