As consumer engagement in the American National Standards (ANS) process is valuable and essential, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) today released an informational guide of recommended practices that ANSI-accredited standards developers (ASDs) can use to enhance consumer participation in standards development activities and foster sustained, long-term engagement.
Consumer Input is Essential in the ANS Process
Did you know that consumers directly enhance the market relevancy of a standard? When involved in the development process, consumers not only provide examples of how goods and services are actually used – or predictably misused, they can also offer advice on communication issues such as labeling, product instructions, and warnings. They can also provide essential feedback on acceptable levels of risk for the products defined by standards, among other valuable input.
As the coordinator of the U.S. private-sector standardization system, ANSI in recent months has convened consumers, consumer advocacy organizations, standards developers, and public interest groups in a series of roundtable discussions to gain insights and examine the challenges ASDs may face when seeking to bring consumer voices into a consensus body, and otherwise contribute to standards development activities.
The outcome, ANSI's informational guide of recommended practices, Engaging Consumers in the American National Standards Process, provides a practical tool to help address these challenges by encouraging ASDs to:
"ANSI's new guide is a great example of how collective input can reveal essential information that we can all use to enhance the standardization system as a whole," said S. Joe Bhatia, ANSI president and CEO. "We are thrilled to debut this valuable resource and thank everyone who had a role in sharing their insights with our community."