Find Answers to Volunteering and Standards Questions

Back to FAQs

What types of CLSI committees exist?

Click the committee below to learn more about the committees' roles, duties, and how to get involved.

  • Document Development Committees—Comprised of a balanced representation from government, industry, and the health care professions, a CLSI document development committee is a group of technical experts who work together to develop a CLSI document.
  • Working Groups—Typically, working groups have focused on tasks that support the work of a subcommittee. A working group's assignment is usually limited in scope and can include writing a single document or section of a document or conducting a technical study.
  • Subcommittees—Subcommittees are responsible for two or more related documents in a topic area. They write draft documents, evaluate and respond to comments on content throughout the document development process, conduct scheduled document reviews, and may be responsible for continual revision of certain documents. CLSI has established subcommittees in the following areas: antimicrobial, antifungal, and veterinary antimicrobial susceptibility testing. 
  • Expert Panels—Expert panels are responsible for identifying and proposing projects. They review project proposals from other sources and advise the Consensus Council on their suitability.  The expert panels are also responsible for reviewing, commenting on, and voting on documents within their area of expertise during the Proposed Draft vote. Periodically, they are asked to review documents within their area of expertise and recommend them for reaffirmation, revision, withdrawal, or archiving. 
  • Consensus Council—The Consensus Council serves as the consensus body for CLSI. It sets priorities for and manages CLSI standards development and identifies continual improvement opportunities for standards development-related processes. The Consensus Council also votes on Final Draft documents to confirm adherence to process requirements.
  • Board of Directors—Comprised of a balanced representation from government, industry, and the health care professions, the CLSI Board of Directors fulfills CLSI's mission by supervising, controlling, and directing CLSI's affairs; assuring the integrity of the voluntary consensus process. View the current Board of Directors here.

How do I participate on a CLSI committee?

Committee openings are posted on our Volunteer Opportunities page. If there is a committee position that you are interested in, please log in (or sign-up to create a login) and apply to the committee. If you don’t see a current opening, but would like to be considered for future openings, please log in and complete your Volunteer Profile.

Do I need to be a member before I can volunteer?

As a future volunteer, membership is an important way to get involved; however, it is not required in advance of volunteering. Once selected for a committee, payment of an annual administrative fee is required for participation on CLSI committees. If you or your organization is a member of CLSI, the annual fee is included in your membership dues; no additional payment is required. More information on CLSI membership can be found here.

What are the requirements to become a CLSI volunteer?

Member selection for a document development committee is primarily based on expertise and/or practical experience as defined in the project proposal.

The following additional criteria are considered in the member selection process:

  • Representation among professional, government, and industry and any other affected constituencies
  • Ability to function in the consensus process
  • Financial support of the volunteer’s organization for participation in CLSI activities
  • Global participation relative to the project
  • Submission of proper paperwork (eg, curriculum vitae, disclosure of interests form)
  • Member-organization representation, with appropriate balance of new constituency representation (will be considered, but is not a requirement)
  • Appropriate balance of experienced and new volunteers
  • A history of tracked on-time contributions to other document development committees
  • Ability to meet all time requirements listed in the proposed document development schedule
  • Active Membership/Administrative Fee has been paid

Who is eligible for reimbursement of meeting expenses?

CLSI has a volunteer reimbursement policy here.

Why types of documents and products does CLSI offer?

CLSI offers voluntary consensus standards and guidelines, reports, and a number of companion products.

  • Standards are documents developed through the consensus process that clearly identify specific, essential requirements for materials, methods, or practices for use in an unmodified form. Standards may, in addition, contain discretionary elements, which are clearly identified.
  • Guidelines are documents developed through the consensus process describing criteria for a general operating practice, procedure, or material for voluntary use. Guidelines may be used as written or modified by the user to fit specific needs.
  • Reports are documents that have not been subjected to consensus review.
  • Companion products include any item provided or sold that is intended to be used in conjunction with a CLSI standard or guideline. Examples include, but are not limited to, Quick Guides, Wall Charts, software, and templates. Companion products typically contain or refer to technical content taken directly from standards and guidelines.

