This glossary contains a brief description of terms relevant to an understanding of the NICNAS Annual Report for 2006-07.


The terms described in the glossary do not substitute for definitions contained in the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989 (the Act). An interpretation of terms relevant to the operation of the Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme is given in Part 1 section 5 of the Act.


The Act  the Commonwealth Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989


Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)  body which provides independent review of a wide range of administrative decisions made by the Australian Government and some non-government bodies

Advisory Group on Chemical Safety  committee which, at the request of the Director, Office of Chemical Safety, provides expert advice as required on the safety assessment of veterinary, agricultural, industrial and domestic chemicals, as well as cosmetics.

Audit  formal review of procedures and practices in relation to obligations under the Act


Australian High Volume Industrial Chemicals (HVIC) list  list of information about chemicals manufactured in and/or imported into Australia in quantities greater than or equal to 1000 tonnes           


Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances (AICS)  list of chemical identity data maintained by NICNAS; legal device that distinguishes new from existing chemicals and lists all industrial chemicals in use in Australia between 1 January 1977 and 28 February 1990; includes new assessed chemicals since February 1990 and corrections as required


Australian Public Service (APS) Values  articulated in section 10(1) of the Public Service Act 1999; provide the real basis and integrating element to the Australian Public Service, its professionalism, its integrity and its impartial and responsive service to the government of the day


Banks report  January 2006 Productivity Commission report to the Prime Minister and the Treasurer; full title: Rethinking regulation – Report of the taskforce on reducing regulatory burdens on business


Candidate list  list of chemicals selected for possible priority assessment, following a screening process, from chemicals nominated to NICNAS by industry, unions, the public and government


Chemical Gazette  government publication, published by NICNAS under its Act on the first Tuesday of each month, containing information regarding changes to NICNAS legislation, newly assessed chemicals and the Register of Chemical Introducers


Community Engagement Forum  NICNAS’s consultative group that identifies community concerns about the impact of industrial chemicals on the environment, public health and/or worker health and safety


Compliance case   a business entity which has one or more potential contraventions of the Act


Concise International Chemical Assessment Document (CICAD) concise,

informative document published under the IPCS that provides a summary of the relevant scientific information concerning the potential effects of a chemical on human health and/or the environment


Consultancy  procurement of external specialists to provide advice and services where NICNAS staff either do not have the expertise or have overriding obligations


Director  Director of NICNAS


Due diligence  level of judgement, care, prudence, determination and activity with which a person would reasonably be expected to perform under particular circumstances


EC Program Review  the review of the Existing Chemicals Assessment Program, commenced in 2005-06


Ecologically sustainable development (ESD)  using, conserving and enhancing the community’s resources so that ecological processes, on which life depends, are maintained and the total quality of life, now and in the future, can be enhanced


Existing chemical  an industrial chemicals other than a new industrial chemical


Industrial chemical  a chemical that has an industrial use (whether or not it also has other non-industrial uses)


Industry Government Consultative Committee (IGCC)  primary consultative body for industry and government on NICNAS matters; among other things, reviews the utilisation of resources against NICNAS objectives under terms of reference set by the Minister


International Program on Chemical Safety (IPCS)  cooperative venture of the World Health Organisation, International Labour Organisation and United Nations Environmental Programme formed with the objective of establishing the scientific basis for the assessment of the risk to human health and the environment from exposure to chemicals and to provide technical assistance to strengthen national capacities for the sound management of chemicals


the LRCC Act  the Commonwealth Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Amendment (Low Regulatory Concern Chemicals) Act 2004


Low regulatory concern chemicals (LRCC)  industrial chemicals which could qualify for reduced regulatory input on the basis of a definition of low risk or where regulatory input from elsewhere is sufficient to meet Australian requirements


Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)  document that describes the properties and uses of a substance, ie. identity, chemical and physical properties, health hazard information, precautions for use and safe handling information


Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)  agreement between parties that details mutual obligations in relation to services and/or the exchange of information (relating to industrial chemicals); NICNAS has a States and Territories MOU Group and has MOU agreements with the Australian Customs Service, Australian Taxation Office and the Office of the Australian Safety and Compensation Council


New chemical  an industrial chemical (including a polymer) not listed on the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances


Occupational health and safety (OHS)  general area of concern in employment which spans the physiological and psychological needs and well-being of persons engaged in occupations, work-related trauma and death, the prevention of work-related trauma and death, the protection from, or from risk of, work-related trauma and death, and the rehabilitation and retraining of persons who have suffered work-related trauma (CCH Occupational Health and Safety: Glossary, CCH International, 1992)


Office of Chemical Safety (OCS)  part of the TGA Group of Regulators in the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing and comprises public health risk assessment for veterinary chemicals, pesticides and other environmental chemicals; establishment of public health controls and standards, and the secretariat, for poisons scheduling; and compliance and monitoring of narcotics and other prohibited goods under UN Treaties and the Customs Act.


Operational / Business Plan for NICNAS  document describing the performance measures and data for NICNAS and how these relate to the NICNAS Strategic Plan


Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)  groups thirty member countries sharing a commitment to democratic government and the market economy; plays a prominent role in fostering good governance in the public service and in corporate activity; work covers economic and social issues from macroeconomics, to trade, education, development and science and innovation


Outcome  in the context of the PBS (see below): the results, impacts or consequences of actions by the Australian Government on the Australian community; a stated goal for achievement by an organisation.


Output  in the context of the PBS (see below): the goods or services produced by agencies on behalf of the Australian Government for external organisations or individuals; a set of activities and products that contribute to the achievement of a stated goal of an organisation (outcome) subject to performance standards


Parallel Process  OECD new chemicals notification process in which the same notifications can be submitted to two or more countries at the same time


Performance measures  measures that provide information on administered items and departmental outputs in terms of quality, quantity and efficiency


Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS)  statements prepared by portfolios to explain Budget appropriations in terms of outcomes and outputs


Precursor chemical  chemical which is known to be used in the manufacture of drug precursors


Priority existing chemical (PEC)  chemical declared by the Minister for assessment under the NICNAS Existing Chemicals Program because its manufacture, handling, storage, use or disposal gives rise or may give rise to an adverse risk to human health and/or the environment


Rotterdam Convention  the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, ratified by Australia on 20 May 2004


Science Forum  occasional Australian Government supported forum providing an opportunity for exchange of information between national and international experts and staff of regulators 


Screening Information Data Set (SIDS)  agreed minimal data set as determined by the OECD that allows for the establishment of the hazards of a specific industrial chemical


Service Charter for NICNAS  document that spells out the types, levels and standards of service NICNAS clients can expect from the organisation, including details of complaint resolution procedures


SIDS Initial Assessment Report (SIAR)  OECD Existing Chemicals Programme report of hazards of a specific industrial chemical based upon an evaluation of an OECD Screening Information Data Set


Stockholm Convention  the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), ratified by Australia on 20 May 2004


Strategic Plan for NICNAS  document that details the strategies NICNAS will use to achieve its stated goals and values for the three years 2002-05


Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)  a unit of the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing          


Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3   NICNAS Registration levels, each relating to a range of total values for industrial chemicals introduced in a registration year (1 September – 30 August of following year), used in assessing registration charges