Standards and Codes of practice checklist

Striving for and achieving best practice is one way your business can improve its operations and service, ultimately increasing your business competitiveness and the morale of both customers and staff. You can achieve best practice by following Australian and industry standards, codes of practice and also benchmarking your business against others in your industry.

Use our checklist to help you understand Standards and Codes of practice when starting, running and growing your business.

Different standards apply to different industry sectors. Your business may be required to follow mandatory product safety laws, including construction, performance, testing, labelling and information requirements. These standards can be found in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (formerly known as the Trade Practices Act 1974), which is enforced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Some products are banned from being sold in Australia. If any of your products are subject to a ban, you must not sell them.

Find out more about product safety recalls.

One of the most well known voluntary standards is ISO 9000, an international standard for quality management, including quality of products and services. For more information on voluntary standards including ISO 9000, contact Standards Australia. Standards Australia develops and maintains around 7000 standards.

Codes of practice provide a minimum standard of protection to consumers and businesses in particular industries. Contact your state or territory consumer affairs office for information on codes of practice in your state or territory, or the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) website for information on industry codes.

Adhering to voluntary codes of practice will not only ensure you provide a higher standard of protection to your customers, but can also ensure that your business is competitive against others in your industry.

Read our Industry fact sheets for information on your industry.

Benchmarking is the process of speaking to businesses in your industry and learning different or better ways of running your business. Establishing a network with these businesses will also ensure you regularly share skills and keep up to date on industry and local information. Businesses should be mindful of the information they discuss with other businesses (especially competitors) as there are laws that prohibit various anti-competitive practices that limit or prevent competition.

  • Search Events for networking opportunities.
  • The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has more than 100 industry small business benchmarks that you can use to help meet your tax obligations. You can use these benchmarks to compare your business’ performance against similar businesses.
  • Visit the ACCC website to find information on laws relating to anti-competitive practices and what exemptions or immunity processes apply to businesses seeking to work with other businesses.

If you make or sell products then you need to be aware of product safety standards specific to your product. Read more about product safety and labelling standards.

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