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Every day someone is disappointed or angered by a product or service that wasn’t what they wanted, caused injury to themselves or others, or didn’t work the way they were supposed to. 

How do we know those products and services weren’t meant to be like that? Because there are RULES – called ‘standards’ – that spell out exactly how those things are meant to be.

Has this happened to you? Then you are one of us. One of the many community super heroes that wants to make things safer and more reliable for their families, communities and more.

Not ready? Get to know us by subscribing to the Women in Standards Newsletter! Get advice, insights, and more.

Just starting out with standards? Writing your first technical standard?

Women in Standards has a wide range of standards educational content to help you:

    • Define standards such as regulations, guidelines, and guidance documents;
    • Understand the standards setting (standards development) process; and,
    • Begin working with a standards developing organization (SDO) to develop standards. 

Developing voluntary consensus standards with a standards setting organization (e.g. consensus body, standards developing organization (SDO)) can be a rewarding experience. You can make life-long friends, learn about the building blocks that support innovation, technology, and conformity assessment, and gain leadership and teamwork skills.

Participate in Standards Development

Why should you participate in standards development?

Users of products and services, e.g. consumers, know first hand why a product needs to work or be designed in a certain way. Ensuring that the standard includes those requirements, will make your use of the product or service more successful and the product more reliable.

Below are a few types of standardization where Consumers play a large role in standards development:

Product Standardization

Products bought and sold in stores are produced according to standards. Product standardization makes it easier to compare like products and ensure the work properly and safely.

    • Worried about product safety? Get involved in the standards’ development to ensure new products include the safety features you feel are needed. (examples: tip over standards, furniture standards, flammability standards, choking hazard standards)
    • Worried about cybersecurity features and your privacy? Help develop the requirements that products should meet to ensure your data is secure. (examples: privacy standards, security standards, software update and maintenance standards)
    • Hate the design of some products? Ever find yourself saying “it’s never ‘user friendly?'” Give the industry your feedback at the standards development level and help them design new and better products that work for you. (examples: ergonomics, interchangeability of accessories), connectivity and IoT functionality)
    • Do you have a disability that prevents you from using certain products? Participate in revising the standards so that they are inclusive of your needs. (examples: hands-free and voice activated options, foot operated, mobility and cognitive aids, closed captioning, and adaptive switches)

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Service and Industry Standardization

Any and all services and industries  you need to interact with to live your lives, can be improved and enhanced with standardization. Your contributions to the development of that standard ensures the services you receive leave you satisfied and confident that the job was done right. Examples include:

    • Financial management
    • Document management
    • Therapeutic services
    • Postal services
    • Human resources
    • Home inspections 

Don’t like the way your company does something? Try working with the standards developing organization to enact positive change. 

Ensuring Compliance

You and other consumers play a critical role in demanding that products and services meet standards. Your willingness to buy a product that does or does not meet a standard speaks volumes to the industry. Demand compliance with standards and ensure high quality products and services are available for all.

How do you know products and services meet a standard?

Testing, inspection, certification – all types of conformity assessment – ensure compliance with standard and a method for you to check. Ask for the test report, inspection report, or check for the certification mark.

Did you know?

Conformity assessment, like testing performed at laboratories, must comply with published standards. Your input helps ensure that information produced is helpful, valuable, and easy to understand.

Whatever your interest, there is a place for you in the standards development process and your voice is valuable to the conversation.

Join Women in Standards, we’ll help you find the right SDO, learn how standards are developed, and support you with education and a few cheers for each success.

Want to be a part of change? Join us!

Reach out to us today and get a complimentary business review and consultation.