Standards document the recognized state of the art. They are based on sound practical experiences and well-founded scientific findings. The standards developed in a consensus of all stakeholders help to secure the competitiveness of market actors and ensure the quality of products and services. To allow apprentices to benefit from these advantages, Austrian Standards now also makes available the service meinNormenPaket (my standards package) to vocational schools.
In co-operation with committed professional representations, the Austrian standards provider developed a solution especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. "meinNormenPaket provides easy and inexpensive access to current ÖNORM standards. As a result, SMEs can optimally benefit from the competitive advantages of standards," explains Heinrich Orisich who manages the product at Austrian Standards.
In line with the structure of an economic sector and the number of documents needed, the standards solution is tailored to the relevant requirements of the sector. The package's size depends on the expected demand for standards of the professional organization and its members. During a contractually defined period (ten years) the users can freely use their individual standards package up to the package size agreed. "Our customers can be absolutely sure that their documents are always up to date. Any updates are automatically entered into the system and are immediately available," says Heinrich Orisich. Today, numerous professional organizations and their members already benefit from the advantages of this product that was introduced in 2010.
Holzbau Austria (Austrian Timber Construction), an initiative of the Federal Timber Construction Guild, even goes one step further. Managing Director Dipl.-Ing. Reinhold Steinmaurer succeeded with his efforts to make up-to-date standards also available in training and apprenticeships. He was also involved in the development of the vocational training curriculum as an expert and therefore is familiar with the subjects taught as well as the standards required. Standards are of great importance to him "because they take forward the entire sector," as he puts it. "Wood is a living, renewable raw material and, by its very nature, offers great diversity. Standardization gives planners and builders the certainty that every aspect of the material – from processing to wood protection – is in order," explains Steinmaurer. As a result, the expert put together a standards package for his sector with four thematic focuses: building, construction physics, statics as well as contract and planning. Additionally, there is an area that "contains everything else you should have."
The proposal to extend the utilization of these standards packages to vocational schools was especially well received in Styria. Ing. Heinz Pachernegg, headmaster of the vocational school of Murau, was enthusiastic about this offer right from the start: "Standards are absolutely necessary. And in the increasingly globalized world economy, their significance naturally increases. Especially today, when a radical change takes place due to harmonization by the Eurocodes, it is very important to use up-to-date standards in teaching," explains Pachernegg.
"In the classrooms, we constantly work with standards – the drawing standard ÖNORM A 6240 is like a holy book for us. And the meinNormenPaket solution offered through the trade association is optimal for us. Students and teachers can quickly access soft copies of the documents and we can also be sure that we use the latest versions of the standards," says Headmaster Pachernegg.
Through meinNormenPaket, small and medium-sized enterprises have an extremely attractive option for efficient online access to ÖNORM standards, which is made possible by their statutory professional organizations together with Austrian Standards. The inclusion of vocational schools and training institutions makes sure that tuition always keeps abreast of the state of the art and vocational students get the best training possible. The relevant professional organization studies requirements, negotiates the details with Austrian Standards and informs the member enterprises about the project and invites them to use the product. The management of Austrian Standards takes a solution-oriented approach and is open to discussions in all respects: "Our requests were understood by the persons in charge and implemented if realistically possible – and always within the periods agreed and on the basis of technical solutions that are easy to understand and use," Dipl.-Ing. Steinmaurer knows from his own experience. "All in all, this absolutely adds value for our member enterprises, for us as a professional organization and now also for our training institutions."
Author: Herbert Hirner
PR ID: 0714-2014-03-14 / meinNormenPaket_vocational_schools