ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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ANSI Sponsors Free Virtual Workshops for Consumers Interested in Standards-Related Policy Activities

Workshops Set for September 16 and 22, 2004

New York, Aug 26, 2004

As a follow-up to its recent call for participation on the Institute’s Board of Directors and policy committees, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has announced the launch of an educational program geared to increase consumer involvement in ANSI policy-setting.

Sponsored by the ANSI Consumer Interest Council (CIF), two sessions of a one-hour workshop will be held to explain and explore why consumers should become involved in standardization and conformity assessment programs. The workshops will be held on September 16 and again on September 22, 2004, from 2:00 – 3:00 pm (EDT).

The sessions will introduce consumer representatives to ANSI, the roles and issues addressed by key ANSI and ISO (International Organization for Standardization) policy committees, and how interested representatives may pursue appointment to the ANSI Board and the policy committees. Participants will also be invited to submit specific questions in advance.

All individuals who are committed to representing the consumer interest and who have no conflict of interest in doing so are invited to participate. Advance registration is required; if requests for participation exceed capacity, preference will be given to individuals from consumer and non-governmental organizations, academia (particularly in the consumer field) and organized labor.

According to James McCabe, ANSI director of consumer relations and public policy, the virtual workshop format was selected because it combines the benefit of involving a live presenter with the cost savings of delivering content via a phone and Internet connection.

"ANSI recognizes that resources are often scarce for consumer representatives," said McCabe. "All that a participant needs is a telephone and a computer with Internet access. It is possible to save on travel time and expenses and, by using a speakerphone, to enable a large group of colleagues to participate.

During a virtual workshop, audio is delivered over the telephone (toll free) and a slide show is delivered simultaneously via a web browser.

McCabe, who will also facilitate the educational session, did indicate that a basic understanding of standards is required. He identified several resources for background information that should be reviewed before the virtual seminar:

For more information, please contact James McCabe, ANSI director of consumer relations and public policy. To register, please complete and return the registration form as soon as possible, but no later than September 9, 2004.

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