Policies and Procedures for Standards Development

IAM is an accredited standards developer of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). As such, our standards development protocols conform to the ANSI Essential Requirements, which include:

  • consensus by materially affected and interested parties;    
  • broad-based public review and comment on draft standards;       
  • consideration of and response to comments submitted by members of the relevant consensus body and the public; 
  • incorporation of approved changes into a draft standard; and
  • right to appeal by any participant that believes that due process principles were not sufficiently respected.

For more detailed information on the IAM Policies and Procedures for Standards Development, please read below.

FOREWORD

The International Association of Movers (IAM) is the industry’s leading authority and the international household goods moving and forwarding industry’s largest trade and membership organization, representing over 1,900 member companies in over 160 countries and territories. IAM works to facilitate the cooperation of household goods transportation service providers, industry vendors and customers from around the world through the adoption and/or development of best industry practices and standards.

Mission Statement

The objectives of the International Association of Movers are to further the best interests of all participants involved in the forwarding and moving and storage industry by providing leadership, annual meetings, educational opportunities and advice including that relating to legislative and regulatory matters.

INTRODUCTION

This document describes the Operating Principles and Procedures that will be followed by the International Association of Movers (IAM) to comply with the essential requirements and policies of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for the accreditation as an American National Standards (ANS) Developer.  These requirements are defined in "ANSI Essential Requirements: Due process requirements for American National Standards". Where the IAM Operating Principles and Procedures are silent on an issue, the American National Standards Institute’s (“ANSI”) Essential Requirements document referenced above shall serve as the precedent document.

When operating outside of the ANSI Essential Requirements Procedures, IAM Forums, Meetings and Committees shall follow the Operating Procedures for IAM Forums, Meetings and Committees.

1.0 PROGRAM SCOPE

1.1 Standards Program Scope

Development of an open and voluntary electronic standard for international household goods and/or personal effects shipment originating in the United States or having the United States as its destination, or a shipment moving from one country to another, controlled and/or managed by a company using U.S. standards.  The standard will define the minimum transaction header data, and provide for the numerical codification of items and exceptions that constitute a shipment.  The standard will not be vendor, software or hardware specific, providing freedom of movement and choice for the customers of hand-held readers, inventory software, and other related hardware and software.

1.2 Applicability

The procedures apply to activities related to the development of consensus for approval, revision, reaffirmation, and withdrawal of candidate Household International Association of Movers/American National Standards.

1.3 American National Standard

After approval by the IAM Standards & Technology Committee, the approved standard(s) will be submitted to ANSI for consideration as American National Standards.  The recognition and designation of a standard an “American National Standard,” by ANSI means that all of ANSI’s requirements for consensus, due process, public review, and ANSI review have been fulfilled.

2.0 ORGANIZATION

2.1 Committees

The IAM Standards and Technology Partnership shall be responsible for developing and maintaining Standards that fall within the scope of these procedures.  When necessary, this Committee may form Subgroups (Subcommittees) that shall report back to their parent Committee. Committees may delegate approval authority to a Subcommittee.  All Committees that are in any way involved in the development of an ANS shall operate in a manner consistent with operating principles and procedures found herein that apply to the "consensus body" identified below.  In particular, all Committees must comply with the ANSI requirement for openness, balance and due process.

The IAM Standards and Technology Partnership will serve as the "consensus body" for the purpose of documenting consensus on all American National Standards proposed by IAM.

2.2 Secretariat – IAM shall be the Secretariat for all Committees operating in accordance with these procedures.

The Secretariat shall:

  1. Organize the Standards and Technology Partnership and Subcommittees.
  2. Oversee compliance with applicable procedures, including legal review as necessary.
  3. Apply for accreditation by ANSI and maintain accreditation in accordance with ANSI requirements.
  4. Maintain rosters of all Committees and Subcommittees.
  5. Submit standards approved by the Standards and Technology Partnership and applicable Subcommittees with supporting documentation for ANSI review and approval as American National Standards.
  6. Ensure adherence to periodic maintenance of Standard(s).
  7. Maintain all records pertaining to the Standards and Technology Partnership and Subcommittees.
  8. Provide administrative support and secretarial services as necessary, for the Standards and Technology Partnership and Subcommittees.
  9. Publish approved Standard(s) and revisions and reaffirmations thereto.
  10. Perform other functions and duties as required in conjunction with Standard(s) approval and/or maintenance.

