Standards & Conformance

Conformance programs can provide formal recognition of an organisation's conformance to an industry standard, specification or a regulatory requirement.

Such programs allow:

  • suppliers to make and substantiate clear claims of conformance to a standard; and

  • buyers to specify and successfully procure conforming products or services.

Schuster Consulting can assist individual organisations or industry representative bodies to develop conformity assessment programs, including assisting with:

  • Needs analysis and research into the feasibility of developing standards or a conformance program.
  • Definition of the policies, procedures, rules and standards for which conformance is sought.
  • Development of a program to certify products, processes or services against the requirements.
  • Design and implementation of a program, including domestic and international testing as required.
  • Reviews and assessments of existing programs, standards or procedures.

Our team has considerable skills and experience in resolving conflicts and facilitating consensus among the disparate legal, technical and commercial interests which often underlie conformance programs. Working in conjunction with our client, we define the policies, principles, standards and rules that form the foundation of the program. Once these are agreed, the next step is to develop the intellectual property required to launch and operate the program. This includes the rules and standards, registration materials, guidance materials, training programs, legal agreements, audit checklists and requisite procedural documentation.

Conformance in Action

Certifying animal welfare and management across the globe

Recognising the need for greater assurance regarding animal welfare, Schuster Consulting Group undertook foundation research into the role QA and risk assessment may have in assisting Australian livestock exporters demonstrate compliance with ESCAS. A number of recommendations stemmed from this research, primarily: That a QA program complemented by a risk assessment component be developed to support the live export industry in aspiring to best practice and achieving ESCAS compliance.

The outcomes from the foundation research formed the basis of a further research project initiated in 2014 and funded through the Livestock Export Program (LEP) which is a joint research and development (R&D) partnership between the Australian Government, Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and LiveCorp.

This new research project was to develop a fully implementable conformity assessment and certification Program for animal welfare and management, across the globe.

The development of this project was awarded by competitive tender to Schuster Consulting Group and its team of subject matter experts operating in the areas of project management, international conformity assessment, international animal welfare, IT systems, governance and supply chains.

Schuster Consulting Group undertook the development project within the required timeframe and successfully delivered the Livestock Global Assurance Program (LGAP) to the livestock export and red meat producer industries in April 2016. In 2016 the Minister for Agriculture announced it would contribute more than $8m in funding for the industry's implementation of LGAP and the live export industry unanimously agreed to implement LGAP in 2018. 

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