STANDARDS partners are critical to the success of the Singapore Standardisation Programme. They are volunteers from both the public and private sectors, and they provide leadership and technical expertise to develop and promote important standards that benefit the industry, government agencies and the public.

According to Mr Edwin Khew, chairman of Singapore Standards Council (SSC), they ensure that the local and international standards developed or reviewed are robust and consensus-based and reflect the latest thought-leadership or technological development.

Mr Khew says: "The tireless work of our standards partners has enabled us to develop and review nearly 500 standards since 2011 as well as support national priorities such as facilitating new growth areas, raising productivity, promoting resource efficiency and ensuring social and safety needs are met."

Explaining how the SSC's work helps businesses, he says that in today's global market, business growth and survival depend on the speed of communication and development of cutting-edge technologies and their adoption.

"Standards underpin these technologies which impact how business is being done now and in the future.

"For everything we use today - from the simple lithium battery and mobile phone to the Airbus A-380 - standards are key to their production.

"As a business, if you do not adopt standards, you will lose your competitiveness and, eventually, market relevance."

New standards need to be developed to support the introduction of new technologies, products and services, he notes.

For example, the council is working with stakeholders to develop new standards to support wearable dialysis equipment developed by a Singapore start-up.

He says: "We are working to develop these standards in a timely manner so that their progress to market on a global basis is not impeded."

To ensure sustainability and growth in the use of standards among new entrants into the workforce, the council is looking at working with tertiary institutions to introduce standards as electives, and even promoting standards awareness in secondary schools and junior colleges.

Says Mr Khew: "This will help our pre-workforce to gain a good foundation in using standards as a strategic business tool.

"We hope to develop standards-literate and standards-ready employees of the future."