There is a problem when organisations work across jurisdictions, as each jurisdiction has their own standard. A national AAS will resolve that problem.
However, there is also other issues:
- From a usability perspective the AAS can be long and complex. Simplification and structure is important to assist users identify important points.
- The repetitive nature of content across different activities makes it difficult to isolate important issues specific to a particular activity, as it is buried in crosscutting information.
- Education departments which are a key stakeholder have additional requirements which are possibly not covered by the AAS. Providers therefore have to utilise two “standards” documents with potentially duplicated requirements to ensure they meet education department requirements.
- Integration with other existing standards may not be fully explained. For example the risk management framework and principles in the Australian Standard AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 Risk management – Principles and guidelines. This can cause possible confusion or conflict between the Australian Standard for risk management and the activities standards.
- The use of wording in the various AAS may not be consistent, defined and/or align to other AAS and the Australian Standards. This might cause confusion for users that are referring to both a jurisdictional AAS and Australian Standards e.g. for rock climbing. An example is the use of the word ‘must’ to signify mandatory provisions in some AAS, while the Australian Standards drafting guidelines use ‘shall’ to indicate that a statement is mandatory.
- The AAS needs to be self-contained and avoid where possible reliance on another outside mechanism to function. For example leadership requirements should not rely solely on a particular registration system. This is because there are many ways in which leadership competency may be assessed and doing so would exclude these other valid mechanisms. In addition it would put total reliance on the external system for that portion of the AAS to succeed.