American National Standards Institute: Wikis

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Logo of the American National Standards Institute.

The American National Standards Institute or ANSI (pronounced /ˈænsiː/)[citation needed] is a private non-profit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel in the United States. The organization also coordinates U.S. standards with international standards so that American products can be used worldwide. For example, standards make sure that people who own cameras can find the film they need for that camera anywhere around the globe.

ANSI accredits standards that are developed by representatives of standards developing organizations, government agencies, consumer groups, companies, and others. These standards ensure that the characteristics and performance of products are consistent, that people use the same definitions and terms, and that products are tested the same way. ANSI also accredits organizations that carry out product or personnel certification in accordance with requirements defined in international standards.

The organization's headquarters are in Washington, DC. ANSI's operations office is located in New York City.

Contents

History

ANSI was originally formed in 1918, when five engineering societies and three government agencies founded the American Engineering Standards Committee (AESC). In 1928, the AESC became the American Standards Association (ASA). In 1966, the ASA was reorganized and became the United States of America Standards Institute (USASI). The present name was adopted in 1969.

Prior to 1918, these five engineering societies, the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE, now IEEE), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers (now AIME), and the American Society for Testing Materials (now ASTM International), had been members of the United Engineering Society (UES). At the behest of the AIEE, they invited the U.S. government Departments of War, Navy and Commerce to join in founding a national standards organization.

According to Paul G. Agnew, the first permanent secretary and head of staff in 1919, AESC started as an ambitious program and little else. Staff for the first year consisted of one executive, Clifford B. LePage, who was on loan from a founding member, ASME. An annual budget of $7,500 was provided by the founding bodies.

In 1931, the organization (renamed ASA in 1928) became affiliated with the U.S. National Committee of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which had been formed in 1904 to develop electrical and electronics standards.http://www.iec.ch/

Members

ANSI's membership comprises government agencies, organizations, corporations, academic and international bodies, and individuals. In total, the Institute represents the interests of more than 125,000 companies and 3.5 million professionals.[1]

Process

Though ANSI itself does not develop standards, the Institute oversees the development and use of standards by accrediting the procedures of standards developing organizations. ANSI accreditation signifies that the procedures used by standards developing organizations meet the Institute's requirements for openness, balance, consensus, and due process.

ANSI also designates specific standards as American National Standards, or ANS, when the Institute determines that the standards were developed in an environment that is equitable, accessible and responsive to the requirements of various stakeholders.[2]

Voluntary consensus standards quicken the market acceptance of products while making clear how to improve the safety of those products for the protection of consumers. There are approximately 9,500 American National Standards that carry the ANSI designation.

The American National Standards process involves:

  • consensus by a group that is open to representatives from all interested parties
  • broad-based public review and comment on draft standards
  • consideration of and response to comments
  • incorporation of submitted changes that meet the same consensus requirements into a draft standard
  • availability of an appeal by any participant alleging that these principles were not respected during the standards-development process.

International activities

In addition to facilitating the formation of standards in the U.S., ANSI promotes the use of U.S. standards internationally, advocates U.S. policy and technical positions in international and regional standards organizations, and encourages the adoption of international standards as national standards where appropriate.

The Institute is the official U.S. representative to the two major international standards organizations, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), via the U.S. National Committee (USNC). ANSI participates in almost the entire technical program of both the ISO and the IEC, and administers many key committees and subgroups. In many instances, U.S. standards are taken forward to ISO and IEC, through ANSI or the USNC, where they are adopted in whole or in part as international standards.

Examples

Standards Panels:

The Institute administers five standards panels:

  • The ANSI Biofuels Standards Panel (ANSI-BSP)
  • The Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel
  • The ANSI Homeland Security Standards Panel
  • The ANSI Nanotechnology Standards Panel
  • The Identity Theft Prevention and Identity Management Standards Panel

Each of the panels works to identify, coordinate, and harmonize voluntary standards relevant to these areas.

In 2009, ANSI and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) formed the Nuclear Energy Standards Coordination Collaborative (NESCC). NESCC is a joint initiative to identify and respond to the current need for standards in the nuclear industry.

