Membership Information, Balloting and Rosters
To develop consensus standards, you need to collaborate. To collaborate, you need (among other things) correct contact information. And, when logged on to “MyASTM/MyCommittees,” a line with a link, “Please check your contact information and update if needed,” works to keep you in the loop.
Keeping your contact information up to date ensures that you will continue to receive various communications from ASTM — such as meeting information, program announcements and member publications — but in particular, ballot notifications. Updated contact information also facilitates your communications with your subcommittee and main committee colleagues. Individual member contact information can be accessed as an option under each main committee affiliation, including contact information, classification, voting status and, if applicable, the “non-vote” reason.
If or when you change employment, ASTM regulations require you to complete a new membership application. After the application has been processed, the system notifies the main committee membership secretary so that classification and voting status can be assigned relative to your new affiliation. This data leads to the other critical need for accurate information on rosters: balloting.
The Regulations Governing ASTM Technical Committees require that 60 percent of official votes be returned on a ballot; official votes depend on a balance between producer and user/general interest members on a classified committee, which applies to most ASTM committees. There is also a limit of one vote per company/organization, which impacts balance. And that balance is first registered by the questions you answer when joining an ASTM committee and is then monitored through rosters and their maintenance.
As for main committee membership secretaries and subcommittee chairmen — you have responsibility for maintaining rosters, which are accessed through “MyTools” under “MyASTM.” Staff recommends that rosters be reviewed before in-person meetings and before a main committee ballot is issued.
The ASTM Technical Committee Officer Handbook notes that the membership secretary should prepare a written report (more about the reports shortly) for approval by the executive subcommittee. This report should be attached to the minutes and may contain some or all of the information available within the roster maintenance area such as:
- Presentation of new members with recommendation of classification and their voting status or placement on a waiting list for official vote, which can occur when producers join a classified committee that is already in balance, and
- Tally of committee members (see balance report below).
- Producer Wait List — Should you have non-official voting producers waiting to join because of balance requirements, their information will appear in this report.
- Balance — The numbers of producer, user, consumer, general interest, unclassified and total members, for both official and non-official voting members, will be tallied in this report.
- Membership — Delineated by dates that you choose, the membership report provides several options. You can choose to view segments of these numbers, including new members, members changing employment, members removed from roster, affiliates (current roster only), committee balance (current roster only) or all the above.
- MS Excel/MS Word Rosters — Download immediately or choose to receive an email with a link to the report once it has been generated (in either format). The Excel format facilitates sorting and makes finding official voting members, or producers or international participants, for example, easier. The Word format provides a snapshot of all the information you need to know about your group.
- Meeting Attendance List — A report that includes subcommittee or main committee members in alphabetical order by last name facilitates recording attendance, which can then be entered into meeting minutes.
The “Roster Maintenance” link under “MyTools” is now accompanied by a red rectangle with a superimposed numeral — a recently added feature — for the number of members who need voting status and classification assignments. Clicking the link under “Pending Applications” will begin that process, and guidance on making the assignments will be provided according to information on the application. When reviewing pending applications, you will see the subcommittee, person’s name and professional information in order to choose a classification and official vote (as long as one is available in accordance with balance requirements).
If your committee meets at a committee week and you anticipate last minute membership changes, you may wish to print out needed reports at the ASTM registration desk member office. In this case, anyone who just joined will be able to participate fully in standards deliberations.
One final note related to maintaining a roster: Check the ballot inactivity reports located under “Ballots & Work Items” in the “MyTools” options. Should a member not return more than one or two ballots, a phone call or email will help to determine continued interest. Otherwise, after three ballots are not returned, the executive committee may wish to remove the inactive member’s voting rights, creating an opening for a new non-voting member.
If you experience technical issues with running the reports, contact the Support Desk by calling 1-800-262-1373 (U.S. or Canada) or 1-610-832-9578 (international) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, or send an email request available at www.astm.org/SUPPORT. For other questions related to the information included in roster reports or related technical committee regulations, contact your staff manager.
This article appears in the issue of Standardization News.