The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), coordinator of the U.S. voluntary standards and conformity assessment system, has released a revised version of the United States Standards Strategy (USSS), available online in digital format. The USSS describes the principles and tactics that guide how the United States develops standards and participates in the international standards-setting process.
The new 2015 version contains minor changes that reflect current national priorities and industry growth areas, including the growth of innovative technologies such as smart cities, Internet of Things, and cybersecurity, as well as the continuing shift to a services-based economy.
All proposed editorial revisions were considered and finalized by the ANSI Executive Committee and ANSI senior staff, and the revised USSS was unanimously approved by the ANSI Board of Directors at its year-end meeting on December 2, 2015.
Voluntary consensus standards serve as the foundation of the U.S. economy, and are the fundamental building blocks for innovation and competitiveness on the global stage. The United States Standards Strategy builds upon the traditional strengths of the U.S. system — such as consensus, openness, and transparency — while giving additional emphasis to speed, relevance, and meeting important national priorities.
First published in 2000 as the National Standards Strategy for the United States, the USSS underwent a substantial revision in December 2005, and the document's title was changed to reflect the need for standards that meet stakeholder needs irrespective of national borders. Under an agreement that it be revisited on a regular basis to ensure relevancy, a subsequent edition of the USSS was published in December 2010.
ANSI, the U.S. representative in non-treaty international and regional standards-setting activities, serves as the facilitator and administrator of the development process of the USSS, which relies on the coordinated efforts of a large and diverse group of constituents representing stakeholders in government, industry, standards developing organizations, consortia, consumer groups, and academia. The strategy reflects a global standardization environment that incorporates new types of standards development activities, more flexible approaches, and varying structure.
"The revised USSS continues to reflect both the stability and flexibility of the U.S. standards system," said S. Joe Bhatia, ANSI president and CEO. "The strategy takes into account the diverse needs of industry and government, and serves as a vision for the future of the U.S. standards system, which is essential to U.S. competitiveness in the global economy."
The USSS details 12 key initiatives, which include:
Strengthening participation by government in development and use of voluntary consensus standards through public-private partnerships;
Continuing to address the environment, health, and safety in the development of voluntary standards; Working to prevent standards and their application from becoming technical trade barriers to U.S. products and services; and
Establishing standards education as a priority within the U.S. private, public, and academic sectors.
"As always, I encourage every member of the U.S. standardization community to read and endorse the U.S. Standards Strategy, and I urge all to incorporate its core tactics into their own organization's business and strategic practices," said Mr. Bhatia.
The USSS and accompanying background information are available at www.ansi.org/usss or
www.us-standards-strategy.org. A related document guiding the principles of U.S. conformity assessment activities, the United States Conformity Assessment Principles, is available at www.ansi.org/uscap.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its membership is comprised of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations. The Institute represents the diverse interests of more than 125,000 companies and organizations and 3.5 million professionals worldwide.
The Institute is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and is a U.S. representative to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).