Orienting New Members

    It’s challenging for new ASTM members to learn about our process and effectively participate. To reduce the learning curve, our staff members take a number of actions when a new member joins.

    • Immediately after joining, the new member receives a welcome email with information about how to log on, create a password and sign up for training. A staff member follows up with a phone call offering assistance in these areas.
    • Three weeks after joining, new members receive a welcome packet via regular mail that contains general ASTM information.
    • Within four weeks, each new member is invited to attend a virtual new-member orientation as well as other modules covering balloting, handling negatives, etc.
    • Staff conducts lunchtime training modules every Tuesday and Wednesday during committee weeks.
    • New members attending in-person meetings can visit a member lounge with where staff will be happy to demonstrate our website and the My Committees area.
    • Short videos on our website show how to do certain tasks (logging on, voting, etc.).
    • Finally, all committee staff managers are available to answer questions by phone or email. To find your committee’s staff manager, search for your committee name or number (e.g., “F15” or “Consumer Products”) from any page on our website.

    Committee-Specific Training Options

    We encourage all committees to take steps beyond the general orientations. Your new members will want to learn about the standards under each subcommittee as well as programs such as training and certificate courses, proficiency testing, symposia and workshops, certification, etc. Please consider the following additional training options.

    • Committee training module — May be conducted on a regular basis by the staff manager and an officer. Sessions may cover the ASTM standards development process, subcommittees and standards, administrative subcommittees, and committee programs.
    • Committee letter — May be distributed to new members on a regular basis to explain the ASTM process and committee-specific programs and practices (see below for an example).
    • Mentoring — Some committees identify new members with a badge sticker or introduce new members at their opening main meeting. This helps seasoned members reach out to new members in attendance and answer any questions they may have.
    • Phone calls — Depending on the average number of new members per month, staff or officers may choose to call each new member to explain committee practices and programs. If committees choose this option, they should coordinate with the ASTM Membership area to avoid calling the same new member twice.

    Sample Committee Letter

    Note: This is a letter to a new member of a classified committee from the staff manager. Unclassified committee letters do not include classification info. Waiting list information should not be included for committees that have no problems with waiting lists.

    Dear XXXXXXX,

    Thank you for joining ASTM International and Committee X##.

    My name is XXXXXXX, and I am the committee’s staff manager. As staff manager, I am here to answer your questions about ASTM’s standards development process and related programs, as well as assist the committee and its membership with all standards-related objectives. I look forward to your participation in ASTM.

    Getting Started

    If you have not already done so, please log in to the member area of the ASTM website by clicking on the red login button at the top of the ASTM homepage at www.astm.org. Use your member number (or the e-mail address you have on record with ASTM) and your password to log in. After you log in, you will have access to ‘My Committees.’ In ‘My Committees,’ under the Committee banner, you will see a row of links. The link for “Ballots” will take you to ballots that are currently open. Your participation is crucial during the balloting process as ASTM standards derive much of their relevance from the breadth of participation present during their development. Other links, such as “Agendas,” will take you to agendas from past and future meetings, the “Minutes” link displays minutes from past meetings, and the “Rosters” link contains contact information for committee and subcommittee membership.

    Voting

    Only one member from an organization may hold the “official vote”; this ensures that no single company has the opportunity to dominate the standards development process.

    Committees having a commercial interest require that each member be classified so the committee can ensure a balance between producers and non-producers. Here are the ASTM definitions for each classification.

    • Producer – A member who represents a voting interest that produces or sells materials, products, systems, or services covered in the committee or subcommittee scope.
    • User – A member who represents a voting interest that purchases or uses materials, products, systems, or services other than for household use covered in the committee or subcommittee scope, provided that the member could not also be classified as a producer.
    • General Interest – A member who cannot be categorized as a producer or user.

    Occasionally, producers may be placed on a waiting list for an official vote in order to maintain balance between the producer and non-producer voting membership.

    All members are notified when a ballot is issued. While official voting status is not assigned to everyone; all members have the opportunity to return ballots and provide feedback, including submission of negative votes. All negatives (from both voting members and non-voting members) must be resolved before a standard can move forward in the process. If you have not already, you will soon receive an email from ASTM informing you of your assigned classification and voting status.

    Member Training

    ASTM International offers free, one-hour, online virtual training sessions throughout the year at different dates and times. There are also additional tools such as the New Member Orientation & Training and the Balloting & Handling of Negatives Votes modules. Registration only takes a moment and the meeting can be added to your calendar. See /MEMBER_TRAINING/.

    If you have any questions about ASTM, please contact me at 610-832-XXXX staffmanagername@astm.org.

    Again, thank you for your interest and participation in the committee. We look forward to working with you in the future.

    Best regards,
    Name
    Manager, Technical Committee Operations