Better Standards Through Agile Improvement

Published on: 4/8/2020
By: Brie Welzer

In the last year, Green Seal has been reviewing our Standard Development Program to identify opportunities to accelerate market transformation through our standards. We’re excited to roll-out the first of several new and improved standard development tools planned for 2020.  

Today, we’re glad to introduce a new agile process that will allow us to quickly correct and improve the standards in ways that do not substantively change the requirements. This new process is the release of quarterly Corrections and Clarifications Reports.

Corrections and Clarifications Reports (CCRs)
CCRs include the list of standards that have been improved, their new edition numbers, and the details and justifications of the changes. Non-substantive changes include minor wording and phrasing changes to improve clarity, formatting changes to improve readability, corrections of typos, and updates of external references. 

Today we published our first CCR, which lists 28 changes across 7 standards, including six cleaning product standards and two personal care product standards. To dive into the details, head to our website and download the April 2020 CCR. As a quarterly report, the next CCR will be published in July. 

Improvement, Transparency, and Best Practices
Green Seal’s standards are market transformation tools. They are the products of thousands of hours of research, hundreds of stakeholder discussions, in-depth collaborations with industry and public health experts, and at least 120 days of public scrutiny. We do not make any changes to these documents without careful consideration. The content published in CCRs will reflect our careful review with issues being resolved through this scheduled quality assurance.

Adhering to best practices in standard development, Green Seal maintains at least five years of public records of any changes – substantive and non-substantive – to our standards. You can scroll through the evolution of our standards in our Library of Standards Documents.

Substantive changes to standards – those that raise or lower the bar of health and environmental leadership – will still be proposed to stakeholders via a 60-day public comment period.

More Details on Non-Substantive Changes  

  • The changes will not affect the certification status of a product or service. Companies that are in conformance will remain in conformance regardless of the changes published in the CCR
  • The changes noted within CCRs do not change the intent or stringency of the standard requirement. CCRs do not raise or lower the bar of Green Seal standards.

We look forward to sharing more improvements and new tools in the coming months. If you have questions about the CCRs or a comment on any of our standards, please reach out to us at Standards@greenseal.org.  

 

 

by Brie Welzer, Program Manager, Science & Standards Department