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How Standards are Written

The working groups write the standards, but the standards must reflect the consensus of opinion in the industry. To ensure that they do, each standard is sent to a formal public review at least once, and some are sent two or more times. During a public review the draft standard is freely distributed to anyone interested in reviewing it. Reviewers offer comments on the draft standard, and the working group then has to attempt to revise the standard to the satisfaction of the commentor. For any comment that is not accepted, the working group has to provide a written reason why. The process of sending a draft standard to public review, receiving comments, and revising the standard on the basis of those comments is a slow one, but it ensures that the standards drafted are fair and technically sound. Public reviews are announced in ANSI's Standards Action, in ESTA's Standards Watch, on the ESTA web site, and through press releases.

Our Policies and Procedures for the Development and Approval of Technical Standards and other documents related to our procedures are available from links on the Procedural Documents page. There you also will find a link to a working group application form, which you may use if you are interested in joining a working group, either as a voting member or as an observer member. Documents currently in public review are available from the Public Review Documents page. Published standards, both the current versions and the obsolete versions, are listed on the Published Documents page.