Change Management


Standard Change Management graphic


Every six months, the Architectural Oversight Committee (AOC) shall meet to assess the industry's progress towards adoption of the standards. At this time, the AOC shall review the Technical Bulletins and Extensions released by the technical committees. The AOC shall also review the progress of the technical committees towards the next release of the standards and the Roadmap for the standards (see Policy Handbook, Section 102.6 Publication of Roadmaps).

As a result of this assessment and review, the AOC may provide specific directions to the technical committees to help encourage adoption of the standards. When necessary, the AOC may adjust the lifecycle or Roadmap for a particular standard to assure coordinated and successful adoption of the standard by the industry.


A new three-year lifecycle starts when a new version of the standards are released by the technical committees (see Policy Handbook, Section 102.4.2 Standards Development Process).

Following release of the standards, the technical committees shall continuously evaluate feedback from the industry as well as evolving technology and business requirements. When necessary, the technical committee may release Technical Bulletins (see Policy Handbook, , Section Technical Bulletins), Guidelines (see Policy Handbook, Section 102.5 Guidelines), and/or Extensions (see Policy Handbook, Section 102.4.5 Extensions to Standards) to provide ongoing guidance to the industry.


Following release of a new standard, the members shall begin a coordinated implementation of the new standard. As appropriate, GSA staff shall provide updates and education on the new standards; test tool suppliers shall incorporate the new standards into their products; independent test labs shall update their test procedures to incorporate the new standards; manufacturers shall implement the new standards in their products.

By the end of the implementation stage, manufacturers should have completed their implementations of the new standards and begun the certification process; operators can expect delivery of interoperable products that conform to the new standards.


Throughout the three-year lifecycle, stakeholders shall have the opportunity to express their views on the standards and provide suggestions for changes and improvements - especially in light of evolving technology and new business requirements. All such feedback shall be recorded within GSA's change management system for review and evaluation by the technical committees.

At the conclusion of this stage, the technical committees shall categorize the feedback as follows and prepare a summary of proposed changes for the GSA Board.

  • Corrections - requests to correct documentation errors.
  • Clarifications - requests to improve the aspects of the standards that are ambiguous and might lead to interoperability problems.
  • Extensions - requests to extend the standards to incorporate new technologies or business requirements.

The technical committees shall submit the summary of the proposed changes, including any interim Technical Bulletins and/or Extensions that were released by the technical committees, to the GSA Board for approval. Any potential incompatibilities caused by the corrections or clarifications shall be duly noted. Similarly, any duplication of functionality introduced by the proposed extensions shall also be duly noted.


The GSA Board shall review and approve the proposed changes to the standards. As part of the approval process, the GAS Board may direct the technical committees to omit certain proposed changes to the standards.


Once the proposed changes have been approved by the GSA Board, the technical committees and GSA staff shall prepare the next release of the standards, distribute the release for member comment, address member comments, and then submit the release to the GSA Board for process review, call for IP, and, finally, member vote (see Policy Handbook, Section 102.4.2 Standards Development Process).

Once ratified by the members, the new standards shall be published by GSA staff, beginning a new three-year lifecycle for the standards.


After two complete three-year lifecycles, the old releases of the standards shall be retired. At that time, GSA staff and the technical committee shall stop providing guidance on the old releases. Manufacturers may submit products that use a retired release to independent test labs for compliance testing. Independent test labs may offer opinions regarding compliance with the retired release. However, GSA will only certify products found to be in compliance with releases that have not been retired. When necessary, the AOC may defer retirement of a release to meet the needs of the industry.