How GSA Standards Are Created


Standard Development Timeline graphic

Call for a New Standard

A Member may call for the creation of a new standard, providing they have written support of two (2) other Members. All requesting Members must commit to providing resources for the development of the standard. Members must provide a development plan comprised of an overview of the proposed standard, a draft charter, a development timeline, and an agenda for the initial committee meeting. The development plan must include a recommendation as to whether the work can take place in an existing committee or the creation of a new committee is warranted. The development plan is submitted to the BOD for approval.

From time to time, the BOD may decide it is in the best interest of the industry to provide change management support to an existing or de facto standard developed outside of GSA. The BOD may, at any time, form a committee that will provide such change management support.

Initial Draft

After the BOD has approved the call for a new standard, the designated committee is directed to begin work on the Initial Draft of the standard.

When work on the Initial Draft has been completed, it is reviewed by the committee and a formal vote is taken to present it to the membership for review and comments.

Membership Review

The Initial Draft of the standard is sent out to the membership for review and comments. GSA will maintain a list or database of Members who have commented on the Initial Draft. The time period for membership review should be no less than thirty (30) days, unless the BOD shortens such time.

All comments and responses, including any committee ballot results, must be attached to the Initial Draft in an appendix and must remain with it during the development process.

Final Draft

Comments received during the membership review, together with any further required amendments, improvements, and/or changes are incorporated into the Final Draft of the standard. It is important that Members who raised concerns during the membership review are actively included in discussions provide that, when necessary, the Member has opted into the committee.

When work on the Final Draft has been completed, the committee reviews it and a formal vote is taken to accept it as the Final Draft of the standard. If approved, the Final Draft is forwarded to the BOD for process review.

BOD Process Review

The BOD examines the committee process to ensure that it has been followed correctly and that the Final Draft of the standard is suitable for publication. Upon approval of the process review, the BOD releases the Final Draft to the Members for a formal vote and a Request for Patent Notice in accordance with GSA's Intellectual Property Policy.

It is intended that this step not introduce undue delay into the adoption process; therefore, the BOD may vote by telephone poll or email to release the Final Draft of the standard. The time frame for BOD process review should be ten (10) days or less.

Membership Vote

A vote is taken by the Voting Members on accepting the Final Draft as a GSA standard. The time frame for membership vote on the Final Draft should be no less than thirty (30) days, and shall begin thirty (30) days after the Request for Patent Notice has been issued.


The Final Draft becomes a GSA standard if accepted by a simple majority of the Voting Members. The committee then completes the process by removing the appendices containing earlier ballot results, comments, and responses, and publishes the formal standard.