Staying with Our Mission
About once a year, we like to give our members a break from writing SN feature articles, and come inside ASTM International Headquarters to provide staff coverage of Society-driven, rather than technical committee-driven activities. Every year, just when I think I had surely exhausted all the potential the previous year, just when I think ASTM has gone as far as technology can allow in providing an ever more open, transparent process to its members around the globe, I still find exciting feature material.
In talking with staff about which ASTM capabilities we should highlight, I found the subject matter to be diverse, perhaps a bit too diverse to summarize for the cover of this issue. Then I realized that every subject covered in this feature section is really just a tool for the development of market-relevant global standards.
In the 2004 ASTM Annual Report, which will appear as an insert in the May issue of SN, President James A. Thomas and 2004 Chairman of the Board Arthur D. Schwope state, All major undertakings at ASTM International stem from and support the primary mission of this great organization, the mission from which ASTM has not strayed in 106 years. Quite simply, our number one objective is the development of high quality consensus standards. It occurs to me that the articles in this issue underscore that point perfectly.
The goals of two new offices that further ASTMs mission are described in articles by Jeff Grove and Teresa Cendrowska. Grove, ASTMs new Washington representative, discusses the reasons ASTM reopened its office in Washington, D.C., in November of last year in his article. The office will serve the needs of ASTMs constituency in the national and international arenas simultaneously. By working with U.S. government agencies, ASTM can help ensure that Washington policy regarding international trade keeps the needs of U.S.-based international standards developing organizations in mind.
On the other side of the globe, ASTM, along with three other U.S.-based SDOs, have opened the Consortium for Standards and Conformity Assessment office in Beijing, China, in order to enhance American-Chinese cooperation in standards and conformity assessment. Read all about it in Teresa Cendrowskas feature.
The rest of this issue has a distinct how-to feel about it. The Inside ASTM column features ASTMs new online preregistration capabilities for independent and Committee Week meetings and shows members and non-members how convenient it is to use this new feature of the ASTM Web site. The How To article shows ASTM members ways to increase the multinational participation in and use of their standards. Pat Picariellos feature, The Road to Relevance, describes how ASTMs new activity development benefits the standards community by ensuring stakeholder interest and support, thereby ensuring market relevance. And Jim Olshefskys feature wraps it up by showing how easy it is to use ASTMs virtual meetings to speed the development or revision of your standard.
Between the lines of each of these articles, the same message is echoed. ASTM has been and continues to be committed to its core capability the development of high quality consensus standards. Whether its an office in Beijing that will help increase the input of the worlds newest and biggest trading partner in U.S.-based standardization, or the constant improvement of virtual and in-person meetings, ASTM International is serving business the best way it knows how: with great standards. //
Editor in Chief