American National Standards include:

  • The ASA (American Standards Association) photographic exposure system became the basis for the ISO film speed system, currently used worldwide (ISO 5800:1987).
  • A standard for the set of values used to represent characters in digital computers. The ANSI code standard extended the previously created ASCII seven bit code standard (ASA X3.4-1963), with additional codes for European alphabets (see also Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code or EBCDIC). In Microsoft Windows, the phrase "ANSI" refers to the Windows ANSI code pages (even though they are not ANSI standards)[3]. Most of these are fixed width, though some characters for ideographic languages are variable width. Since these characters are based on a draft of the ISO-8859 series, some of Microsoft's symbols are visually very similar to the ISO symbols, leading many to falsely assume that they are identical.
  • The first computer programming language standard was "American Standard Fortran" (informally known as "FORTRAN 66"), approved in March 1966 and published as ASA X3.9-1966.
  • The original standard implementation of the programming language C was standardized as ANSI X3.159-1989, becoming the well-known ANSI C.
  • The ANSI-NSF International standards used for commercial kitchens, such as restaurants, cafeterias, delis, etc.
  • The ANSI/APSP (Association of Pool & Spa Professionals) standards used for pools, spas, hot tubs, barriers, and suction entrapment avoidance.
  • The ANS for eye protection is Z87.1, which gives a specific impact resistance rating to the eyewear. This standard is commonly used for shop glasses, shooting glasses, and many other examples of protective eyewear.

Other Initiatives:

  • On June 23, 2009 ANSI announced a product and services agreement with Citation Technologies to deliver all ISO Standards on a web-based platform. Through the ANSI-Citation partnership, 17,765 International Standards developed by more than 3,000 ISO technical bodies will be made available on the citation platform, arming subscribers with powerful search tools and collaboration, notification, and change-management functionality.[6]
  • In early 2009, ANSI launched a new Certificate Accreditation Program (ANSI-CAP) to provide neutral, third-party attestation that a given certificate program meets the American National Standard ASTM E2659-09.
  • In 2009, ANSI began accepting applications for certification bodies seeking accreditation according to requirements defined under the Toy Safety Certification Program (TCSP) as the official third-party accreditor of TSCP’s product certification bodies.
  • In 2006, ANSI launched www.StandardsPortal.com, an online resource for facilitating more open and efficient trade between international markets in the areas of standards, conformity assessment, and technical regulations. The site currently features content for China, India, and Korea, with additional countries and regions planned for future content.

See also

References

External links

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of the American National Standards Institute.]]

The American National Standards Institute or ANSI (pronounced /ˈænsiː/) is a private non-profit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel in the United States. The organization also coordinates U.S. standards with international standards so that American products can be used worldwide. For example, standards make sure that people who own cameras can find the film they need for that camera anywhere around the globe.

ANSI accredits standards that are developed by representatives of standards developing organizations, government agencies, consumer groups, companies, and others. These standards ensure that the characteristics and performance of products are consistent, that people use the same definitions and terms, and that products are tested the same way. ANSI also accredits organizations that carry out product or personnel certification in accordance with requirements defined in international standards.[1]

The organization's headquarters are in Washington, DC. ANSI's operations office is located in New York City. The ANSI annual operating budget is funded by the sale of publications, membership dues and fees, accreditation services, fee-based programs, and international standards programs.

Contents

History

ANSI was originally formed in 1918, when five engineering societies and three government agencies founded the American Engineering Standards Committee (AESC). In 1928, the AESC became the American Standards Association (ASA). In 1966, the ASA was reorganized and became the United States of America Standards Institute (USASI). The present name was adopted in 1969.

Prior to 1918, these five engineering societies:

had been members of the United Engineering Society (UES). At the behest of the AIEE, they invited the U.S. government Departments of War, Navy and Commerce to join in founding a national standards organization.

According to Paul G. Agnew, the first permanent secretary and head of staff in 1919, AESC started as an ambitious program and little else. Staff for the first year consisted of one executive, Clifford B. LePage, who was on loan from a founding member, ASME. An annual budget of $7,500 was provided by the founding bodies.

In 1931, the organization (renamed ASA in 1928) became affiliated with the U.S. National Committee of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which had been formed in 1904 to develop electrical and electronics standards.[2]

Members

ANSI's membership comprises government agencies, organizations, corporations, academic and international bodies, and individuals. In total, the Institute represents the interests of more than 125,000 companies and 3.5 million professionals.[3]

Process

Though ANSI itself does not develop standards, the Institute oversees the development and use of standards by accrediting the procedures of standards developing organizations. ANSI accreditation signifies that the procedures used by standards developing organizations meet the Institute's requirements for openness, balance, consensus, and due process.

