The coordinator of the U.S. voluntary standards and conformity assessment system, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), has released a revised version of the United States Standards Strategy (USSS).
Available online in digital format, the USSS describes the principles and tactics that guide how the United States develops standards and participates in the international standards-setting process.
The revised 2015 version contains minor changes that reflect current national priorities and industry growth areas, including innovative technologies such as smart cities, the Internet of Things, and cybersecurity.
All proposed editorial revisions were considered and finalized by the ANSI Executive Committee and its senior staff, and the revised USSS was unanimously approved by the ANSI board of directors at its year-end meeting on December 2, 2015.
Voluntary consensus standards serve as the foundation of the U.S. economy, and are the fundamental building blocks for innovation and competitiveness on the global stage. The USSS builds on the traditional strengths of the U.S. system — such as consensus, openness, and transparency — while giving additional emphasis to speed, relevance, and meeting important national priorities.
First published in 2000 as the National Standards Strategy for the United States, the USSS underwent substantial revision in late 2005, and the title of the document was changed to reflect the need for standards that meet stakeholder needs irrespective of national borders. Under an agreement that it would be revisited on a regular basis to ensure relevancy, a subsequent edition of the USSS was published in December 2010.
ANSI, the U.S. representative in non-treaty international and regional standards-setting activities, serves as the facilitator and administrator of the development process of the USSS, which relies on the coordinated efforts of a large and diverse group of constituents representing stakeholders in government, industry, standards developing organizations, consortia, consumer groups, and academia. The strategy reflects a global standardization environment that incorporates new types of standards development activities, more flexible approaches, and varying structure.
ANSI president and CEO S. Joe Bhatia said the revised USSS continues to reflect the stability and flexibility of the U.S. standards system.
“The strategy takes into account the diverse needs of industry and government, and serves as a vision for the future of the U.S. standards system, which is essential to U.S. competitiveness in the global economy,” Bhatia said.
The USSS details 12 key initiatives, including:
- Strengthening government participation in development and use of voluntary consensus standards through public-private partnerships
- Continuing to address the environment, health, and safety in the development of voluntary standards
- Working to prevent standards and their application from becoming technical trade barriers to U.S. products and services; and
- Establishing standards education as a priority within the U.S. private, public, and academic sectors
“As always, I encourage every member of the U.S. standardization community to read and endorse the U.S. Standards Strategy, and I urge all to incorporate its core tactics into their own organization’s business and strategic practices,” Bhatia said.
The USSS and accompanying background information can be found at www.ansi.org/usss or www.us-standards-strategy.org. A related document guiding the principles of U.S. conformity assessment activities, the United States Conformity Assessment Principles, can be viewed at www.ansi.org/uscap.