2.3 Records – Material associated with the development of a Standard (including revisions, reaffirmations and withdrawals) shall be retained for one complete Standards cycle, or until the Standard is revised.  Records regarding the withdrawal of all Standards shall be retained for at least five years from the date of withdrawal.

2.4 Membership - Participation in the IAM Standards & Technology Committee, and Subcommittees, is open to all Governing, Core, and Supplier IAM Member Companies and Associations. 

Governing Membership in the Association shall be open to any person, firm, entity, organization, company, or corporation engaged in or with an interest in Moving.

Core Membership in the Association shall be open to any person, firm, entity, organization, company, or corporation engaged in or with an interest in Moving, unless that entity is a Transportation Service Provider (TSP) offering door-to-door through bill of lading service capabilities to the U.S. Government, in which case said entity will be required to be a Governing Member of IAM.

Notice of every application for Membership shall be given to each Governing, Core, and Supplier Member, who shall have thirty (30) days from date of such notice to submit evidence that the applicant is not creditworthy.  Such evidence must consist of the same type of evidence considered for expulsion of a Core and/or Supplier Member under Article IV, Section 4, for failure to pay monies due another Core Member.  If such evidence is presented, the application for Governing and/or Core Membership shall be referred to the Executive Committee for further investigation and appropriate action as provided for the Article IV, Section 2.

Supplier Membership in the Association shall be open to any person, firm, entity, organization, company, and corporation providing goods or services to the moving industry, without being actively engaged in the moving process.

Companies, organizations and persons may also opt-out of IAM membership.  A company and/or organization that elects to opt-out of IAM membership has the opportunity to participate in the IAM Standards and Technology Partnership or Subcommittees.  Organizations opting out will not be required to pay an annual non-member supplemental fee or IAM Standards and Technology Partnership and/or Subcommittee participation fee.  In the event that IAM experiences costs that are directly attributable to non-member participation in the IAM Standards and Technology Partnership or Subcommittees IAM reserves the right to recover those costs from participating non members.

The membership of IAM Standards & Technology Committee, acting as the standards consensus body, shall be sufficiently diverse to ensure reasonable balance and a lack of dominance by any single interest group.  Unless it is claimed by a directly and materially affected party that a single interest category dominated the standards development process, no test for dominance is required.  IAM, however, strives to assure that any single interest category does not constitute a majority of the membership of the formulating group dealing with Standards.  Reasonable dues and fees directly relating to the support provided and activities of the IAM Standards and Technology Partnership and/or Subcommittee may be assessed with the approval of the IAM Standards & Technology Committee.

2.5 Interest Categories – For purposes of developing an American National Standard, all members of the IAM Standards and Technology Partnership shall be classified either as General Interest, Producers/Developers, Users, or Trade Association representatives in accordance with the definitions outlined below.  An individual in professional practice or a consultant, retained under an agreement indefinitely continuing with an organization, shall be classified in accordance with the classification of the organization retaining the individual and shall be so identified.

2.5.1 General Interest: General Interest members are neither Producers nor Users.  This category includes, but is not limited to, regulatory agencies (state and federal), researchers, trade associations, educators and any individual or organization that is effected by or interested in the development and use of electronic inventories and/or manifests.

2.5.2 Producers/Developers: An entity that produces, manufactures, develops or supplies hardware and/or software for the purpose of rendering and/or converting an electronic inventory and/or manifest for the domestic and international household goods transportation industry.

2.5.3 Users: An entity that uses electronic inventory and/or manifest producing hardware and/or software.  Examples include, but are not limited to origin and destination agents, forwarders, warehouse operators, port agents, owner/operators, van lines, claims adjusters’, billing agents, customs brokers, relocation (3rd party) management companies, ocean and air carriers, trucking companies and railroads.

2.6 Membership Roster – The Secretariat shall prepare and maintain a membership roster documenting the classification of each IAM Standards and Technology Partnership member.

