Standards Development How-to

Action Plan

A Process for Expanding Your Committee’s Offerings

For more than 110 years ASTM International members have been collaborating to create standards needed in the marketplace. More recently, technical committee members have been contributing to the development of ASTM standards-related products and services. As an ASTM member, you are positioned to take part in a process that results in these offerings. Whether it’s a new personnel or product certification program, an e-learning module, video for a test method or development of an industry product category rule, you can help with creating relevant products and services that enhance the use of the standards you work so hard to create.

Use this framework to be a part of the process.

  • Participate: Be an active member of your technical committee or committees, and become involved in such ASTM International forums as the Built Environment Advisory Committee or the coming similar groups for smart manufacturing and aviation.
  • Build relationships: Engage other professionals in discussions about your industry and where it’s headed, and what needs that industry may have for standards, training or certification — or other services.
  • Identify: Monitor the emerging issues, trends and national or international priorities affecting your industry; evaluate the use of your industry’s standards in the marketplace. Share this important information.
  • Plan: Consider trends within the context of standards and related services, consult with customers about what is needed. A new standard or suite of standards? A video of a test method? A training course? A certification course? Identify research and funding needs, and set priorities based on needs and available resources.
  • Implement: Communicate these needs and possible resources to ASTM International (contact information below) to create a path forward.

The recently organized Built Environment Advisory Committee illustrates how ASTM is responding to changing needs in the building industry, an area where ASTM committees have long made a positive impact. Numerous committees, including A01 on Steel, Stainless Steel and Related Alloys, C01 on Cement, D07 on Wood, D08 on Roofing and Waterproofing, E06 on Performance of Buildings, and many more have contributed hundreds of standards for building components for use in the marketplace.

Today, with such considerations as energy efficiency and sustainability affecting the entire building industry, new standards are being developed and need to be developed that approach the built environment as interactive systems and address structures as a whole. Daniel Lemieux, principal and unit manager for Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc., Fairfax, Va., says, “The fundamental mission of the BEAC, in my mind, is to facilitate communication and an exchange of ideas between and among the professionals at ASTM who are actively engaged in standards development that directly influence our built environment, yet remain organized at the committee and subcommittee levels by practice area and discipline in a way that does not foster consistent and effective communication and collaboration. The potential of the BEAC to remove some of those barriers and allow ASTM members to work more closely together toward the development of standards that promote and reflect the need for more fully integrated, durable and energy-efficient higher performing buildings is particularly exciting for me as chairman of E06.55 and the E06 representative to the BEAC.”

BEAC, with representatives from a number of the many ASTM committees that consider various aspects of the built environment, exists to promote collaboration and communicate about the challenges and opportunities for standards and related services for the built environment. “The opportunity that we have as members of the BEAC to help guide ASTM across all practice areas and disciplines toward a more open and collaborative platform for standards development and new, potentially viable sources of revenue that include personnel certification and training-based certificate programs has never been more timely or relevant than it is right now,” Lemieux says. The group welcomes additional participation as it furthers collaboration with outside groups such as the American National Standards Institute Energy Efficiency Standardization Coordination Collaborative and the National Institute of Building Sciences, and on initiating new or additional standards work on system performance, application and installation, and on facilitating additional coordination on subcommittees that address ceilings/roofs and walls.

To explore ideas for new products and services, contact your staff manager or Brian Meincke, ASTM International assistant vice president of business development (phone: 610-832-9613). Anyone interested in participating in BEAC should contact Stephen Mawn, staff manager, ASTM International (phone: 610-832-9726).

Brian Meincke is assistant vice president of business development at ASTM International.

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This article appears in the issue of Standardization News.