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Presentation Purpose:  Educate on similarities and differences between standards organizations in North America.  Ultimate goal: Enhance the effectiveness.

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Presentation on theme: "Presentation Purpose:  Educate on similarities and differences between standards organizations in North America.  Ultimate goal: Enhance the effectiveness."— Presentation transcript:


2 Presentation Purpose:  Educate on similarities and differences between standards organizations in North America.  Ultimate goal: Enhance the effectiveness for saving lives from within the common community of radon stakeholders including EPA, States, Tribes, and AARST.

3 Background on Consensus  Generally, Standards Developing Organizations develop document content based upon the consensus of those participants that make the effort to be involved.  Without hearing a voice on a concern, the committee likely cannot know if they are off-base or missing an important viewpoint.

4 Living documents:  Drafts are created and approved subsequent to amendments that result from review, comment and voting procedures.  Maintenance entails consideration for revisions or withdrawal. Revisions can occur whenever a need is identified.  Initiation to consider revision is typically required within each five-year period.

5 Background: Organizations  There are many international standards organizations. Highest recognition:  International Standards Organization (ISO),  International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC),  International Telecommunication Union (ITU).  Each country or economy has a single recognized standards body for ISO participation (i.e. ANSI for the U.S.).

6 International Overview

7 Government Standards:  EPA staff for an urgent situation initially developed Radon standards. However, voluntary standards are not typically developed or maintained by federal or local government.

8 Government Standards:  The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act, passed in 1995, requires the federal government to use privately developed consensus standards whenever possible. The Act reflects what had long been recommended as best practice within the federal government.  (Quoted from the ASTM website)

9 Standards Implementation  Standards are developed voluntarily and used voluntarily unless cited in a contract, or mandated through a governmental body.  Contracts, corporations or government may choose to reference single documents, multiple documents and often even stipulate to add text deletions or additions to a referenced document.

10 Background on Organizations  A variety of mechanisms exist at different organizations for procedures, participation, voting and balance.  The following slides illustrate key components and examples of accredited structures that vary in structure depending upon scope of participants and projects.

11 Oversight

12 Participation

13 Formal Consensus

14 ANSI  The American National Standards Institute plays a central role in coordination of American National Standards and with international standards (ISO).  Not all standards or documents developed by ANSI affiliated organizations are American National Standards. There are times where the purpose, scope or intent may not apply.

15 ANSI Accreditation & Audits  Openness  Lack of dominance  Balance  Coordination and harmonization  Consideration of views and objections  Consensus vote  Appeals  Compliance with normative ANS policies/procedures

16 Scope: ASTM * Consortium  ASTM maintains 12,000+ standards with participation of over 30,000 members. Membership is open to anyone with an interest.  Consortium documents are specific to radon activities. There are no members since there are no membership requirements associated with participation or voting rights.

17 Committee Structure:

18 Committee Structure: ASTM  Nearly 140 technical committees covering diverse industry areas ranging from metals to the environment. Under each committee there are several subcommittees, and there may be dozens of “Task groups” that create and maintain each standard. Committee E06 was formed in 1946 and has approximately 245 standards. E06 has over 1,000 members.

19 Committee Structure: ASTM  There may be one or several standards assigned to a task group or technical contact. Task groups often function informally for creation of draft text and in deciding content and persuasiveness of comments reviewed.  The first formal consensus body is the larger subcommittee where balloting occurs.  The next level of formal voting takes place at the main committee level.

20 Committee Structure:Consortium  By comparison, each Consortium committee is an independent consortium group comprised of about 7-14 volunteers with a non-voting chairperson to facilitate progress.  The Executive Stakeholder Committee addresses policy, oversight and facilitative issues.  Each subcommittee addresses a specific standards document.

21 Committee Structure:Consortium  Primary stakeholder groups represented with a vote in all committees and decisions  Primary Stakeholder groups are those that deal directly with the public to include……….. Regulated States * Non-regulated States * Home Inspectors * Proficiency Programs * Educators * Measurement Professionals * and Mitigation Professionals.

22 Committee Structure:Consortium  To the extent possible, nominations for delegates to render formal consensus throughout the process are sought from the stakeholder group being represented.  Where organizational structure for a stakeholder group does not exist in a manner to officially offer nominations, nominees are sought and names published to allow stakeholder groups to object to a nominee.

23 Committee Structure:Consortium  Much like today’s EPA sponsored forum and Wikipedia ‘s reference to industry consortia (i.e. consortia standards for HTML, CSS, and XML used universally throughout the world): The Consortium was also envisioned as a truly needed ongoing forum for resolution to problems that crop up almost monthly by rendering consensus resolution statements.

24 Formal Consensus Process:

25 Formal Consensus: ASTM  At ASTM: Formal voting, balance or detailed minutes of the deliberations are not required of Task group activities.  Subcommittee and main committee rosters must be balanced where the voting producers cannot outnumber the combined voting users and general interest members.

26 Formal Consensus: ASTM  A 60 % return of voting members ballots is required.  A 2/3 % affirmative vote (not including abstentions) is required for subcommittee ballots, and a 90% affirmative vote is required for main committee.

27 Formal Consensus: Consortium  By comparison, Consortium consensus requirements apply throughout all policy and document content decisions.  Consensus is deemed to have been achieved with no less than 60% majority of a full 100% of voters on the specific committee.

28 Balance: ASTM & Consortium  Throughout nationally accredited organizations, a line is drawn between:  PRODUCERS of products that are used as a result of a standard  and USERS of standards ( i.e. user industry, user government or general interest).  Typically producers of products related to the document cannot outnumber general interest participants and end-users of a document.


30  Document content is based upon the consensus of those participants that make the effort to be involved.  Formal consensus mechanisms like these organizations create the first and respected reference material traditionally sought by both public and private sectors as precedence.

31  Where jurisdictional authority is extended by legislation for regulation, a different dynamic in responsibility and consensus exists than for voluntary programs & voluntary standards.  Where jurisdictional authority is not mandated by legislation, voluntary programs and standards are tools and the only legal precedence to affect “market regulation”.

32  Even where jurisdictional authority exists, precedence for related topics that are outside the legislated scope is traditionally sought from voluntary standards.  In contracts (i.e. RPP credentials), voluntary standards can be contract requirements yet the recourse for abuse is usually limited to termination of contract (i.e. credential).

33  Industry volunteerism and urgency to establish responsible and “level field” practices is a critical component in almost all existing standards on almost any topic.  Where no government funding or interest is extended, industry is sometimes the only attendee at the table for many standards.

34  Six months of Consortium initiative towards cooperative harmonization of competing efforts in mitigation standards demonstrates: 1) The Consortium does not care who hosts the document. 2) It cares about stakeholder support second only to functional consensus.


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