Who Oversees The Process?
As mentioned in How Are Standards Made?, Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) typically oversee the development of standards. SDOs serve as facilitators for the standards development process, offering the platforms, rules, governance, methodologies and even facilitation services that objectively address the standards development lifecycle. Each SDO is independently run, maintaining their own methods, policies and process to ensure high quality outputs and reinforce the market relevance of industry and technology standards.
IEEE standards follow a well-defined path from concept to completion, guided by a set of five basic principles: due process, openness, consensus, balance and right of appeal. These imperatives ensure fairness and good standards practice during the development cycle, and help validate approved standards. These operating principles have special import for IEEE and the IEEE SA because the U.S. Department of Justice has held that standards organizations are responsible for the actions of their standards developers.
These principles are:
- Due process, which means having highly visible procedures for standards creation and following them. Procedures are set by the IEEE SA Standards Board, the IEEE Societies that oversee standards development activities, and the working groups that actually formulate standards;
- Openness, which ensures all interested parties can participate actively in the IEEE standards development process;
- Consensus, which holds that a clearly defined percentage of those in a balloting group vote to approve a draft of a standard;
- Balance, which ensures that balloting groups include all interested parties and avoid an overwhelming influence by any one party; and
- Right of appeal, which allows anyone to appeal a standards development decision at any point, before or after a standard has been approved.
The IEEE Standards Association – One of the World’s Leading SDOs
IEEE is the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology. The IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) oversees the IEEE standards development process. Today, IEEE is one of the world’s leading global standards development organizations.
Governance and Oversight of the IEEE SA
The IEEE SA is governed by the IEEE SA Board of Governors (BOG) who are elected by IEEE SA Members. The President serves as the chair of the BOG and reports to the IEEE Board of Directors as the representative for the IEEE SA. In short, the BOG directs the operation of the IEEE SA, including financial oversight and operational management.
The BOG establishes the guidelines for the operation of the IEEE SA and has many documented rules, procedures and governance policies. In fulfillment of its mission the IEEE SA BOG has established several committees, with specific areas of oversight. These include the:
- Nominations and Appointments Committee – Solicits nominations from IEEE Societies and councils, government and industry to determine candidates for IEEE SA President-Elect and to develop slates of members-at-large candidates for the IEEE SA BOG.
- Awards and Recognition Committee (ArCom) – Responsible for the administration of all awards presented by the IEEE SA.
- Registration Authority Committee (RAC) – Oversees and maintains all IEEE approved Registration Authority process and functions, and provides guidance to IEEE standards-developing committees on registration.
- Entity Collaborative Activities Governance Board (CAG) – Manages the Entity Standards Development process, as well as the Corporate Program offered by the IEEE SA.
The BOG is beholden to the IEEE Bylaws and maintains the established policies and procedures for the operation of the IEEE SA in the IEEE SA Operations Manual.
Governance and Oversight for the IEEE Standards Development Process
The IEEE SA Standards Board reports directly to the IEEE SA BOG, and oversees the IEEE standards development process. Standards Board members are appointed by the Board of Governors (BOG) and must be IEEE SA members in good standing.
In alignment with the IEEE SA Operations Manual and its own Bylaws, the Standards Board oversees the process and policies that support standards development. It also provides guidelines for the development of individual and entity-driven standards to ensure a fair and equitable process.
The Standards Board has appointed a number of committees to oversee and facilitate the standards development process. These include:
- New Standards Committee (NesCom) – Serves as the gatekeeper for new and revised standards, recommending the approval of new or revised standards requests to the Standards Board.
- Standards Review Committee (RevCom) – Recommends the approval of standards to the Standards Board.
- Procedures Committee (ProCom) – Recommends changes in procedures to promote efficient discharge of responsibilities by the IEEE SA Standards Board, its committees, and other committees of the Institute engaged in standards activities.
- Patent Committee (PatCom) – Provides oversight of the use of any patents and patent information in IEEE standards and reviews conformity with the patent procedures and guidelines.
- Audit Committee (AudCom) – Oversees the standards development activities of Societies, their standards-developing entities, and the Standards Coordinating Committees (SCCs) of the IEEE SA Standards Board to ensure compliance.
Together, these groups work with the Standards Board to ensure the continued vitality and effectiveness of the IEEE standards development program.
Find out more information about the policies of the IEEE SA BOG and Standards Board.