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What is ANSI?

ANSI – The American National Standards Institute.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI,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.

ANSI accredits standards that are developed by representatives of other standards 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, D.C. 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.

Although 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.[8]

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.

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