Standards are the foundation of CLSI, and timely and consistent publication of new and revised CLSI standards is critical to the organization’s success. During the Board of Directors meeting in September 2014, the Board approved updates to the current standards development process and associated committee structure to improve the efficiency and timeliness of the standards development process. These improvements are intended to optimize the effectiveness of the time and skills generously provided by our dedicated volunteers.
The new structure will create a single, unified Consensus Council that will be responsible for oversight of all documents developed through the CLSI consensus process, and will create a group of Expert Panels that will provide discipline-specific technical and scientific input.
The new structure is shown in the following figure:
The Consensus Council will be responsible for the prioritization and process management aspects of all standards development projects, including all specialty areas. Expert Panels will support each technical area, and will provide the Consensus Council and the document development committees with expert technical and scientific guidance, as needed. This distribution of responsibilities allows the Consensus Council to focus on prioritization of projects and the consensus process, and the Expert Panels to focus on the scientific excellence of our standards and guidelines. The document development committees will continue to work as they are in the current process with additional scientific support from the new Expert Panels.
These changes will allow volunteers to focus their time and participation in the areas where their skills and contributions will have the greatest impact. It will allow a more streamlined workflow for all volunteers and will improve the efficiency of the CLSI standards development process. Most importantly, the changes will allow CLSI to produce more high quality standards at a faster rate, focusing on the standards that are most needed to fulfill our mission: to develop clinical and laboratory practices and promote their use worldwide.
Further information will be communicated in the months ahead as the operational details for the revised process are refined. The new structure is scheduled to be fully implemented by January 2016. I look forward to the implementation of these process improvements and to the positive impact they will have on CLSI and laboratory testing.