Is Accreditation Important in Standards Work?

Is Accreditation Important in Standards Work?

Karl F. Best
DOI: 10.4018/jitsr.2009010103
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Among the hundreds, if not thousands, of organizations which develop standards there is a wide range of organizational structures, practices and policies, and levels of recognition or accreditation. But accredited and unaccredited standards organizations, commonly referred to as “SDOs” and “SSOs” respectively, are more alike than usually thought, and over the past decade have been converging in their practices and recognition of each others’ work. One may ask what the difference is between these organizations, as accreditation by itself is not a valid distinguishing feature – many unaccredited organizations are fully qualified to become accredited and would do so if only they saw the need or benefit. Standards used for such important technical advances as the World Wide Web come from unaccredited organizations, and users of standards seem to care little if the work was done in an accredited environment or not. So does accreditation matter?

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