Steps in STP Process

Welcome to the Explanation of UL's STP consensus process. This site provides users with an overview of how to develop a new UL standard or revise an existing UL Standard within the STP consensus process.

Membership

UL's Standards Technical Panels (STPs) are comprised of eight interest categories.
  • Producers - A representative of a company that is engaged in the manufacture of products covered by the STP. A company which contracts out operations such as fabrication and/or assembly, but still retains some control of the overall production process, including for example, performance of such major functions as research and development, design, ownership of tools and dies, production scheduling, quality control and wholesale distribution is also considered to be a producer. A consultant or agent who represents a manufacturer is considered a producer.
  • Testing and Standards Organizations - Organizations that test and/or certify products covered by the standard, or that develop standards/codes related to the products covered by the Standard.
  • Supply Chain - Component producers for an end-product STP or end-product producers for a component STP; installers; distributors; and retailers. Manufacturers with no manufacturing facilities for the products by the STP, but solely use contract manufacturers to make the products. Wholesale or retail purchase-resellers for products made by other companies are also considered as part of the supply chain category.
  • AHJ - Those involved in the regulation or enforcement of the requirements of codes and standards at the state and local level. Where public safety is primary, the authority having jurisdiction may be a state, local, or other regional department or individual such as a fire chief; fire marshal; chief of a fire prevention bureau, labor department, or health department; building official; electrical inspector; or others having statutory authority. For insurance purposes, an insurance inspection department, rating bureau, or other insurance company representative may be the authority having jurisdiction.
  • Government - Representatives from federal agencies. These may include CPSC, FDA, EPA, DOT, DOE, DOD, NIST, etc. Also, representatives of state, local, or regional government bodies that do not fall under the category of AHJ.
  • Consumer - Consumer organizations, consumer departments at universities, home economic departments at universities, professional consumers, individuals who use the product as part of their livelihood and are not eligible for STP membership under another interest category.
  • General Interest - Consultants, academia, scientists, etc that are not covered by the other participation categories, such as professional societies, attorneys, and safety experts and trade associations. Companies that only private-brand label products (made by another manufacturer) covered by the STP.
  • Commercial / Industrial Users - Organizations that use the product in a commercial or industrial setting. Examples include a restaurant owner/operator serving on an STP for commercial cooking equipment, or a gas station owner/operator serving on an STP for flammable liquid storage tanks. Representative of organizations that manufacture products covered by the standard, whose organization also use the product, are not eligible for STP membership under this category.
UL strives for equal representation within these eight interest categories but in no case should any interest category be over 50 percent of the membership.

STP membership is open and UL is always looking for additional participants in all of the categories other than Producers. If you are interested in participating on an STP, please contact the Project Manager for the STP you are interested in, or contact Deborah Prince.

In addition, UL encourages authorities having jurisdiction and consumers to participate in the STP process by offering funding for them to attend STP meetings.

Process

  1. Gathering Input
  2. Proposal Evaluation and Processing Options
  3. Proposal Balloting and Commenting
  4. Comment Resolution
View the complete flowchart (pdf).

Meetings

  • STP meetings are held when the STP Chair decides that there is a need to get the consensus body together either because there are proposals to discuss or comments to resolve.
  • Standards Technical Panel (STP) meetings that result from proposals or are otherwise convened by UL are open.
  • All STP meeting notices are posted on the UL CSDS under the "Meetings" selection on the STP Info pulldown menu.

 

Gathering Input

Input is provided by STP Members, industry, consumer groups, insurance representatives, and government agencies, as well as by regulatory authorities, trade associations, and advisory groups by using the Submit a Proposal Request function through the UL Collaborative Standards Development System (CSDS).

 


All requests to change a UL standard should use the on-line Proposal Request Form on UL CSDS. The requests to change a UL Standard should include a rationale for the proposed change and proposed wording for the requirement is to be shown in legislative format (i.e., using strike-through to show deleted text, and underline to show added text). In addition, any supporting documentation should be attached. Example Proposal Request

 

 


 

Proposal Evaluation and Processing Options

  • All submitted proposed changes to a UL standard are reviewed by the STP Chair and the submitter of the proposed change is advised on the course of action being taken.
  • The STP Chair has several options on how to handle a proposed change to a UL standard, though ultimately most proposals end at balloting.

1.     The STP Chair may decide to post the proposals on CSDS for comment only. This is a preliminary review to gauge the general support of a proposal. The comments will not receive an official response but those comments will be taken into consideration as to whether or not to forward the proposal to the balloting stage, or

2.     The STP Chair may decide to post the fully developed proposals on CSDS for comment and balloting, or

3.     The STP Chair may decide that the concept of the proposed change is good but the proposal needs some work before it is sent to ballot. The STP Chair could send that proposal to a Task Group for further work.

 

 

 


 

Proposal Balloting and Commenting

Proposals to develop or revise a standard are posted on CSDS in a Proposal Review Work Area for comment. Work Areas are listed under the "Work Areas" tab on the User Home page. Subscribers to UL's Standards Services and public review participants are allowed to comment on a proposal in the Work Area.

Work Area



Proposals to develop or revise a standard are posted on CSDS in the Proposal Review Work Area for balloting. The STP Members are allowed to comment and ballot on a proposal review in the Work Area by selecting the Ballot tab and voting.

Voting
Voting

  • Proposals must reach consensus before UL publishes the requirements.
    • Consensus is achieved when a majority of the STP returns a ballot and approval is granted by 2/3 of those voting minus abstentions, negatives without comment, and negatives based on material not covered by the ballot.
    • A majority (2/3) vote is calculated as follows:

1.     If the # of Yes Votes divided by the number of STP members voting (minus abstentions, negatives without comment, and negatives based on material not covered by the ballot) is equal to or greater than 2/3 (approx. 0.667), then the vote has passed the 2/3 condition [Y/(Y+N) >= 0.667], and

2.     If the # of Returned votes equal 50% or greater, then the vote has passed the majority returned condition.

1.     response drafted by UL,

2.     response drafted by STP Project Manager based on discussions by the STP at a comment resolution meeting,

3.     response drafted by a task group, or

4.     response drafted by the original submitter of the proposal.

 

 


 

Comment Resolution

  • The disposition of comments is shared with participants, and substantive revisions to proposals resulting from the comments, along with continuing objections, are recirculated. All comments and substantive revisions are made available via UL CSDS in a recirculation Work Area.
  • The STP Members have the opportunity to change their vote based on the comments and responses.
  • Commentors have the opportunity to withdraw their comments based on other comments and responses.
  • Consensus is again verified during this phase.
  • A proposal that lacks consensus may be withdrawn by the submittor at any time in the process. When a proposal is withdrawn, the STP will be notified, and the reason for withdrawal will be provided.
  • All continuing objections have the right to appeal UL's intention to publish proposals that have completed the consensus process.
  • Continuing objectors may appeal the decision of the STP on the basis of a procedural complaint. Technical decisions approved by the STP are not grounds for appeal and will not be heard.
  • All valid appeals will be heard through a standing Appeals Panel. Details on the appeals process are available at UL's Standards Technical Panel web site -Register an Appeal.
  • All approved proposals are published.