ULC Standards’ Technical Committees are key to the relevance, quality and success of our Standard publications. The Committees are comprised of expert volunteers who represent a balance of interests at both a National and regional level and who work together to achieve the most effective result for the safety and benefit of Canada as whole.
The responsibilities of a ULC Standards Technical Committees include the review of the need for new standards and the updating of existing standards; the development of the full text of the standards; the consideration of proposals or requests for revisions or amendments to existing standards; and the interpretation of the requirements of specific standards.
The duties of individual ULC Standards’ Technical Committee members include regular attendance at meetings (usually twice annually) and timely response to all requests for comments and voting on draft Standards. In addition, Committee members may be invited to participate in the work of preparing draft Standard texts by Subcommittees or Task Groups.
Technical Committee members are provided with instructions guiding their participation on the committee, initially when the committee is formed, and as a reminder, at Committee meetings, at least annually.
The Committee Instructions contain guidance on the following:
A. Committee Structure – Information on the committee structure including balance.
B. Role on Committee – Information on Committee members’ roles and responsibilities including review of drafts, return of ballots, attendance at meetings, representation of Associations, where appropriate.
C. Price Fixing – Committee members shall be instructed that standards shall not be developed as a means to fix prices nor to exclude competition or otherwise inhibit commerce beyond that necessary to meet requirements of relevant technical regulations or other legitimate sectorial or local requirements for compatibility, environmental protection, health and safety.
D. International Harmonization – Committee members shall be instructed that preference will be given to existing International Standards or where an International Standard is imminent, as the basis for development of corresponding Canadian standards. They shall be instructed that exceptions to this rule exist where such International standards would be ineffective or inappropriate, for instance because of an insufficient level of protection or fundamental climatic of geographical factors of fundamental technological problems.
E. Protection Against Misleading Standards – Committee members shall be instructed that standards shall not be developed so as to be used to mislead consumers and other users of a product, process or service addressed by the Standard. If ULC Standards becomes aware of instances of standards being used to mislead, it will be brought to the attention of the Standards Review Council for action.
F. Place of Origin – Committee members shall be instructed that standards shall neither be developed nor adopted so as to discriminate among products on the basis of place of origin. Whenever there is evidence of instances of standards being developed with discrimination based on place of origin, it will be brought to the attention of ULC Standards for action.
G. Performance Based Requirements – Committee members shall be instructed that whenever possible, in order to leave maximum freedom for technical development, the requirements of standards shall be expressed in terms of performance rather than design or descriptive characteristics.
H. References to Certification or Administrative Requirements – Committee members shall be instructed that administrative requirements relating to conformity assessment and marks of conformity or other non-technical issues should not be presented in Standards.
I. Intellectual Property Rights including Copyright – Committee members shall be instructed that all work done or prepared under or by the committee including but not limited to drafts of standards and published ULC and CAN/ULC Standards and other publications belongs solely to ULC Standards.
J. Patented Items in Standards – Committee members shall be made aware that standards should not be drafted in terms that include the use of a patented item unless the use of such item is justifiable for technical reasons, and the rights holder agrees to negotiate licences with Interested Applicants, wherever located, on reasonable terms and conditions, both at the start of the development of a standard and during its life.
K. Trade – Standards should be developed to meet the needs of the market-place and should contribute to advancing trade in the broadest possible geographic and economic contexts. The standards committees are to be made aware that standards are developed so as not to create unnecessary obstacles to international or inter-provincial trade, or both. When a standard inadvertently results in the impedance or inhibition of trade, ULC Standards shall take action to resolve an unjustified impediment or inhibition to trade.
L. Conflict of Interest – Due diligence shall be exercised to verify that committee members and ULC Standards staff involved in standards development have no conflict of interest in carrying out their roles and responsibilities on the technical committee.