Standardization News

A Testament to You, Our Members

I have always been proud of ASTM International’s ever-growing footprint as an international standards organization and the elements of our membership and mission that make ASTM and the ASTM process distinct. 

So I very much welcomed a recent report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that highlights the unique features and key benefits of ASTM’s process for developing standards. 

The 55-page report cites ASTM’s “unique membership structure,” “open participation,” and “inclusive and representative decision-making process.” These qualities empower ASTM International to respond to fast-moving markets such as automation, nanotechnology, additive manufacturing, and sustainable construction. In turn, these efforts facilitate trade as well as environmental and consumer protections. 

Also cited in the report is ASTM’s “balanced participation from diverse interests and participants” as an element that sets ASTM apart from other international organizations and helps make ASTM both flexible and responsive.  

The OECD report, “International Regulatory Co-operation and International Organisations: The Case of ASTM International,” was published in mid-September at the meeting of its Partnership of International Organisations for Effective International Rulemaking. I was honored to speak about the report during the meeting. Read page 38 to learn more about the report findings and my presentation. 

To me, the findings in the OECD report serve first and foremost as a testament to the body of work cultivated by our members as well as the efforts of key international partners and staff. They emphasize and justify our mission of helping our world work better, and they can serve to reinforce our efforts moving forward:

Efforts such as our work supporting the development of transitioning economies through memorandums of understanding, global outreach, and interactive trainings on the important role that standards play in strong economies. You can read more about the developing world HERE

Efforts to uncover new applications and pair advancements in emerging industries such as additive manufacturing with established industries like construction. Learn more about how the inclusion of polymers and plastics in 3D printing is changing the construction industry HERE

Efforts to innovate while also creating less waste through the advancement of nondestructive testing practices in a host of important industries. Read more on the expanding use of X-ray testing in the aviation industry, HERE

I am grateful to the OECD for their time spent in discovery and documentation to bring this report to life. I hope these findings can serve to educate stakeholders about our efforts in the international standards community and our role as an agile, independent partner for standards development worldwide. 

And I am particularly grateful for the continued work of our members, partners, and staff who are committed to our mission through the development and use of safety and performance standards that improve the world around us. 

Katharine E. Morgan
ASTM International President

Issue Month: 
November/December
Issue Year: 
2021