2.7 Termination of Membership – The Secretariat shall be authorized to terminate the membership of an individual of IAM Standards and Technology Partnership and Subcommittees, including inactivity or failure to pay appropriate dues/fees as levied by IAM and/or the IAM Standards and Technology Partnership(unless a waiver by IAM and/or the IAM Standards and Technology Partnership is approved).  An IAM Standards and Technology Partnership member shall be considered inactive for failure to return at least 75 percent of the letter ballots issued during a calendar year or failure to attend or otherwise participate in at least one IAM Standards and Technology Partnership Meeting a calendar year.  IAM Standards and Technology Partnership members shall notify the Secretariat of any changes in employment affecting representation and shall submit a new application if continued participation on the IAM Standards and Technology Partnership is desired.

3. MEETINGS

3.1 Meeting Frequency – The IAM Standards and Technology Partnership and Subcommittees will meet to develop and/or review American National Standards on an as needed basis.

3.2 Meeting Notification – Where possible, all face-to-face meetings shall be announced via e-mail and the IAM Web Site (www.IAMovers.org) no less than two (2) weeks prior to the date of any applicable meetings.  All other meetings, including virtual meetings and conference calls, should be announced via e-mail and posted to the IAM Web Site no less than one (1) weeks prior to the meeting date.  Special exceptions for extraordinary circumstances may be made on an as-needed basis.  When an exception for extraordinary circumstances is necessary, the Standards and Technology Partnership Leadership will announce the meeting as soon as practicable.  A draft agenda shall be prepared and distributed with the meeting notice.

3.3 Open Meetings – All meetings of IAM Standards and Technology Partnership and Subcommittees shall be open for attendance and any interested party shall be welcome, subject to any relevant membership requirement and the individual policy of each Committee (e.g., regarding registration, minimum attendance levels, location and space limitation, etc.). Non-Committee members shall not have the right to vote.

3.4 Quorum – One-third of the members of a IAM Standards and Technology Partnership shall constitute a quorum for conducting business at a meeting.  Matters shall be deemed approved by the affirmative vote of a majority of the members present, except with respect to matters covered in Section 6.  If a quorum is not present, actions on agenda items may be taken but shall be subject to ratification by a letter ballot of the IAM Standards & Technology Committee.

3.5 Parliamentary Procedures – For any procedural issues not covered under these procedures, Robert’s Rules of Order (Revised) shall apply on questions of parliamentary procedure.

4.  NOTIFICATION OF STANDARDS DEVELOPMENT

Notification of Standards activity shall be announced in suitable media as appropriate to demonstrate provision of opportunity for participation by all directly and materially affected persons.  At the initiation of a project to develop or revise a Standard, notification shall be transmitted to ANSI using the Project Initiation Notification System (PINS) form, or its equivalent, for listing in the ANSI Standards Action.  IAM will address any comments received in response to the announcement of PINS in accordance with the ANSI Essential Requirements. A PINS form may be submitted, but is not required, at the initiation of a project to reaffirm or withdraw a Standard.

Before initiating any new standards development, IAM will consult any relevant international or regional guides that may impact the proposed work. If so, we shall advise the relevant ANSI-Accredited U.S. TAG(s) if the standard is intended to be submitted for consideration as an ISO, IEC or ISO/IEC JTC-1 standard.

5. SUBSTANTIVE CHANGE

A substantive change in a Standard is one that directly and materially affects the use of the Standard.  Examples of substantive changes are below:

  1. “shall” to “should” or “should” to “shall”;
  2. the addition, deletion or revision of requirements, regardless of the number of changes; or
  3. the addition of mandatory compliance with referenced standards.

6.  VOTING PROCEDURES

6.1 Letter Ballots – Documentation associated with American National Standards will undergo the letter ballot process.  Substantive changes to, revisions, and interpretations of all Standards shall be approved by letter ballot of the Committee.

All new proposed American National Standards, substantive changes to, revisions, and reaffirmations and interpretations of all Standards shall be approved by letter ballot of the committee.

6.2 Voting – Each member shall vote in accordance with one of the following positions on letter ballots:

  1. Affirmative.
  2. Affirmative with comment.
  3. Negative, with reasons.  If possible, the negative ballot shall include specific actions that will resolve the negative.
  4. Abstain.

6.3 Voting Rights – A member’s representative shall ordinarily cast that member’s vote.  The member’s alternate representative shall cast that member’s vote only if the member’s representative fails to vote.

