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ANSI and ISO Standards Certification Programs

ANSI and ISO are the two leading American and global standards organizations for product and service best practices.

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Creating "standards" helps the supply chain develop a common base for understanding quality, measurements, and performance criteria. ANSI and ISO are the two leading organizations for globally established standards and training to meet established standards.

The hallmarks of the American National Standards process include:

  • consensus on a proposed standard by a group or "consensus body" that includes representatives from materially affected and interested parties;
  • broad-based public review and comment on draft standards;
  • consideration of and response to comments submitted by voting members of the relevant consensus body and by public review commenters;
  • incorporation of approved changes into a draft standard; and
  • right to appeal by any participant that believes that due process principles were not sufficiently respected during the standards development in accordance with the ANSI-accredited procedures of the standards developer.

American National Standards covers the following areas...among others:

  • Greenhouse Gas VVB Accreditation
  • Product Certification Accreditation
  • Personnel Certification Accreditation
  • Certificate Accreditation
  • Standards Developer Accreditation
  • QMS Registration
  • EMS Registration
  • Accreditation Symbols
  • Governance Committees
Standardization in Government Affairs includes standards on "Environmentally Preferable Purchasing", and other information sources such as "Federal Register Notices".

ANSI education and training to help you identify best practices for standards is available in a variety of formats:

  • Instructor-led classroom training
  • On-site and customized seminars
  • Web-based training
  • Virtual workshops
  • E-learning programs

ANSI Accrediting of Standards

ANSI facilitates the development of American National Standards (ANS) by accrediting the procedures of standards developing organizations (SDOs). These groups work cooperatively to develop voluntary national consensus standards. Accreditation by ANSI signifies that the procedures used by the standards body in connection with the development of American National Standards meet the Institute’s essential requirements for openness, balance, consensus and due process.

ANSI is often asked about the total number of standards (and standards setting bodies) in the United States. It is estimated that in the U.S. today there are hundreds of “traditional” standards developing organizations – with the 20 largest SDOs producing 90% of the standards – and hundreds more “non-traditional” standards development bodies, such as consortia.

At year-end 2003, about 200 of these standards developers were accredited by ANSI; there were more than 10,000 American National Standards (ANS).

According to data provided in NIST Special Publication 806, Standards Activities of Organizations in the United States (1996 Edition; edited by Robert B. Toth), there are more than 93,000 standards produced and nearly 700 organizations that cited standards development as an area of activity. Of these, the federal government is the largest single creator and user of standards (more than 44,000 of them); the private sector in America collectively has about 49,000 standards.

However, with the approval of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) of 1995 (Public Law 104-113), federal agencies are encouraged to utilize voluntary consensus standards where feasible and to participate as appropriate in voluntary consensus standards development activities. Standards that are approved as American National Standards satisfy all of the requirements of the NTTAA.

The ANS process is designed to withstand scrutiny, while protecting the rights and interests of every participant. In essence, ANSs quicken the market acceptance of products while making clear how to improve the safety of those products for the protection of consumers.

The hallmarks of the American National Standards process include:

  • consensus on a proposed standard by a group or "consensus body" that includes representatives from materially affected and interested parties;
  • broad-based public review and comment on draft standards;

In order to maintain ANSI accreditation, standards developers are required to consistently adhere to a set of requirements or procedures that govern the consensus development process.

ISO - International Organization for Standardization

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from more than 145 countries, one from each country. ISO is a non-governmental organization established in 1947 and based in Geneva, Switzerland. Its mission is to promote the development of standardization and related activities in the world with a view to facilitating the international exchange of goods and services, and to developing cooperation in the spheres of intellectual, scientific, technological and economic activity. ISO's work results in international agreements which are published as International Standards and other types of ISO documents

ANSI - American National Standards Institute

ANSI is the sole U.S. representative and dues-paying member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and as a founding member of the ISO, ANSI plays an active role in its governance.

As the voice of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) empowers its members and constituents to strengthen the U.S. marketplace position in the global economy while helping to assure the safety and health of consumers and the protection of the environment. The Institute oversees the creation, promulgation and use of thousands of norms and guidelines that directly impact businesses in nearly every sector: from acoustical devices to construction equipment, from dairy and livestock production to energy distribution, and many more. ANSI is also actively engaged in accrediting programs that assess conformance to standards – including globally-recognized cross-sector programs such as the ISO 9000 (quality) and ISO 14000 (environmental) management systems. ANSI is often asked about the total number of standards (and standards setting bodies) in the United States. It is estimated that in the U.S. today there are hundreds of “traditional” standards developing organizations – with the 20 largest SDOs producing 90% of the standards – and hundreds more “non-traditional” standards development bodies, such as consortia. This means that the level of U.S. participation is quite expansive as the groups themselves are comprised of individual committees made up of experts addressing the technical requirements of standards within their specific area of expertise. At year-end 2003, about 200 of these standards developers were accredited by ANSI; there were more than 10,000 American National Standards (ANS).

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RESOURCE: www.ansica.org



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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