Processes & Procedures
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Processes & Procedures

As an ANSI Accredited Standards Developer (SDO), SHRM offers the following references for standards development processes and procedures:

Informal Complaint

Any participant with a concern regarding the Taskforce process is encouraged to first discuss their concern with the Taskforce leadership.

Formal Complaint

After exhausting the appeals options internal to the Taskforce, any individuals and entities not satisfied that their grievance has been properly addressed may file a written complaint with SHRM.

Written Complaint

Persons who have been or may be affected by any Taskforce action or inaction shall have the right to appeal such action or inaction. The appellant shall file a written complaint with the Secretariat within thirty (30) calendar days after the date of notification of any action, or at any time with respect to inaction. The complaint shall state the nature of the objection, the procedures or the sections of the standards that are at issue, the action or inaction at issue, and the specific remedial action(s) that would satisfy the appellant’s concerns. Previous efforts to resolve the objections and the outcome of each shall be noted.


Within thirty (30) calendar days after the receipt of the complaint, the Secretariat shall respond in writing to the appellant, specifically addressing each allegation in the complaint to the extent possible. The Secretariat shall attempt to resolve, informally, the complaint of the appellant.


Hearing and Panel

If the Secretariat is unable to informally resolve the complaint, it shall appoint an appeals panel to hold a hearing on a date agreeable to all participants, with at least fifteen (15) working days notice. The appeals panel shall consist of three individuals who have not been directly involved in the dispute and who shall not be materially affected by any decision made in the dispute. At least two (2) members of the panel shall be acceptable to the appellant and at least two (2) shall be acceptable to the Secretariat.

Conduct of Hearing

The Appellant has the responsibility of demonstrating improper action or inaction, the adverse effects there from, and the efficacy of the requested remedial action. The Secretariat has the responsibility to demonstrate that the Taskforce took all actions in question in compliance with these procedures.

The hearing shall be conducted in an informal manner and subject to such reasonable rules as the appeals panel sets forth. The appeals panel and the parties shall not be bound by any formal rules of evidence. Representatives of other interested parties shall be allowed to observe the hearing but shall not be permitted to directly participate unless requested to participate by the appeals panel.


The appeals panel shall render its decision in writing within thirty (30) calendar days of the hearing, based upon a preponderance of the evidence, stating its findings of fact and conclusions, with reasons therefore and citing the evidence. The Secretariat shall notify the Appellant and the Taskforce of the decision of the appeals panel, which shall be binding and final on all concerned.

Further appeal may be made directly to ANSI, if the standard involved is only to be ANSI-approved. If the appellant gives notice to SHRM that such a further appeal to ANSI is intended, all relevant materials, including the decision made by the appeals panel set forth above, shall be submitted to ANSI by SHRM. See paragraph 2.8.2 of the ANSI Essential Requirements.

Standards Quick Reference Guide (Coming soon)


One of the key principles in the standards development process is establishing consensus. Consensus is the method used by the SHRM Taskforces to reach resolution of issues, unless specifically otherwise provided for in these procedures. Consensus is established when substantial agreement has been reached among those participating in the issue at hand. Substantial agreement means more than a simple majority, but not necessarily unanimous agreement.

Consensus requires that all views and objections be considered, and that a concerted effort be made toward their resolution. Under some circumstances, consensus is achieved when the minority no longer wishes to articulate its objection. In other cases, the opinions of the minority should be recorded with the report of the substantial agreement, or consensus, of the majority.

When there are questions or disputes regarding consensus, leaders or participants should ask the objecting participant(s) to state the rationale for the objection and provide an opportunity for full discussion aimed at achieving full understanding and consideration of the objection.