Your First Meeting ... Plus, Regs Corner on the Basics of Voting
Attending your first ASTM International meeting, or thinking about it? Welcome!
To get important general information about meetings, which are open to all interested parties, check the information at www.astm.org/MEETINGS, both for committee weeks (where many committees meet together) and independent meetings (committees that meet by themselves or in conjunction with another event).
If possible, pre-register for the meeting. Pre-registration opens about two months before the meeting, and email notifications alert members about upcoming meetings. You can also register at the meeting if you miss the registration cutoff date. If you’re not an ASTM International member, you can still attend, and you can register either online or at the meeting site. You can search the online list to find meetings that may be of interest.
To help you plan for your meeting, use the member tools (MyTools) at MyASTM. You’ll find useful information there, including:
- Meeting schedules – which you can customize according to the task group, subcommittee, and main committee meetings you wish to attend,
- Minutes, and
- Ballot results.
Think about your specific interests when gathering this information, which you can compile and save through these tools: Create My Schedule and Create My Meetings Materials (a zip file of agendas, minutes, ballot items, closing reports, and schedules that is emailed to you).
You can also download the ASTM mobile app for meeting information, schedules, floor plans, venue and ASTM contact info, and more.
Once you’re there, a good place to orient yourself is central registration (for pre-registered attendees and walk-ins) and an information area. Staff are on hand to help. You’ll find meeting room maps, information about special sessions — from orientation and other staff-led training modules, to what committees are holding workshops or symposia — and a workspace for your convenience. A message board is located here to show any last-minute changes, and more.
At a committee week, new member orientation sessions take place on Monday. As an alternative, staff host an online “New Member Orientation and Training” session monthly. Other sessions are regularly scheduled about online tools, negative votes, hosting WebEx meetings, and more. Click here for more information. Your committee staff manager can also help as a resource in preparing to attend and onsite.
Get involved and help develop your industries’ standards. Plus, your ASTM work helps develop collaboration and leadership skills, and you can expand your technical network.
If you have questions, email email@example.com.
The single most important thing about voting in the ASTM standards development process is: do it. You have a voice, so vote.
A single negative vote can stop a standard from moving forward in the balloting process. And that’s even if you do not have an official vote.
In addition, if you are an official voting member, you need to vote for vote tallies: Official votes are tallied, and a 60 percent return for official voters must be achieved.
Note that you need to be a member to vote, and you need to be a subcommittee member (assuming you’re a member of the main committee) to vote at the subcommittee level before a standard (new or revised) reaches main committee ballot. (Task group votes are more informal and do not follow these rules.)
“Official votes” help provide checks and balances. Official votes are for tallies, to be sure a 60 percent return is achieved; for a quorum in a meeting; and for addressing negatives votes to find them not persuasive or not related.
One official vote per company keeps one company from “stuffing the ballot box,” as it were. ASTM does not say who should have that official vote; that’s typically up to the company to specify their representation.
The Regulations Governing ASTM Technical Committees also require committees that develop standards to be balanced. According to the requirement, producer members cannot outnumber user and general interest members. The requirement also helps ensure that balloting will not be skewed by interest.
Read more about voting at the Regulations Governing ASTM Technical Committees at www.astm.org/Regulations.