Did You Know....
The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 promotes federal use of voluntary standards as an alternative to agency-developed standards.

U.S. Standards System – Today and Tomorrow

This course is the next step in learning about standards and standards development; it builds on the introductory course, Why Standards Matter.

You will receive an overview of the U.S. standards development environment, including the American National Standards (ANS) process. The course will inform you about the value of participating in standards development and reviews the key questions to ask before development is initiated. It also offers examples of the various types of standards and explains how standards development relates to national and international business.

Each lesson includes a set of self-assessment questions leading up to a final exam at the end of the course. The entire program should take approximately one and one half hours to complete.


This lesson provides a big picture perspective on the influence of standards and how they are derived in the United States.

After you complete this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Explain the role of professional and technical societies in the standard development process
  • Understand the impact of standards on business and industry
  • Recognize the importance of standards in local and federal government


This lesson demonstrates how the increased pace of technological development and growing access to world markets has impacted standards development. It highlights some of the important issues facing the U.S. standards community today, and provides an understanding of how standards development has transformed as the world changes.

After you complete this lesson, you will:

  • Understand how globalization has affected standards development
  • Recognize the effects of harmonization of standards
  • Identify how the purpose and the content of standards has changed
  • Describe government-private partnerships in standards setting
  • Explain the strategic importance of standards in business


In this lesson, you will learn about the various types of standards and where they are developed.

After you complete this lesson you will be able to:

  • Identify types of standards and their use
  • Give examples of standards developers
  • Describe the origin of standards


This lesson takes a closer look at how standards are developed in the United States. It covers the voluntary consensus process and the key organizations involved, the American National Standard (ANS) process, and some related legal issues. After you complete this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Identify the key U.S. standards organizations.
  • Recognize the difference between a national and international standard.
  • Describe how national standards are developed.
  • Understand the importance of the national standards development process.
  • Explain the role of ANSI in the standards development process.
  • Identify key legal issues impacting standards development.


Now that you have learned about standards and the U.S. standard development process, this lesson provides information on how to get involved for faculty and students, business and industry, trade and professional organizations, government and public policy agencies and consumers.

After you complete this lesson you will be able to:

  • Recognize the key benefits of standards participation.
  • Understand how various stakeholders can get involved in standards development.
  • Know what questions to ask before initiating a standards development project.


Click on the link below to Check Your Knowledge of the topics you've reviewed in this course.

Check Your Knowledge: U.S. Standards System - Today and Tomorrow


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Course objectives:

  • Identify the different types of standards
  • Understand how standards are developed
  • Distinguish between a voluntary consensus standard and a technical regulation
  • Describe the impact of standards on business, government and professional and trade organizations
  • Understand the roles of the principal national and international standards organizations
  • Describe the national standards development process
  • Explain the ANSI accreditation process
  • Explain the value of participation in standards development
  • Understand how to participate in standards development

2011 Schedule of Open Sessions