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The U. S. Standards Development System and Process: The American Way

Pamela Suett, B.S.

Course Outline

This four-hour course provides an overview of today's U.S. standard development environment, examples of the various types of standards and sources, and how standard development relates government and national and international business.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student will be able to:

Course Content

The course content is in a MS Word (80 MB) file The U. S. Standards Development System and Process: The American Way. You need to open or download this document to study this course. Because of the size of the file, it may take a while to open or download the file. Please be patient. It is recommended that you download the file to your local machine before opening it.

This course consists of the following six lessons:

Lesson 1 - Course Overview
Topic: Description of Course

Lesson 2 - The Big Picture
Topic: Lesson Overview
Topic: The Impact of Standards on Business and Industry
Topic: The Role of Professional and Technical Societies
Topic: The Importance of Standards in Local and Federal Government
Topic: Standards in the News - Protecting our National Security

Lesson 3 - Standards Today - The World Has Changed
Topic: Lesson Overview
Topic: National or International Standards?
Topic: Harmonization of Standards
Topic: Changes in the Content of Standards
Topic: Conforming to Standards Will Determine Market Success
Topic: Interoperability and Data Exchange
Topic: Strategic Importance of Standards
Topic: Increased Reliance on Voluntary Standards

Lesson 4 - Types of Standards
Topic: Lesson Overview
Topic: Classifying Standards by Function - What is the Source of the Standardization?
Topic: Classifying Standards by Origin - What is the Source?
Topic: The Evolution of Standards

Lesson 5 - U.S. National Standards Development - The American Way
Topic: Lesson Overview
Topic: The Key Features of the U.S. Standards System
Topic: Who's on First - The Players in the U.S. Standards Development Process
Topic: The Backbone of the U.S. System - Voluntary Consensus Standards
Topic: American National Standards - How Does ANSI Do It?
Topic: Requirements for ANSI Accreditation
Topic: Legal Issues - Things to Consider

Lesson 6 - What's in it for me? How and Why to Participate in Standards Development
Topic: Lesson Overview
Topic: Do We Really Need this Standard? - The First Steps
Topic: Getting Involved - Faculty and Students
Topic: Getting Involved - Business
Topic: Getting Involved - Trade and Professional Societies
Topic: Getting Involved - Government and Public Policy
Topic: Getting Involved - Consumers

This course also includes a Glossary of Terms in PDF format.


This course is a part of E-Learning Program offered by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). ANSI is a private, non-profit organization that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization system. The Institute represents the interests of its company, organizational, government, institutional and international members through its headquarters in Washington, DC and its operations center in New York City.

The Education and Training Department of ANSI in conjunction with the ANSI Committee on Education developed this course. The following subject matter experts and ANSI staff were contributors to this course:

Dr. William F. Kelly, Professor, The Catholic University of America
Dr. Steven Spivak, Professor, The University of Maryland
Diane Thompson, Thompson Consulting, Inc.


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered professional engineer. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.