Once a draft standard has been reviewed, finalized, and approved by the Working Group, it is submitted to the Standards Committee for approval to move forward to the IEEE SA Ballot. Upon successful completion of the IEEE SA Ballot process, the draft standard is submitted to the Review Committee (RevCom). The balloted draft standard is reviewed by RevCom and then submitted to the IEEE SASB for approval. After final approval by the IEEE SASB, the approved standard is published and made available for distribution and purchase.
When the Working Group determines that the draft is ready for SA Ballot, they will request authorization from the Standards Committee (per Clause 7 of the WG baseline P&P) to begin the process.
An IEEE SA Program Manager can assist you with this balloting process.
Forming a Balloting Group
Requirements to join a balloting group include an interest in the subject, an IEEE Account, and IEEE SA membership or payment of the per-ballot fee. Individual balloting groups should have at least 10 members to help ensure this balance. Entity balloting groups shall have at least 5 entities.
Balloters must select one interest category (e.g. producers, users) when joining a ballot group. In order to achieve balance, no interest category can comprise over one-third of the balloting group. It is desirable to have representation of the materially interested and affected parties in the balloting group. This is accomplished by inviting a wide variety of interested parties to participate in balloting by forming a ballot group. Ballot invitations are open for a minimum of 15 days. Keep in mind that the balloting group is different from the Working Group, and Working Group members are not automatically included in a balloting group.
The composition of the ballot group can be changed up until the start of the initial SA Ballot.
Balloting a Standard
The IEEE SA balloting process is an important part of the strength of IEEE SA consensus standards. All stakeholders have an opportunity to participate. The ballot process is as much a part of the standards-writing process as is the Working Group that develops the standard, because votes and comments made during the ballot are used not only to approve or disapprove the standard, but balloting enables stakeholders who may not have been able to participate in the Working Group to have input into the standard.
Voting on IEEE standards is a responsibility that should be taken seriously. Those who join the ballot group have an obligation to submit ballot responses. The votes cast and comments offered should be made in the spirit of trying to develop a high-quality standard. Each stakeholder should cast a vote. Initial SA Ballots are open for 30 days during which balloters can approve, disapprove, or abstain. They can also approve or disapprove with comments. SA Ballot comments fall into three categories—general, technical or editorial. Balloters shall classify their comments accordingly. All comments received during the ballot period shall be considered.
If a vote is negative, specific reasons shall be given in order for the vote to be counted. The balloter should also submit comments and suggest changes to the draft that would satisfy their concerns. Once satisfied, a negative balloter should change their vote from disapprove to approve. A negative ballot without comments cannot be resolved, so it has no real influence on the standard’s content.
The ballot passes if at least 75 percent of all ballots from a balloting group are returned and if 75 percent of the responses are approved votes. If 30 percent or more of the ballot returns are abstentions, the ballot fails.
Remember: You do not have to receive an invitation to participate in IEEE SA balloting. Log onto myProject, then go to “Invitations/Ballots” under the menu, and click on the tab “Open Invitations” to see what ballot groups are being formed and enroll in what interests you.
The Comment Resolution Group (CRG) considers all comments received during the ballot period, whether submitted by those within or outside of the balloting group. Comment responses may result in the draft being modified.
Once the CRG has considered all comments, the Working Group must recirculate the ballot if new technical changes have been introduced in the document or if there are unresolved negative comments. The balloting group has the right to examine these along with any revisions to the document so that balloters can determine whether they want to maintain their vote.
Remember, the primary purpose of ballot resolution is to create a document that gains a 75% approval rate from those who voted.
The 60-day IEEE SA Public Review process provides an opportunity for any interested party to submit comments simultaneously with the initial IEEE SA Ballot and obtain responses from the Working Group. Public Review commenters can view upcoming Public Reviews, purchase Public Review drafts, and participate in ongoing Public Reviews by visiting the IEEE SA Public Review page. This provides an even broader participation and input to IEEE draft standards.