ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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ISO Releases Interactive Tutorial to Engage Consumers in Standardization

New York, Mar 26, 2009

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recently launched the online module Consumers and standards: partnership for a better world. This interactive tutorial provides user-friendly information on how standardization benefits consumers and how consumers can contribute to standards development.

The tutorial was developed as part of an ongoing initiative of the ISO Committee on Consumer Policy (COPOLCO) and the ISO Committee on Developing Country Matters (DEVCO). These committees are working jointly to promote consumer participation in standardization with the support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). Consumers International, a liaison organization to ISO/COPOLCO, also contributed to the module’s development, as did members of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Consumer Interest Forum (CIF).

Consumers and standards aims to provide users with a basic understanding of what standards are and what they do, providing specific examples of how standards can improve goods and services. It also informs consumers of how they can participate in standards development and why their participation is valuable for standardization. It is intended to educate those relatively new to the world of standardization and consumer policy, but will also serve as a concise review of concepts for people already familiar with standards setting.

"The new ISO distance learning module is an invaluable resource for consumer representatives wanting to better understand how to participate in international standardization," said Jim McCabe, ANSI senior director of consumer relations. "I strongly encourage consumer advocates to take the time to go through the material."

The tutorial takes about a half-day to complete. It is divided into four sections, giving users the flexibility to complete the module in several sessions if desired. Both English and French versions are freely available for public use.

To access Consumers and standards: partnership for a better world, click here. For more information, see the ISO news release.

ANSI is actively involved in seeking consumer participation in standardization. The Institute’s Consumer Interest Forum (CIF) works to facilitate the representation of consumer interests in voluntary standards and conformity assessment activities. CIF members represent consumer organizations, producers, retailers, distributors, industry councils, and government agencies. The CIF is also the U.S. link to the ISO COPOLCO.