Saturday, November 26, 2011

NACE and ISO is this what we want?


There are several concerns related to the issue of NACE International’s adoption of ISO Standards as the representative standard for the industry.  There are times when this may be the best way to help the industry, but at this time there is little if any information that has been provided the general public of NACE.  If NACE is to continue to pursue this avenue of standard adoption, there must be a written and well publicized procedure that is voted on by the general membership in order to get the required support for this very critical move in policy.

Here are some of the concerns that have been expressed by me and other NACE members:

  1. Why not have ISO adopt NACE International documents instead of the other way around?  Are we not “The Corrosion Society”?  The last time I looked, ISO was not.

  1. Where is the detailed written procedure for this effort?  If there is one, has it been offered for comment from membership before it was approved?

  1. If NACE is truly to remain an international organization, why do we need to do this?  The comment has been made that some of the NACE Standards, Test Methods and other such documents are not being downloaded by those in the industry so they must not be a viable document.  Has anyone checked to see how many similar ISO documents have been downloaded?

  1. ISO documents cost a considerable amount of money. The understanding is that NACE members will not have to pay if these become ISO adopted by NACE documents, but will this change?

  1. How do we select our ONE vote/ONE country representative or the “project leader” for a New Work Item?  This is a critical part of the process.  If a particular person who has an agenda to make sure certain technologies or products are not included, then who controls this person?

  1. Since ISO is a ONE vote/ONE country process, how do we know who will be the countries that are represented on these committees?  Again, certain agendas may come into play, especially if one country that produces a product does not want to allow other products or technology to affect their production.

  1. NACE will lose control of our standards once they become adopted.  Our membership will no longer have a democrat vote in the process of writing and revising these documents.  At this time any member that wishes to vote has a voice that is heard and responded to.  Members must be alerted to this process change if a document becomes an ISO document that is adopted by NACE.  This has not been made clear to the general membership.

  1. In order for these documents to become adopted, there will usually be changes from the NACE standard and some of these can be significant.  Another words these will no longer be NACE documents voted on by NACE members, but ISO documents that are not controlled by NACE members!

  1. You say there are a “few” select standards that will be submitted as New Work Items to ISO.  Who decides which ones are to be submitted?  There seems to be a push for some of the “major” NACE standards to become ISO and then adopted by NACE.  One was SP0169 as was mentioned at CTW.  This is the most valuable, worked on, controversial standard NACE probably has, yet we want to lose control of our hard earned prize?  Again, if ISO wants to adopt what NACE International has developed, most do not see a problem, but the other way around, does not set well with many.

  1. Once the decision is made to submit a standard, then and only then is the general public of NACE alerted to this fact and the STG or STGs then vote on whether to go forward with this or not as an ISO document.  This is my understanding.  Yet the FBE document that we proposed to send to be a NWI at ISO was only voted on by the small group at CTW.  Is this correct or will it be balloted to those who want to join the voting pool in a letter ballot such as approval of a standard?

  1. The comment was made that once ISO approves their version of the standard, NACE can adopt it through ANSI.  Once adopted, the standard can then be “modified” by NACE to add or delete certain parts as needed, but this has to be done by NACE members of each individual country, not by NACE International.  How does this help NACE International?  We will become NACE USA, NACE France, NACE Russia, NACE whatever country and not NACE International! 

  1. If NACE groups from several countries “modify” the same document, now NACE has to keep up with each of these modifications, revisions, etc. Sounds like a tremendous amount of work, if these are to truly be NACE International documents!

  1. How will NACE interface with each of these countries that are “modifying” these documents?  What is the approval process for these?  Whose process do they use to modify a document?  Who votes on and approves the modifications?  Will a NACE representative be at these meetings in each country to be sure all is proper as per the ISO/NACE requirements?

  1. Since these “modified” ISO documents are also NACE documents how will they be numbered, etc.?  If someone goes to another country to work and wants to use an ISO/NACE standard, how would they know which one to choose?

  1. Does NACE have the personnel and space to handle all these different documents?  (I do understand we are only talking about a few [maybe] select documents, but at this time there is no real indication how many will actually be proposed.)

  1. Why does NACE not take the approach of being THE CORROSION standards organization for the world and let ISO adopt what we do?  If as indicated over 40% of NACE members are international, why do we need ISO?

  1. Is not the ISO organization much smaller than NACE?  Why let them have control?

  1. Many companies and individuals have invested much time and effort in the various NACE standards and do not feel there is a need to allow another organization to dictate what we do and how we do it.  We will lose control of some of NACE’s most valuable assets and the reason we volunteer to work on these documents.

  1. ISO gets involved in so many different aspects of industry beyond that of corrosion control, so how will our one and only vote be promoted by someone who may not even know what we are promoting?

  1. Who selects the “project leader” for a NWI?  If this person has an agenda to only promote certain issues or products, etc., what control do we have?  Will this be a NACE person who can make knowledgeable decisions at meeting concerning that particular document?

  1. Has anyone from NACE actually gone to the general public of NACE and discussed this issue with members and asked for comments, concerns or approval before starting this process?

  1. The NACE members who have been active on these ISO committees were not appointed by NACE, NACE membership or committees, yet we are going to take their direction on this very important issue.  They are there because their companies saw an opportunity and had the finances to increase their presences in European countries.  Now they will use this experience to move NACE away from over 60 years of standard development to an organization that has much less experience and knowledge of the corrosion control industry.  

Personally, I feel that we need to be very cautious about this process and I am not sure it is the path that is best for NACE International.  We should be the leader, not adopting what another group, whose members may not even be NACE members, has produced.

We do understand the process of working with ISO from an international prospective and providing them with NACE documents for them to adopt or as a resource for them to develop standards.  Members who participate in the development of these documents do not want their work dismantled and in some cases “watered down”.

The NACE process is not perfect, but everyone who wants to participate can.  We all have the opportunity to comment, vote and work to balance these standards to get the best overall document possible through compromise and hard work!  We lose this with ISO documents.  No longer will NACE and its members have control of these adopted documents. 

NACE International is the world’s leader in corrosion control.  Let’s keep it that way!

Thank you,
Richard Norsworthy

Below is the procedure presently in the TCC Manual for NACE/ISO standards. 


3.16.1        Anyone may submit to TCC a formal written recommendation for consideration of a NACE standard to be submitted as a New Work Item to ISO.  Standards to be considered should support NACE’s international objectives.

3.16.2        The proposal shall be forwarded to the responsible Technology Coordinator for circulation to the appropriate STG Steering Committees(s) for discussion, review and feedback to the TCC.

3.16.3        The TCC shall review the information provided and vote on whether to submit the NWI for the standard in question.  The TCC may approve or reject the proposal or request more information or modification of the proposal.

3.16.4        If the proposal is approved, ISO procedures for completing and submitting a New Work Item shall be followed by NACE staff in accordance with ISO document Part 1 Procedures for the Technical Work of the ISO/IEC Directives, and Supplement – Procedures Specific to ISO for detailed instructions.


     3.17.1         Anyone may submit to TCC a formal written recommendation for adoption of an ISO standard as American National Standard (ANS).  Standards to be considered should support NACE’s international objectives.

    3.17.2          The TCC shall review the information provided and vote on whether to submit the proposed national adoption to the appropriate STG(s) for processing through NACE standards development procedures.  If the TCC approves, procedures for forming a Total Balloting List shall be followed and the proposal for national adoption of the standard shall be distributed for ballot.  If the technical changes are made as a result of the negative votes and comments, the adoption may be a Modified Adoption as described in the ANSI Essential Requirements and the ANSI Procedures for the National Adoption of ISO or IEC Standards as American National Standards.