ANSI also designates specific standards as American National Standards, or ANS, when the Institute determines that the standards were developed in an environment that is equitable, accessible and responsive to the requirements of various stakeholders.[4]

Voluntary consensus standards quicken the market acceptance of products while making clear how to improve the safety of those products for the protection of consumers. There are approximately 9,500 American National Standards that carry the ANSI designation.

The American National Standards process involves:

  • consensus by a group that is open to representatives from all interested parties
  • broad-based public review and comment on draft standards
  • consideration of and response to comments
  • incorporation of submitted changes that meet the same consensus requirements into a draft standard
  • availability of an appeal by any participant alleging that these principles were not respected during the standards-development process.

International activities

In addition to facilitating the formation of standards in the U.S., ANSI promotes the use of U.S. standards internationally, advocates U.S. policy and technical positions in international and regional standards organizations, and encourages the adoption of international standards as national standards where appropriate.

The Institute is the official U.S. representative to the two major international standards organizations, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), via the U.S. National Committee (USNC). ANSI participates in almost the entire technical program of both the ISO and the IEC, and administers many key committees and subgroups. In many instances, U.S. standards are taken forward to ISO and IEC, through ANSI or the USNC, where they are adopted in whole or in part as international standards.

Standards panels

The Institute administers five standards panels:

  • The ANSI Biofuels Standards Panel (ANSI-BSP)
  • The Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel
  • The ANSI Homeland Security Standards Panel
  • The ANSI Nanotechnology Standards Panel
  • The Identity Theft Prevention and Identity Management Standards Panel

Each of the panels works to identify, coordinate, and harmonize voluntary standards relevant to these areas.

In 2009, ANSI and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) formed the Nuclear Energy Standards Coordination Collaborative (NESCC). NESCC is a joint initiative to identify and respond to the current need for standards in the nuclear industry.

American national standards

  • The ASA (American Standards Association) photographic exposure system became the basis for the ISO film speed system, currently used worldwide (ISO 5800:1987).
  • A standard for the set of values used to represent characters in digital computers. The ANSI code standard extended the previously created ASCII seven bit code standard (ASA X3.4-1963), with additional codes for European alphabets (see also Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code or EBCDIC). In Microsoft Windows, the phrase "ANSI" refers to the Windows ANSI code pages (even though they are not ANSI standards).[5] Most of these are fixed width, though some characters for ideographic languages are variable width. Since these characters are based on a draft of the ISO-8859 series, some of Microsoft's symbols are visually very similar to the ISO symbols, leading many to falsely assume that they are identical.
  • The first computer programming language standard was "American Standard Fortran" (informally known as "FORTRAN 66"), approved in March 1966 and published as ASA X3.9-1966.
  • The original standard implementation of the programming language C was standardized as ANSI X3.159-1989, becoming the well-known ANSI C.
  • The ANSI-NSF International standards used for commercial kitchens, such as restaurants, cafeterias, delis, etc.
  • The ANSI/APSP (Association of Pool & Spa Professionals) standards used for pools, spas, hot tubs, barriers, and suction entrapment avoidance.
  • The ANSI/HI (Hydraulic Institute) standards used for pumps.
  • The ANS for eye protection is Z87.1, which gives a specific impact resistance rating to the eyewear. This standard is commonly used for shop glasses, shooting glasses, and many other examples of protective eyewear.

Other initiatives

  • On June 23, 2009 ANSI announced a product and services agreement with Citation Technologies to deliver all ISO Standards on a web-based platform. Through the ANSI-Citation partnership, 17,765 International Standards developed by more than 3,000 ISO technical bodies will be made available on the citation platform, arming subscribers with powerful search tools and collaboration, notification, and change-management functionality.[8]
  • In early 2009, ANSI launched a new Certificate Accreditation Program (ANSI-CAP) to provide neutral, third-party attestation that a given certificate program meets the American National Standard ASTM E2659-09.
  • In 2009, ANSI began accepting applications for certification bodies seeking accreditation according to requirements defined under the Toy Safety Certification Program (TCSP) as the official third-party accreditor of TSCP’s product certification bodies.
  • In 2006, ANSI launched www.StandardsPortal.org, an online resource for facilitating more open and efficient trade between international markets in the areas of standards, conformity assessment, and technical regulations. The site currently features content for China, India, and Korea, with additional countries and regions planned for future content.

See also

References

External links


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