Accreditation Matters 2024 – It’s a wrap! 

Industry News July 9, 2024
Accreditation Matters 2024 – It’s a wrap! 
NATA team

Thank you. Accreditation Matters 2024 was our most ambitious initiative yet. 

The feedback from those who joined us has been wonderfully positive and by any measure represents a resounding success (noting there are also many learnings we’ll be taking forward with us).  

So again, thank you to our nearly 500 members, stakeholders, speakers and accreditation supporters who made Accreditation Matters 2024 Australia’s largest and most successful accreditation event. 

For those who couldn’t make it, we hope you can join us in 2025 as you missed being able to explore four event streams, a packed exhibition hall, multiple themes delving into the future, health, people, supply chains, traceability and all matters accreditation. The sessions ranged from keynotes, subject matter presentations and fire side chats through to panel discussions.  

Attendees also enjoyed extensive networking opportunities from our Network Drinks leading into our Celebration Dinner where the inaugural NATA Excellence Award was presented. 

Key highlights included sessions in the Pyrmont Theatre where our Master of Ceremonies, former Today Show Host and award-winning journalist Steve Leibmann OAM, brought his inquisitive mind to help extract the very best from all sessions. From the leaders of Australia’s Technical Alliance speaking on the incredibly important role their organisations play as Australia’s hidden safety net and the critical importance of managing AI into the future; to the future of the built environment and of course, the essential keynote by the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO), Devin McDaniel  – it was a smorgasbord of timely, relevant content and engaging speakers. 

Here are some key insights from the two-day conference: 

Our international keynote speaker, Devin McDaniel, explained that The WTO has found that $US331 billion is the cost to the global economy every year (2.3% of global trade value) from barriers to trade…essentially as a result of lack of accreditation. He explained that: “One of the key benefits of accreditation is that it’s politically atypical – where experts come together and collaborate for a solution that works for everyone.” 

Elsewhere Australia’s Chief Metrologist, Bruce Warrington offered a keynote looking at why measurement matters. In it he outlined that Accreditation is a critical part of the international recognition of Australia’s measurement industry. Warrington is also head of one of Australia’s Technical Infrastructure pillars, NMI and he believes the work of both organisations is intrinsically tied together: “Measurement matters to accreditation, and accreditation matters to measurement”. 

AI featured heavily in many of the discussions on and off stage, and Dr Ian Oppermann, Co-founder of ServiceGen and Industry Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) took a considered when speaking outlining that “the tricky part of AI, more so than other digital tools, is that it can adapt. It might not pay to stay colouring inside the lines…” 

On accreditation, NATA’s CEO Jennifer Evans noted that the role for humans has never been more important when speaking about accreditation underpinning quality organisations and that “no matter the changes of inputs, be they hardware, software or human, there will always be a need to provide assurance of the outcomes of testing…and humans remain vital to the generation of trusted testing results.”    
One of the prominent fireside chats featured Stela Solar, Director of the National AI Centre, (recently becoming part of CSIRO), along with Liming Zhu, Research Director at CSIRO’s Data61. Both argued that having an experimental mindset is important when it comes to workforce transformation – so not having preconceived notions of what AI is best for. Test what using automation is best for. Comparing what you gain vs what is lost when agency is taken away from your talent. “Humans are best at offering context” Zhu maintains. 

Our other 3 rooms also played host to highly engaging sessions. From the very popular ‘How to become NATA accredited’ and the ‘Top 10 most common assessment deficiencies’; to  ‘Accreditation in action case studies’ and ‘The Science of Communication – Why Visibility Matters – hosted by Brand Strategist heavyweight Karen Eck and the ABC’s Maddie Massy – there was something for everyone. 

The NATA Excellence Award announced at the Celebration Dinner was also a highlight with Eurofins Environment Testing (EET) taking out the hotly contested honours. 

Here is a snippet of feedback from our sponsors and exhibitors. 

Exhibitor – Coregas  

“It was a brilliant event and Coregas gained a lot from participating. Congratulations to you and your team in hosting a successful event of this size.  

Victor Chim 
Marketing Manager, Specialty & Medical Gases  

Gold Sponsor – JASANZ 

I just wanted to write and say congratulations to you and to the whole team! Accreditation Matters was such a fantastic event.  Our team is hoping there will be another event next year, as we’re already looking forward to it. We had many valuable conversations, and it was so great to raise the profile of the ATIA.  From everyone that I spoke to, I heard nothing but good things about the conference too. You should all be so proud!

Katherine Appleby 
Marketing and Communications Coordinator, JASANZ 

Session Recordings and Accreditation Matters 2025 

We’re working on releasing recordings of selected presentations from the conference, and we are already in the early planning stages of Accreditation Matters 2025. To ensure you’re the first to know about both, make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter and stay tuned.