Committees

    What is an ASTM International technical committee?

    Technical committees develop and maintain ASTM standards. They are grouped by designation according to their scope of work. ASTM committees are made up of volunteers from industry, government, and academia.

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    How do you access a committee webpage or fact sheet?

    All ASTM International technical committees have a home page. You may access them by using the following web address and inserting the committee designation: www.astm.org/COMMIT/X00.htm (e.g., www.astm.org/COMMIT/D02.htm). Fact sheets are available for download under Additional Information.

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    How is a committee formed?

    The process of building new activities within ASTM usually starts small; as it progresses, it gains momentum as well as size and relevance.
    Stage one in the organizational process is the exploratory level.

    • ASTM contacted about possible development of an activity
      Period of due diligence to gather information about the industry and the need for standards
      A few diverse stakeholders are contacted (often from opposite sides of the issue), to see if there is enough support to proceed.

    If the results are promising, we move to stage two: the planning level.

    • Meeting of key stakeholders in the given area - average number of attendees is 10-20 people.
      ASTM-facilitated meeting
      Agenda to determine if there is support for the standards development activity, areas in which standards needed, and if ASTM is an appropriate venue.

    A planning meeting ends with a request (via formal motion) to move to stage three in the organizational process: the organizational level.

    • ASTM-facilitated meeting
      An open meeting is held where all relevant stakeholders are invited to attend and provide input.
      Formal motions to approve a title, scope, and structure for the activity.
      Final motion to organize a new activity within ASTM

    Through an organizational process that depends upon stakeholder interest and support, new activities are likely to reflect the needs of an industry and consequently, are more likely to have a constructive start and remain relevant.

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    Who conducts ASTM International committee meetings?

    Volunteer members, with guidance from ASTM staff, are elected or appointed to serve in various leadership positions and conduct the meetings in accordance with the ASTM Regulations Governing Technical Committees.

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    How can I join an ASTM International committee? Can anyone join a committee?

    Any interested person can participate on a technical committee through ASTM membership. Members may join additional committees and subcommittees by selecting "Join Additional Committees" in the "MyCommittees" page of the ASTM website. To join ASTM, go to www.astm.org/join.

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    What is “balance” within an ASTM International committee?

    The Regulations Governing ASTM Technical Committees require voting balance in a committee and a subcommittee. That balance comes through official and non-official votes.

    The ASTM consensus process and its goal of producing the most useful standard possible calls for representatives of small firms or consultancies to have the same vote as a large corporation. Small- and medium-sized enterprises with one or two representatives have an equal footing with multinational corporate giants that have numerous representatives on a subcommittee or committee. This collective expertise should lead to more technical proficiency in a standard, but it must not lead to results that favor a certain company's process or product.

    Balance is achieved by classifying members as producers, users, consumers and general interest — that is, their voting interest — on ASTM committees that develop standards for materials, products, systems or services that are offered for sale. Producers may not outnumber the user, consumer and general interest members of a subcommittee, and producers can have only 50 percent or less of the vote.

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