The critical facilities industry relies on industry standards to establish the minimum requirements necessary to design, build, and operate critical sites. Some of these standards get adopted by federal, state, and local governments through legislation as enforceable codes. So where do these standards come from, how do they get developed, and how are they maintained? Naturally, you first need a standard for developing and maintaining standards. This is the job of the American National Standards Institute, or ANSI.
ANSI has been around for quite some time. It was founded in 1918 by five engineering societies and three government agencies. Since then, it has expanded to now represent the interests of its membership of over 1,200 companies, organizations, institutes, agencies, etc. Per ANSI’s website, as of January 2018 there were 237 accredited standards development organizations (SDOs) and more than 11,500 American National Standards (ANS) with 90% produced by the 20 largest SDOs. These standards can relate to products, processes, services, systems, or even personnel.