Open and Fair Process
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) facilitates the development of American National Standards (ANS) by accrediting the procedures of standards developing organizations (SDOs) in accordance with the ANSI Essential Requirements. 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:
- due process
A list of ANSI-accredited standards developers is available at www.ansi.org/asd. This consensus-building process is designed for openness and transparency – requiring input from stakeholders (including public notice and a public commenting and voting process) and an appeal process. Developing an American National Standard is a rigorous process that generally takes from 18 to 36 months depending on the standards developer’s procedures, and includes a period when the draft standard is open for public review and comment.
Comparing Public and Private Standards
Public (ANSI) Standards
- Consumers can trust American National Standards (ANS) because they are subject to ANSI’s neutral oversight, approval and audit process as well as public notice and comment consideration requirements – not created by any one special interest or closed group.
- Third-party certifiers can certify to American National (ANS) standards.
- American National Standards are recognized by regulators and industry alike.
- Proprietary standards may be set by individual firms or groups of firms.
- With private standards, consumers don’t know what criteria are used.
- Private standards may not hold up to the scrutiny of state or federal regulators.
- Independent certification bodies may not be able to certify to private standards.
- Consensus and transparency may be influenced by financial gain for the standard holder and not in the service of a higher public health mission.
ANSI plays an important role in developing voluntary, national consensus standards. According to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular No. A-119¹, federal government agencies are required to use voluntary standards for regulatory and procurement purposes when appropriate. American National Standards are recognized by regulators and industry alike.
ANSI has served as administrator and coordinator of the United States private sector voluntary standardization system for more than 100 years. Founded in 1918 by five engineering societies and three government agencies, ANSI remains a private, nonprofit membership organization supported by a diverse constituency of private and public sector organizations.
- ANSI is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
- ANSI is a member of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation.
- ANSI continues to work with over 60 scheme owners globally in wide range of sectors.
- More than 11,000 American National Standards have been developed across many industries.
- ANSI accredits close to 250 standards development organizations (SDOs), including NSF International, UL and ASTM.