Standards Creation/Revision Outline

This outline is designed to help Society of American Archivists (SAA) sections or groups who are sponsoring the creation of a new standard or the revision of an existing standard. This is not a substitute for the Procedures for Review and Approval of an SAA-Developed Standard, but it is designed to help navigate the process. References to the Procedures are included throughout the list, for more detailed information with the section and subsection number (ex: I.A. or III.C.1)

Please note: This outline is not for the Procedures for SAA Endorsement of an External Standard. That is a different (and slightly shorter) process designed for SAA approval of standards created or revised by external groups, task forces with representation from multiple organizations, or other non-SAA developed documentation.

Proposing a Creation/Revision

1. The proposing group(s) (which must be an official SAA group) must complete the proposal for standards development (I.A.)

  a. Note: Occasionally, creation or revision may begin with a different workflow, under the auspices of SAA Council. “Fast-tracked procedures” (VI) may be initiated by Council, but are still subject to review by Standards Committee, beginning with Section III of the Procedures and should follow the outline below starting at step 3.

2. Standards Committee reviews the proposal and may be in communication with the proposing group(s) for additional details (II.A)

3. Standards Committee recommends for Council to approve creation/revision process and forwards it to Council according to their meeting schedule/deadline for agenda items.

Do the Hard Work

4. Once Council has agreed that a proposal is approved for creation/revision, the Standards Development Process (III) begins. The group appointed to do the creation/revision will:

a. Consult with SAA groups and external organizations (III.A). This process should be documented for the submission packet later.

b. Draft the new or revised standard and supporting documentation (III.B) OR submit a notice of project abandonment (III.C).

c. Submit the packet (draft and supporting documentation) to Standards.

Standards Committee Review and Recommendation

5. Standards Committee reviews the submission packet and may be in communication with the group leading the creation/revision for additional details or information (IV.A).

6. Once the packet is complete, Standards Committee will make a recommendation and forward it to Council according to their meeting schedule/deadline for agenda items.

Council Approval

7Once the packet has been recommended to Council for approval of the creation/revision and Council has agreed, the group leading the creation/revision:

a. Will work with the Standards Committee and SAA Webmaster to add or update the standard on the Standards Portal (V.A.3).

b. Will assist in developing information to release through different channels to share the new or revised standard (V.B)

c. May participate in managing the revision cycle or ongoing maintenance (depending on how the standard is managed) (V.C.2). Details on cyclical review (V.D) and on-going review (V.E.) are part of the procedures.

You're Done!

8. Celebrate your success!

Continuous Revision Note

Some standards are on a continuous revision cycle and major and minor changes may be proposed at any time without a full revision proposal.

1. Technical subcommittees responsible for standards under continuous revision may submit a minor change to the Standards Committee as per Section V.E.2 using the minor change request form. Minor changes are approved by the Standards Committee and submitted to Council for notification at the end of each year, as part of the annual report.

2. The technical subcommittees responsible for standards under continuous revision may submit a major change to one or more parts of the standard following the guidance in Section V.D.

V.2 reviewed and approved by the Standards Committee, October 2023