Standards Process

AHRI’s updated Standards Committee Policy and Procedures (dated September 2019) was recently approved by the AHRI Standards Committee (Former Standards Policy Committee) and is now in the process of obtaining ANSI approval and reaccreditation.

The updates are meant to align the AHRI standards development process with AHRI Reinvent, and to enable the early formation of Consensus Standards Project Committees (CSPCs) to update or develop AHRI Standards. The published version of the AHRI Standards Committee Policy and Procedures (dated September 2019) will soon be available here.

Transition Plan for Standards Projects

The implementation of the updated Standards Committee Policy and Procedures includes a transition period. Between September 2019 and July 2020, both AHRI old and new standards development processes are active. Beginning July 1, 2020, all AHRI standards projects will be processed according to the new policy and procedures (dated September 2019 version).

▸ AHRI standards committees currently drafting new versions or new standards/guidelines shall follow the paths below to transition to the new standard development process.

Path 1. For The Existing Standards Projects With Estimated Completion Date Between September 1, 2019 and July 1, 2020:

The committees shall continue work under the AHRI standards development process that was in place when the work started (refer to AHRI Standards Policy Committee Policy and Procedures — Dated April 2018) with one modification: To align with the new AHRI Bylaws-September 2019 and the new committee naming system, the former Product Sections and Engineering Committees will be renamed Consensus Standards Project Committees (CSPC) and Working Groups (WGs), respectively.

Path 2. For The Existing Standards Projects With Estimated Completion Date Beyond July 1, 2020:

Before July 1, the project will be transferred to the new AHRI standards development procedures. A Consensus Standards Policy Committee (CSPC) will be formed in accordance with the new Standards Committee Policy and Procedures. CSPC will vote to start the project where the old group left off.

▸ Any standard project that initiated after September 1, 2019 shall go through the new AHRI standard development process.

An Overview of the New Standards Development Process

Under the new AHRI standards development process, the Standards Committee will continue to oversee the development, review, and approval of AHRI Standards and Technical Guidelines. Standards can be identified by members or staff as being ripe for revision, and the Standards Committee will determine whether the standard needs approval by ANSI and/or by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC). Participants will be invited to join the CSPC via AHRI Connect for the sectors that would be impacted by the standard as well as to interested outside stakeholders. Per AHRI's accreditation, the CSPC includes AHRI members that manufacture the relevant products as well as outside stakeholders with an interest in the standard. It may also include non-voting members.

The CSPC is the official committee that develops the draft standard via regular meetings. This group will disband when the standard is completed, but its members will be invited to join a new CSPC for future revisions of the same standard.

When the mature draft is ready, the CSPC submits it to the relevant subcommittee for review and comment prior to circulation for public review (if required). Next, the updated draft is approved by relevant subcommittee, and the CSPC votes to approve the final draft. After the final approval vote from the CSPC, the final draft is submitted to ANSI and/or SCC for approval (if required), and the standard is formally published.

An Overview of the Former AHRI Standards Development Process

The development of AHRI standards or guidelines, or the revision or interpretation of an existing one, starts with a request from an AHRI member or committee, but most often these requests are initiated by AHRI’s former product sections (renamed to CSPCs after September 1, 2019). A standard may also be proposed by anyone from outside AHRI, such as another trade association or a federal regulatory agency.

Requests for the development of an AHRI standard should be directed to AHRI’s Vice President, Standards. A formal request is then sent to AHRI's Standards Policy Committee, which assigns development of the standard to the related former Engineering Committee (renamed to Working Groups after September 1, 2019). The former Engineering Committee serves as the standards development committee and all of its meetings are open to the public. Notification of these meetings is published on AHRI’s website and AHRI Update newsletter.

A draft standard must make it through three rigorous reviews: by the former Engineering Committee; then by the related former product section; and finally by the Standards Policy Committee. It can be rejected at any step in the process. But, if approved by these three groups, which requires a two-thirds majority vote, the standard is then officially published on the AHRI website where it is available to download. AHRI standards are then submitted to ANSI for approval as American National Standards and serve as a basis for international standards work.

For more information refer to AHRI Standards Policy Committee Policy and Procedures-April 2018.