Australian Industry Standards Body
Standards & Codes
Digital Transformation, Customer Satisfaction and Regulatory Compliance
Authoring tool adopted widely for its ease of use and similarity to Microsoft Word
One person can create a new edition of the standards in only four hours, as opposed to three staff during the course of six to eight weeks
Eliminated the need to print out the PDF, compare it to the HTML and make edits to ensure the two match – that accuracy and consistency is now guaranteed
The XML from Quark XML Author is migrated directly to their website’s content management system (CMS), eliminating the need for third-party coding at a considerable cost
Provided an extra three months for public review and official comment during the legal adoption phase of a new edition
The organization is a standards-writing body responsible for safe and sustainable industry-specific systems through regulatory and non-regulatory measures in collaboration with Australian governments and industry.
The standards written by this body are published across multiple channels as the de facto codes which must be maintained, updated and accessible to industry professionals and the general public, among other stakeholders.
The organization is using Quark Publishing Platform (QPP), with Quark XML Author, not only to publish the industry standards and codes on its website but also to produce what it describes as regulatory technology that could revolutionize the industry.
“A new edition of the codes document now can be assembled within QPP and published as a PDF in three hours and then posted to our website in one additional hour.”
– Director of Digital Transformation
The standards body began its digital transformation in 2015, with the goal of digitizing its code documentation. This document initially was comprised of three volumes without a consistent structure and almost 1,300 A4 pages in total. Publishing the document to the website involved creating a PDF, converting it to HTML through third-party developers during a three-month period, and then importing the HTML into the website CMS. “Needless to say, this proved to be a clunky, manual process,” explained their Director of Digital Transformation.
But with Quark XML, content authors can easily add new clauses or update existing ones within a predetermined, consistent format. They are free to focus on the technical aspects of their jobs as industry experts, rather than worry about the technicalities of creating structured content in XML format. Because of its similarities to Microsoft Word, authors simply type while the XML coding happens automatically in the background.
“A new edition of the codes document now can be assembled within QPP and published as a PDF in three hours and then posted to our website in one additional hour,” he explains. By automating the assembly of the document, the team has reduced the publishing window from six to eight weeks to only four hours. In addition, the job can be managed by one staff member instead of three and there’s no outside consultant charging them to convert the PDF to HTML, he noted.
“We used to have to print out the entire PDF, so staff could manually compare it to the HTML and make edits to ensure the two versions would match,” he said. “Now we know the website version will be perfect because we get clean and lean XML from Quark that we migrate directly into our CMS.”
Another benefit of being able to publish the documentation faster is that the official review and comment period can be extended. A new edition is produced every three years with five cycles of review by the public and other stakeholder groups before it can be legally adopted. These groups now have an additional three months to thoroughly review and comment on the new industry codes proposed. And finally, the digital version of the document also includes state clauses and updates to strengthen compliance at the local level. The future addition of metadata and quantification metrics such as classification would also make it easier and significantly faster for stakeholders to identify the clauses most relevant to them.
The organization also plan to make the codes document integrated and interactive. For example, enabling an industry professional to incorporate the codes to ensure their compliance at the start of a project – if a proposed item is not correct within code, then an alert would occur automatically. “The industry could save billions if designs were checked for compliance from the outset,” says their Director of Digital Transformation.