The process used by ASTM to develop standards is extremely flexible, honed over 111 years to accomodate a diverse collection of activities. Test methods, specifications, classifications, practices, guides, and terminology are different categories of standards offered by ASTM. Areas ranging from petroleum, steel, and plastics to homeland security, unmanned vehicles, and sustainability have all achieved standards-based solutions via ASTM's process.
ASTM receives a variety of requests for new standards development activities ranging from a single standard to a new main technical committee. It's important to note that not all requests ultimately reach fruition. As the organizational process evolves, it may be determined that the stakeholder interest is insufficient, other standards may exist that satisfy the particular need, or that it is premature for a consensus standards program. When a request is intially submitted, ASTM maps the scope and subject area to our existing committee population. If we are able to find an appropriate venue, we coordinate with the officers of the committee and subcommittee(s) in question. If the request covers an area unrepresented within ASTM, we proceed with our new activity organizational process.