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Work Item Registration

New Internet-Based Tracking System Allows Worldwide Access to ASTM Work Items in Progress

by Scott Orthey

How does a quality expert in China, a businessman in Venezuela, a Japanese steel manufacturer, a Brazilian defense contractor, or a U.S. construction engineer locate a draft of a new standard or a revision that is under consideration by an ASTM technical committee? If a stakeholder wants information about a new activity, what means does ASTM International have to support this request? What if a system could be developed to enable our global stakeholders to help themselves to this information?

ASTM is pleased to announce a new system designed to initiate, develop, and track draft standards and revisions before and during balloting.

Naturally, ASTM has always tracked its Work Items in-house. The only time, however, that a standard in development could be found by the general public on our Web site was when it reached the balloting stage and was posted on ASTM’s Society Review Ballot pages. Information about standards work in stages other than Society Review was unavailable for public review. This new system will provide for registration of revisions and new standards upon inception so they may be tracked even before they go to ballot. Now, anyone who wants to know whether ASTM is developing or revising a specific standard will be able to perform a search for keywords, sign up for an e-mail advisory service that provides notification of new Work Items in their area of interest, and view a committee’s jurisdiction for the item in question.

The new system will also allow members to develop clean, easy to understand ballot items faster and more conveniently than in the past. Therefore, we are requiring the registration of all new Work Items (revisions and new standards) as soon as the subcommittee or subcommittee chairman authorizes them. Registration of a new Work Item is Web-based, thorough, user-friendly, and intuitive.

There are seven steps to register a Work Item.

Step 1: Login

From the "Members Only" page click on “Create or Edit a Work Item.” Select “Register a New Work Item” or “Edit an Existing Work Item.” Also indicate the committee for the Work Item.

Step 2: Type

Select type of Work Item — new standard or revision. Also, select the subcommittee in which the Work Item will be located.

Step 3: Target

Indicate the target date for submission to ballot, authorization of the new Work Item, and the lead contact for the Work Item.

Step 4: Task Group

If you have members serving on your task group, you may indicate their names here. This information will be kept for the duration of the Work Item and may be edited for changes at any time. The task group membership is not a requirement for Work Item registration.

Step 5: Title and Scope/Rationale

For new standards, the Work Item registration requires that the title and scope be entered. For revisions, registration requires selection of the standard from a pull-down list of standards, as well as the rationale for the Work Item. These will provide the content for the Work Item summary, so they should be concise, well-written and accurate.

Step 6: Summary

The Work Item submission is summarized for the submitter. A notice is included on this page that the Work Item will be posted on the ASTM Web site within five days. Upon submission of this page, an e-mail describing the Work Item will be sent to the subcommittee chairman, staff manager, technical contact, and standards development editor (for new standards).

Step 7: Confirm

The Work Item (WK) number is indicated in the confirmation.

For new standards, the registration process directs you to development aids that ensure that all of the requirements and considerations for proper development of a new standard are included. For example, following registration of a new standard, the member is offered support such as new standards templates, standards development forums, and press releases.

For revisions to standards, the registration of a new Work Item will inform ASTM Headquarters to provide the technical contact with an electronic version of the standard to use to develop the revision as well as detailed instructions on ballot item preparation and submittal.

As mentioned, the introduction of Work Items will enable searches for information about new standards and revisions. Work Items will also appear on the committee lists of subcommittees and standards.

In order to further assist Society members and all other interested stakeholders in gaining access to this information, a new e-mail advisory service will be implemented. The e-mail advisory service will provide notification to subscribers whenever a new Work Item has been initiated in their area of interest.

The Work Item summary will include the title and scope for new standards and the standard designation, title and rationale for revisions. The description will also include the ballot status for the Work Item as well as information about the staff manager, the committee, and membership.

Your support of the implementation of this new system is most appreciated and will undoubtedly contribute to improved notification to and awareness by all stakeholders of new standards development activities. //

Copyright 2003, ASTM

Scott Orthey has been a staff manager in the ASTM Technical Committee Operations Division since 1984.