Critical technology standards

Australia is shaping global standards for critical technologies. This will support the Australian Government’s vision of being a world leader in designing, developing and using these technologies.

Standards for critical technologies are voluntary specifications, procedures and guidelines.

Global technical standards:

  • ensure that technology products, services and systems are safe, consistent, trusted and reliable 
  • make trade easier
  • open up new markets for Australian products and services that meet these standards.

International technology standards are developed in forums like the:

  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
  • International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
  • International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

Countries can adopt international standards or align their national ones.

Shaping international standards 

The Australian Government wants international standards for these technologies to reflect Australia’s values, innovations and expertise. 

We are focusing on critical technologies that can impact Australia’s national interest, including our:

  • economic prosperity
  • national security
  • social cohesion.

Australia worked with India, Japan and the United States of America to develop the Quad Principles on Critical and Emerging Technology Standards. These voluntary principles affirm industry-led, consensus-based approaches to developing standards. 

Supporting industry on international standards 

Our Tech Standards Knowledge Program supports Australian technical experts developing international standards for critical technologies. It equips them with knowledge that can help them better engage in standards setting forums. There are 2 program streams.

Tech Standards Training Program

Free training for Australian technical experts participating in setting international critical technology standards who want more skills and knowledge. Training will be delivered in a staged approach up to June 2026. It will cover topics like geopolitics, international negotiation, cultural awareness and diplomacy.

What you will learn:

  • greater understanding of the geopolitical landscape in which standards are set
  • how standards can impact the national interest
  • how to successfully manoeuvre and influence decision-making.

Training is virtual. It may include a mix of short sessions in real time and longer sessions you can complete in your own time. We will allocate spots on each training course based on eligibility and assessment criteria. Places are limited and not guaranteed.

Read the program guidelines to find out if you are eligible.

Tech Standards Security Clearance Program

Our department sponsors and funds Australian Government security clearances for Australian experts participating in setting international critical technology standards. This will promote greater engagement and information sharing between industry and government.

Read the program guidelines to find out if you are eligible.

Australian technology policy, regulations and frameworks

Learn about some of our work to ensure critical technologies in Australia are safe and secure.

Critical Technologies Statement

This statement affirms our aim to shape the design, development and use of critical technologies and their standards.

Quantum Strategy

This strategy promotes Australian involvement in international standard setting for quantum technologies.

AI ethics framework

Our voluntary principles guide businesses and governments to responsibly design, develop and implement AI.

Supporting responsible AI

Our discussion paper considered governance mechanisms including standards for AI.

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