What is ANSI?

Malcolm Tatum

Short for the American National Standards Institute, ANSI helps to promote the standardization process that began in the United States in 1918. Founded with the efforts of three government agencies and five different engineering associations, ANSI currently functions as a private organization that is supported by a comprehensive network of both public and private entities. Currently, the Institute has over a thousand members, with the member base representing a wide range of businesses, government entities, and private organizations.

Man with a drill
Man with a drill

From the beginning of ANSI, the goal has been to establish operational and business standards that help to keep the United States competitive in the global market. This is accomplished by promoting standards that are to the mutual benefit of all the organizations involved. One of the main mechanisms for creating and maintaining the standards promoting by ANSI is a process of conformity among members. Member organizations are actively engaged in the task of maintaining the voluntary consensus standards set by ANSI, and also cooperate in the periodic review and updating of those standards.

One of the key elements to the success of ANSI is through this process of conformity. All member organizations are expected to undergo a rigorous evaluation before obtaining membership. This allows plenty of time for the identification of any conformity assessment issues that would prevent membership, and allow the business or other entity time to make adjustments that would bring the entity in line with the current standards prompted by ANSI.

Currently, ANSI has in place a listing of standards that number in the range of ten thousand. Many of these standards are intended to help create a sense of due process that will serve the needs of the American quality of life as well as help American organizations based in global operations to promote those standards to the highest degree possible. In order to ensure that the standards set forth by ANSI remain timely, there are provisions for public review and the receipt of comments from the general public, as well as commentary from member organizations.

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