As part of the ongoing adoption of the ISO Respiratory Protection Standards, Standards Australia has now adopted the ISO Respiratory Fit Testing Standard as a local standard. The local designation is AS/NZS ISO 16975.3:2023, an identical adoption of ISO 16975.3:2007.
AS/NZS ISO 16975.3:2023 specifies guidance on how to conduct fit testing of tight-fitting respiratory protective devices (RPD) and on appropriate methods to be used which includes QLFT-ATT, QNFT-CNC and QNFT-CNP methodologies. It specifies requirements for conducting RPD fit testing, including competencies of fit test operators, specific fit testing procedures, interpretation of results and record keeping.
RESP-FIT accreditation competencies are based on ISO 16975.3 Section 5 fit testers competencies from its development, anticipating that this standard would be adopted as a local standard in the future, which has now happened. So there will be minimal change to RESP-FIT with this recent adoption as core competencies have not changed. Many of the state and territory regulators’ information on fit testing competence requirements is also based on Section 5 from ISO 16975.3:2017, which now is also in AS/NZS ISO 16975.3:2023.
The suite of ISO standards that have been adopted locally, including AS/NZS 16975.3:2023, are current. AS/NZS 1715:2009 and AS/NZS 1716:2012 are also still, which are planned to be superseded at the start of 2029, allowing a 5-year transition period. This transition period provides time for manufactures products to be tested to the AS/NZS ISO Suite of test criteria and classified withing the ISO classification framework. As well as allowing time for Standards Australia to communicate with regulators, industries, companies and users about these changes in coming years.
It is important to remember/highlight that Fit Testing is one element of a complete RPD program which AS/NZS 1715 and AS/NZS ISO 16975.1:2023 provide information on.
If you have any questions regarding respirator fit testing competencies or training, please contact RESP-FIT on firstname.lastname@example.org