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Voluntary Standards Program

   CRE's Voluntary Standards Program, (VSP) provides services to industry which support the development and recognition of standards developed by the private sector.


   CRE offers three key services under the VSP:

  • Organization of a Standard Setting Body;

  • Accreditation of A Standard Setting Body; and

  • Regulatory Support Services.

  •    Specialized services may be developed on request.

    Organization of a Standard Setting Body

       Market-Driven Consortia offer industry the unprecedented opportunity to quickly develop voluntary technical standards without going through a time-consuming and expensive ANSI-style development process. In addition to their utility to industry, MDC standards are eligible for regulatory use by government agencies. Furthermore, an MDC standard may obtain consensus after development to enhance its status (see Standards Accreditation Assistance).

       CRE offers two types of Standards Development Assistance services:

    1. Analysis and specific recommendations as to whether your standard development needs are better met through a consensus or MDC process.

    2. Assistance with creation and management of an MDC targeted to meet your specific standard-development needs. Assistance includes: stakeholder identification; organization development; development of operating procedures; legal (antitrust, intellectual property protection; confidentiality); and liaison with Standards Development Organizations supporting MDC activities.

    Accreditation of A Standard Setting Body

       Standards developed through an MDC process may be put through a canvassing process to obtain ANSI accreditation after they have been developed. ANSI accreditation is a major factor in increasing the stature of a standard. Such accreditation is most important if the standard is intended for regulatory or international acceptance. CRE offers two different types of Accreditation Assistance:

    1. CRE, a member of ANSI's Company Member Council, will develop and conduct an action plan for obtaining ANSI accreditation of an MDC-developed standard. Accreditation Assistance planning may be undertaken simultaneously with Development Assistance to enhance the ability of the standard to achieve accreditation.

    2. As an alternative to ANSI accreditation, CRE offers the CRE Consensus Documentation Audit (CDA). The CDA is an independent examination of a standard development process to determine if it complies with the definition of consensus contained in OMB Circular A-119 which sets federal policy regarding the regulatory use of voluntary consensus standards. The CRE CDA is unaffiliated with ANSI.

    Regulatory Support Services

       The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act provides a strong legal presumption in favor of the regulatory use of voluntary consensus standards over the use of government-unique standards. OMB Circular A-119 provides specific implementing regulations for agencies to follow when using ­ or rejecting ­ voluntary consensus standards. The OMB Circular also provides a potential role in regulation for private non-consensus standards.

       Despite the requirements contained in the Act and the OMB Circular, agencies, and industry, are often not fully aware of government responsibilities to utilizes domestic and international standards. CRE offers the following Regulatory Support Services:

  • Discussions with regulatory agencies during the development of proposed regulations to support inclusion of relevant private standards;

  • Analysis of proposed regulations to ascertain compliance with all requirements of the Act and OMB Circular; and

  • Cooperative work with various stakeholders, including members of the standards development community, to provide broad-based support for agency use of voluntary consensus standards in lieu of government-unique standards in regulation and procurement.

  •    If necessary, CRE may provide advice and support in exploring litigation options for compelling agency compliance with their statutory duties.


  • CRE would be compensated on a monthly retainer basis for services provided under the Voluntary Standards Program.

  • Benefits

  • Use of voluntary standards may provide industry with:

    -- Significant operating flexibility and cost savings compared to use of government-unique standards; and

    -- Additional business opportunities compared with operating in a standardless environment.

  • The CRE Voluntary Standards Program can assist industry in achieving new business opportunities and minimizing expensive constraints.

  • CRE Expertise in Voluntary Standards

       CRE's Standards Program has strong experience regarding the regulatory application of voluntary consensus standards. CRE's standards work and related experience includes:

  • Publishing a landmark white paper, Market-Driven Consortia: Implications for the FCC's Cable Access Proceedings, weighing the use of consensus standards versus privately developed non-consensus standards in regulatory applications. Based on this paper, ANSI took the initiative in:

    – Distributing the CRE paper to all member of their Company Member Council (CMC);

    -- Inviting CRE to be one of two presentors to discuss our work on standards before the CMC Executive Committee; and

    – Inviting CRE to make a special presentation to senior ANSI officials in New York.

  • CRE has formed the Cable Access Standards Exploratory Committee to further develop issues concerning the regulatory application of private standards which were outlined in the white paper. Committee membership includes representatives of major regional and long distance telecommunications companies and Internet Service Providers.

  • CRE has in-depth expertise in the application of National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act, which provides statutory preference in favor of the regulatory use of voluntary standards, and OMB Circular A-119 which implements the Tech Transfer Act. The CRE Advisory Board consists of former career chiefs of OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, the federal agency responsible for publishing and revising Circular A-119.

  • CRE routinely comments on standards issues in agency rulemakings.

  • CRE hold discussions with senior agency staff of the applicability of standards to regulatory proceedings.

  • CRE provides advice to ANSI and to standard development organizations on how and why to incorporate federal "good government" laws into their operating procedures when developing standards intended for regulatory application.


    Fill out form below, CRE will then contact you about our Voluntary Standards Program.

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