6.4 Proxies – Proxies are not permitted.

6.5 Voting Period – The closure date for letter ballots shall be at least 30 days and no more than 90 days from the date of the issuance of the ballots.  The Secretariat shall be authorized to grant an extension of the voting period if deemed necessary.

6.6 Approved Actions – Approvals of, substantive changes to, revisions, reaffirmations and interpretations of all Standards shall be considered approved when all of the following conditions have been met:

  1. At least 50 percent of the members have returned their letter ballot.
  2. At least 75 percent of the votes cast, excluding abstentions and negatives without reasons, are affirmative.
  3. All negative votes with reasons have been addressed in accordance with 6.9.

6.7 Reporting Votes – The results of each vote on all Standards shall be reported as follows:

  1. Number of members.
  2. Number of members voting affirmatively.
  3. Number of members voting negatively with reasons.
  4. Number of members voting negatively without reasons.
  5. Number of members abstaining.
  6. Number of members not returning ballots.

6.8 Negative Votes – A negative ballot shall be required to be accompanied by a reason and, if possible, should include specific wording or actions that would resolve the objection.  A negative ballot not supported by a reason is not required to be recirculated but is recorded as a negative without comment on the ANSI Board of Standards Review (BSR) BSR-9 document during submittal to ANSI.  The ballot shall be counted as returned for the purpose of establishing a quorum.

6.9 Consideration of Views and Objections – The IAM Standards and Technology
Partnership and Subcommittees shall use the following procedures:

  1. All negative ballots and comments will be forwarded to the IAM Standards and Technology Partnership and/or Subcommittee that drafted the proposed Standard for response and resolution. Committee Officers (with other Committee members as necessary) will draft the response on behalf of the Committee. Negative ballots may be judged as valid, invalid or not germane. All comments are given a comprehensive response in writing.
  2. All substantive changes shall be submitted to ANSI via the BSR-8 document for further public review. Unresolved objections, attempts at resolution, and any substantive changes made to the Standard, in an attempt to resolve remaining negatives, will be circulated back to the consensus body in order to provide the consensus body members the opportunity to respond, revise or reaffirm their votes.
  3. Voting members or public review participants who have unresolved negative votes (comments) shall be notified of their right to appeal and of the appeals process in writing.

7.   INTERPRETATIONS

7.1 Processing Interpretations – Requests for interpretations of Standards shall be submitted in writing to the Secretariat and shall be forwarded by the Secretariat to Committee Officers.  Proposed interpretations may be prepared by any IAM Standards and Technology Partnership member with particular expertise on the subject in question.  All proposed interpretations shall be prepared in writing and shall be submitted to the Secretariat for a letter ballot of the IAM Standards & Technology Committee.  Interpretations shall be approved in accordance with section 6.

7.2 Notification of Interpretations - Notification of approved interpretations shall be sent in writing to the requester.  Notification shall also be given to other users of the Standards via the appropriate IAM Standards and Technology Partnership email list(s) and posted on the IAM web site.

8.  METRIC POLICY

In accordance with the ANSI Essential Requirements, IAM accepts ANSI’s Metric Policy which states that, “Units of the International System of Units (SI), the modernized metric system, are the preferred units of measurement in American National Standards.”

9.   PUBLIC REVIEW AND COMMENT

Proposals for new Standards or reaffirmation, revision, or withdrawal of existing Standards shall be transmitted to ANSI for listing in the ANSI Standards Action for comment.  The Secretariat shall determine whether listing of proposed standards actions shall be concurrent with the final committee letter ballot and whether announcement in other suitable media is appropriate.  All comments that are received shall be considered by the Committee and the commenter shall be notified, in writing, of the Committee’s decision/response in accordance with Section 6.9 above to comply with the ANSI Essential Requirements.

10.   PATENT POLICY

IAM will adopt the ANSI Patent Policy, as outlined in the ANSI Essential Requirements: Due Process Requirements for American National Standards.

