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March/April 2011
Feature

It’s All About You

A Snapshot of Today’s Codes and Standards Developing Volunteer

In 2010, ASTM International, along with five other standards developing organizations and the American National Standards Institute, commissioned a study that would provide demographic information about today’s codes and standards volunteers, including their work and committee experience, reasons for participating in standards development activities, employer support for their participation and their use of standards development technology. The survey will help ASTM and other participating organizations understand how to best serve their members’ needs now and into the future.

The result is a portrait of the busy but committed volunteers who make up the ranks of not only ASTM International, but major standards and code developing organizations based in the United States. Following are just a few statistics that show where you sit on the continuum of codes and standards professionals. For a copy of the full survey results, click here.

Top Three Reasons Cited for Volunteer Participation

Employer Benefit:

  • Ability to influence content of codes and standards
  • Contribution to improved safety and performance of products/issues covered by standards
  • Early awareness of new or revised requirements

Personal Benefit:

  • Professional development
  • Professional networking
  • Professional recognition

Small and Medium Enterprises Well-Represented in ASTM International

In recent research conducted by ASTM International about its members, small and medium enterprises ranked high. More than half of the members participating in ASTM’s standards developing technical committees are employed in enterprises with 250 or fewer employees.

The participation of SMEs in standards development is crucial. Standards — technical documents that help ensure product safety, quality and interoperability — facilitate trade and form the backbone of worldwide legislation and regulations. Likewise, SMEs fuel economies in Europe and the United States — they provide a majority of private sector jobs and training opportunities for workers; account for half or more of gross domestic product in these regions, and play a key role in innovation and R&D. Input from SMEs into the development of voluntary consensus standards is essential to ensuring that these standards include the latest technology and best practices.