The centre piece of the self-regulation system is the dedication, composition and independence of the Ad Standards Community Panel. The Community Panel includes people from a broad range of age groups and backgrounds and is gender balanced – representative of the diversity of Australian society.

Individual Community Panel members do not represent any particular interest group and are individually and collectively clearly independent of the advertising industry. On the rare occasion an individual member has a connection with a party concerned in a particular determination, that Community Panel member absents herself or himself from the meeting.

The Community Panel discharges its responsibilities with fairness, impartiality and with a keen sense of prevailing community values in its broadest sense. Its task is often a difficult one and the outcomes of its determinations will not and cannot please everyone.

Appointment of Ad Standards Community Panel members

Membership of the Community Panel is on a fixed term basis. New appointments are staggered to ensure the Community Panel retains a mix of corporate knowledge and at the same time introducing people with different experiences, views and skills.

Community Panel appointments are made following a publicly advertised application and interview process. Appointments are made by the Ad Standards Board of Directors.

Ad Standards' most recent appointment of new members to the Community Panel was in 2017. The next Community Panel recruitment round is expected to be in mid-2020.

People sought for appointment to the Community Panel ideally have an interest in, and views on, advertising and community standards. They are people who have been involved in their community and who have empathy and can reflect broader community standards in their decisions.

Community Panel members work as part of a diverse team in interpreting Codes, applying reason, commonsense and sensitivity when assessing a wide variety of material.