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FAQs: The Entity Standards Development Process

Learn about using the IEEE Standards Association's time-tested, equitable Entity Process to develop industry-relevant standards.


Why does the IEEE-SA entity standards development process require paid corporate membership for participation when the IEEE-SA individual standards development process does not?
The corporate program was designed as an entity-based process, and most entities find it acceptable to pay dues to participate in other similar organizations. In benchmarking, the IEEE has ascertained that its SA corporate member dues are competitive compared to other organizations. In addition, the IEEE-SA has extended a number of benefits to entity working groups that help to produce entity standards in an expeditious manner consistent with the valued IEEE consensus process. Back to top)

Why does the entity standards development process require payment to participate either as an observer or a voter?
IEEE-SA's corporate membership program directly funds additional resources, such as project management, which facilitates efficient entity standards development. In addition, this simple fee structure gives entities the ability to participate in unlimited working groups for one annual fee.(Back to top)

Basic members only have the right to observe in working groups. How can they submit their comments on a draft standard prior to the Sponsor ballot?
The working group has the right to determine when to circulate a draft standard for comment to basic members who are observers in the working group. Prior to Sponsor balloting, those basic members may submit comments to the chair, who will work with the voting members of the working group to determine a resolution. Basic members can only participate in such discussions if they upgrade to advanced membership.(Back to top)

If a basic entity member needs to upgrade to advanced entity membership to participate as a voting member in an IEEE-SA entity standards working group, but another division in the company originally purchased the basic entity membership, what can be done?
IEEE-SA staff will help to coordinate communication between participants in that company to resolve the issue.(Back to top)

How can entity working groups bring in specific technical expertise to help create their entity standard?
Entity working groups may allow individuals to attend meetings to offer specific technical expertise from non-voting positions at up to three entity standards working group meetings per project during the standards development process. Further information can be found in the IEEE-SA Standards Board Bylaws, clause 5.2.1.2(Back to top)

Does the implementation of this updated entity model mean that the IEEE Standards Association is no longer "open"?
The IEEE-SA is an open standards organization, allowing any entity or individual to participate in its standards development process as long as they follow the IEEE-SA rules. "Open" does not mean "free," and participation in standards development is never completely "free." There are always costs involved to support meeting attendance or the technologies involved in electronic participation. In the entity model, the participants expect to support (financially and otherwise) the standards development process and to benefit from it.(Back to top)

What about interested parties who are retired, are between jobs, or have changed their affiliation?
The entity process is based upon participation by entity; one type of entity membership is consulting firms and individuals might consider this opportunity. Individuals who formerly represented entity members and who are no longer working at their affiliated employer may participate without vote in the entity working group for up to six additional months after the loss of affiliation before they must indicate a new entity affiliation. Once the new entity affiliation is gained, the participant must fulfill any working group rules for participation in order to gain voting rights. Officers who are no longer working at their affiliated employer may participate for one additional meeting in the entity working group after the loss of affiliation before they must indicate their new entity affiliation or cease serving as an officer (but they may still participate during the six-month period noted previously). (Back to top)

Can a consultant be paid by an IEEE-SA corporate member to represent the corporate member in an entity working group with full disclosure from the corporate member?
Yes, as long as full disclosure is made to the working group and to the Sponsor.(Back to top)

Are entity working group email reflectors closed to non-members?
Yes. Entity working groups may use the public area of their website to share needed information with those who may wish to begin participation in the working group.(Back to top)