ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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New Procedures to Streamline Development of American National Standards (ANS)


New York, Dec 23, 2002

The culmination of a three-year effort to streamline and increase the flexibility of the American National Standards (ANS) development process was recognized on December 9, 2002 when members of the ANSI National Policy Committee approved the ANSI Essential Requirements: Due Process Requirements for American National Standards.

ANSI’s role is to ensure that access to the standards process – including an appeals mechanism – has been made available to anyone directly or materially affected by the activity under development. The new procedures provide a mechanism for determining the need for standards, ensuring that qualified organizations develop them and that the approval of standards is coordinated. ANSI’s approval of these standards verifies that consensus has been achieved.

The Institute’s Executive Standards Council (ExSC) launched the development of an essential requirements document in 1999 and developed numerous drafts during the interim; a final draft was published for review and comment in the April 19, 2002 issue of Standards Action. Key among the agreements reached in the early stages of the document’s development was the elimination of the three delineated “methods” of standards development, i.e., committee, canvass and organization.

Representatives of the ExSC also indicated the committee’s belief that there should be a balance between total performance-based criteria that provide some degree of flexibility and either prescriptive requirements or some determinative benchmark, so that compliance with the ANS process requirements can be adjudicated in an equitable manner. The new procedures call out the core elements of the ANS process (i.e., openness, balance, due process and consensus) and specify benchmarks for the development of consensus at the ANS approval, revision, reaffirmation, and withdrawal stages. It also provides for the consolidation and clarification of related administrative requirements.

“The new procedures reflect the Institute's goal of improving the clarity, usability and flexibility of the ANS process,” explained Dr. Mark W. Hurwitz, ANSI president and chief executive officer. “The document also illustrates the manner in which ANSI serves the voluntary consensus standards system in the U.S. by providing and promoting a fair and open process that withstands scrutiny.”

The new procedural document replaces the current ANSI Procedures and becomes effective immediately for any prospective accredited standards developers; a transition period of ______ will be provided to current ANSI-accredited standards developers (ASDs). Letters requesting a signed statement of compliance will be distributed to ANSI-accredited standards developers during the month of January 2003.

Revisions to the essential requirements will be made on an ongoing basis in an effort to evolve the best possible procedures in the most efficient manner.

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