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ANSI does not itself develop American National Standards. Instead, it promotes the development of standards by providing the basic structure and guidelines needed to achieve a consensus by all members.
The Institute ensures that its guiding principles – consensus, due process and openness – are followed by these standards developers through the process of accreditation, the most commonly used being the Canvass method. Using this method, the accredited sponsor conducts a canvass or mail poll of persons known to be directly or materially affected by the subject covered by the scope of the standard, in order to obtain evidence of consensus for approval of the standard as an American National Standard.
- A pre-canvass list identifying those that are potentially interested in and affected by the proposed standard is compiled by a SPRI Task Force. Areas of interest are defined to accommodate the document being canvassed.
- A pre-canvass survey is done soliciting participation.
- A press release is issued announcing the intent to canvass inviting participation from those not originally identified by the SPRI Task Force.
- ANSI announces canvass in Standards Action.
- Canvass begins:
- Negative ballots are reviewed by Task Force members.
- Volunteer leader/Task Force responds in writing to all negatives.
- Substantial changes to the proposed standard require recirculation to the complete canvass list.
- Canvass participants must be advised of their right to appeal.
- If any negatives cannot be resolved, the document, the negative ballot and all correspondence must be circulated to the complete canvass list for reconsideration. Any participant can change their vote.
- Once balloting has closed, the document and necessary paperwork are submitted to ANSI with the ballot results.
- A SPRI Task Force creates a document which is reviewed and approved by the SPRI Technical Committee and Board of Directors.
- The SPRI-approved document is then submitted for industry approval through the ANSI-approved SPRI canvass process.