11.   COMMERCIAL TERMS & CONDITIONS POLICY

The essential requirements for exclusion of commercial terms and conditions from all American National Standards are specified in the ANSI Essential Requirements document.  IAM agrees to comply with this ANSI Commercial Terms and Conditions Policy. All American National Standards developed by IAM and its Standards and Technology Partnership and Subcommittees must therefore comply with this policy. The policy includes:

  • Avoiding the specification of all business relations between buyer and seller.
  • Avoiding the appearance that a standard endorses any particular products, services or companies.
  • Mandatory use of the words “or the equivalent” whenever the name and address of a sole source supplier is included anywhere in a IAM standard to enable essential equipment, materials or services to comply with or to determine compliance with the standard.
  • Restricting description of the process or criteria that are used in the determination of whether products or services conform to one or more standards to technical and engineering concerns and avoiding what would otherwise be a commercial term.

12.  CORRESPONDENCE

12.1 Committee Correspondence – Correspondence from a IAM Standards and Technology Partnership and Subcommittee member to the entire membership of the Committee shall be forwarded to the Secretariat for screening and distribution.  All official Committee correspondence, including meeting notices, agendas, reports and letter ballots, shall be distributed by the Secretariat.  Copies of all other correspondence between Committee members, relating to IAM Standards activities, shall be forwarded to the Secretariat.

12.2 External Correspondence – All official IAM Standards and Technology Partnership and Subcommittee correspondence to external parties must be approved by the Committee or its delegated representative and distributed by the Secretariat.  Inquiries relating to the IAM Standards and Technology Partnership and Standards shall be directed to the Secretariat.  Committee members should advise individuals who contact them that responses to all inquiries are handled by the Secretariat.

13.   APPEALS

13.1 Complaint – Persons who have been or may be affected by any IAM Standards and Technology Partnership and/or Subcommittee action or inaction shall have the right to appeal such action or inaction.  The appellant shall file a written complaint with the Secretariat within 30 days after the date of notification of any action, or at any time with respect to inaction.  The complaint shall state the nature of the objection, the procedures or the sections of the Standard(s) that are at issue, the action or inaction at issue, and the specific remedial action(s) that would satisfy the appellant’s concerns.  Previous efforts to resolve the objections and the outcome of each shall be noted.

13.2 Response – Within 30 days after the receipt of the complaint, the Secretariat shall respond in writing to the appellant, specifically addressing each allegation in the complaint to the extent possible.  The Secretariat shall attempt to resolve, informally, the complaint of the appellant.

13.3 Appeals Panel and Hearing – If the Secretariat is unable to informally resolve the complaint, it shall appoint an appeals panel to hold a hearing on a date agreeable to all participants, with at least 15 working days notice.  The appeals panel shall consist of three individuals who have not been directly involved in the dispute and who will not be materially affected by any decision made in the dispute.  At least two members of the panel shall be acceptable to the appellant and at least two shall be acceptable to the Secretariat.

13.4 Conduct of the Hearing – The appellant has the responsibility of demonstrating improper action or inaction, the adverse effects therefrom, and the efficacy of the requested remedial action.  The Secretariat has the responsibility to demonstrate that the Committee took all actions in question in compliance with these procedures.

13.5 Decision – The appeals panel shall render its decision in writing within 30 days of the hearing, based upon a preponderance of the evidence, stating its findings of fact and conclusions, with reasons therefore and citing the evidence.  The Secretariat shall notify the appellant and the Committee of the decision of the appeals panel, which shall be binding and final on all concerned.

14.   REVISIONS TO PROCEDURES

These Operating Procedures are maintained by The International Association of Movers Proposed revisions to these Operating Procedures may be submitted in writing by any IAM Member, Committee or otherwise interested party to the IAM General Counsel along with a supporting rationale for the proposed change.  The IAM General Counsel will present the proposed revisions to the IAM Executive Board for review and consideration.  The revised procedures are then submitted to ANSI for public comment, and ANSI review and approval.  Any approved revisions to these Operating Procedures shall be effective upon publication.

The Secretariat shall be responsible for the interpretation of these Operating Principles and Procedure.

15.    WITHDRAWAL OF AN EXISTING AMERICAN NATIONAL STANDARD

IAM will adopt the ANSI Criteria for withdrawal that is outlined in the ANSI Essential Requirements: Due Process Requirements for American National Standards. IAM will withdraw an American National Standard if a majority of the IAM Standards and Technology Partnership votes for withdrawal.