What does "consensus" mean in the context of the CLSI consensus process?

CLSI voluntary consensus is the agreement among materially affected, competent, and interested parties. Voluntary consensus does not always connote unanimous agreement, but it does mean that the participants have considered and resolved all relevant objections.

I have an idea for a project. How do I suggest it?

Any person or organization may propose a new CLSI project by submitting a completed online Project Proposal Form or by downloading our PDF Project Proposal Form and e-mailing it to Project proposals are evaluated through a progressive project assessment/authorization process that includes:
  • An internal idea assessment, to review the proposal for consistency with the mission and goals of CLSI
  • An assessment by the appropriate CLSI committee, to evaluate the interest/perceived need of key constituents

Following the project assessment, the completed proposal, the approved document development committee roster, and a project business plan are presented to the Consensus Council for authorization.

What is the CLSI process for developing a consensus standard or guideline?

You can see an illustration of the full process here.

How is voting conducted on CLSI documents? Who is eligible to vote?

Voting can be accomplished at a committee meeting, during a conference call, or electronically via e-mail. Only CLSI delegates and alternates, and participants designed as members on document development committees, expert panels, and subcommittees are eligible to vote on a Proposed Draft document. The Consensus Council votes on the Final Draft document to ensure that the process was upheld. All other committee participants are encouraged to provide comments. In addition, CLSI welcomes comments from the public (see below for details).

How do I review or comment on a CLSI document in development?

Anyone is eligible to review or comment on a CLSI draft document. At specific points in the document development process, the draft is reviewed by the document development committee and the appropriate consensus committee. During the proposed draft voting period, the document is reviewed by the CLSI delegates and the Board of Directors. At this time, it is also available for public review. Requests for copies of draft documents should be submitted via email to All comments are addressed by the CLSI committee that developed the document. Comments may be submitted using our comment form, via e-mail at or via mail to:

950 West Valley Road, Suite 2500
Wayne, PA 19087 USA

How are minority opinions handled in the CLSI consensus process?

Unresolved objections (ie, “reject” votes) and substantive changes after balloting are reported to the committee, and committee members have the opportunity to respond, reaffirm, or change their votes based on the stated objection(s).

Unchanged reject votes or unresolved comments are appended to the document as minority opinions, with a notification and request for user input.

Does CLSI have an appeals process?

The CLSI Standards Development Policies and Processes Document provides for appeal by persons or organizations that have been or will be materially or adversely affected by substantive and procedural actions or inactions with regard to the development, revision, reaffirmation, or withdrawal of a CLSI consensus document. The appeals procedures shall provide for participation by all parties concerned without imposing an undue burden on them. Consideration of appeals shall be fair and unbiased and shall fully address the concerns expressed.

These appeals procedures are consistent with the requirements of the American National Standards Institute Essential Requirements. Each objector shall be informed that an appeals process exists within the procedures used by CLSI. The burden of proof to show adverse effect shall be on the appellant.

The CLSI consensus procedure incorporates two avenues of appeal: appeal of substantive issues and appeal of procedural issues. Procedural appeals include whether a technical issue was afforded due process. Notice of this process will be incorporated in the comment/response summary published in CLSI consensus documents.

Appeal of substantive issues related to the contents of CLSI documents is incorporated in the consensus development process by requiring all relevant objections to be satisfactorily addressed by the respective committee.

What is CLSI's policy on harmonization of terms and methods?

Terms and definitions are fundamental parts of documents; therefore, it is necessary to standardize their use.

Toward that end, CLSI:

  1. Identifies harmonization issues as early as possible in the consensus process.
  2. Fully implements the protocol for use of terms and definitions that recognize the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) terms as the preferred terms and identifies terms from other sources and applies them as appropriate.
  3. Maintains an up-to-date database of nomenclature and definitions used in CLSI, ISO, and European Committee for Standardization standards, and ensures access to the database by committee participants.
  4. Is proactive in educating volunteers, committees, and constituents on the importance of harmonization.
  5. Staff and volunteers are responsible for the implementation of the harmonization policy.

Is CLSI an accredited standards development organization?

Yes, CLSI is accredited by the American National Standards Institute.