Listed below are some of the standard-setting organizations in North America that commonly address protective clothing performance requirements.
- American Society of Testing of Materials (ASTM)
ASTM publishes both performance specifications and test methods for evaluating protective clothing and equipment. Participants in ASTM are volunteers from industry, testing organizations, and users who have an interest in the topic. Each committee is supposed to have a balanced representation; however, this rule is not as clearly defined as in NFPA or CGSB. ASTM functions by consensus, which can cause the process to be more cumbersome than a simple majority. Standards and test methods are published by ASTM and renewed every 5 years.
- National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA writes voluntary compliance standards related to the Fire Service and other industries. Participants that serve on the committees that write standards are volunteers representing manufacturers, users, testing, and special experts. NFPA requires balanced participation from each of the four interest groups. NFPA standards have a predetermined development schedule that sets goals and establishes a timeline (usually 2 years). These schedules can be changed, but they tend to keep the process on track. NFPA standards are subject to public comment before publishing, and are renewed every 5 years.
- Canadian Government Standards Board (CGSB)
CGSB is a voluntary compliance organization that is sponsored by the Canadian government. As with NFPA, participants are volunteers representing manufacturers, users and testing, and each committee must have balanced representation. However, only Canadians can be voting members on each committee. CGSB has a strict development timeline and budget. If the timeline or budget is not met, the process will stop.