Open and Fair Process

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard development process requires a consensus from a balanced group of stakeholders including industry, public health regulators and users who participate in a joint committee process. This consensus-building process is designed for openness and transparency – requiring open discussion, input from stakeholders (including a commenting and voting process) and an appeal process. Developing an ANSI standard is a rigorous process that generally takes from 18 to 36 months.

Accreditation by ANSI signifies the procedures used by a standards development body meet essential requirements for:

  • Openness
  • Balance
  • Consensus
  • Due process (including requirements for transparency, public comment and appeals)

Comparing Public and Private Standards

Public (ANSI) Standards

  • Consumers can trust ANSI standards because they are public — not created by any one special interest or private group.
  • Third-party certifiers can certify to ANSI standards.
  • ANSI standards are recognized by regulators and industry alike.

Private Standards

  • 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.

ANSI’s Role

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.

American National Standards Institute has served as administrator and coordinator of the United States private sector voluntary standardization system for more than 90 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).
  • More than 10,000 American National Standards have been developed across many industries.
  • ANSI accredits close to 250 standards development organizations (SDOs), including NSF International, UL and ASTM.