What does ASTM reapproved mean?

What does ASTM reapproved mean?  This is one of those questions that many folks who are new to standards have.  The answer is simple, but it is an opportunity to discuss the administrative side of standardization too.

“Reapproved” or “Reaffirmed” are terms used in standardization to notate that a publication has been reviewed on a certain date.  During this review, the technical content of the standard was found to still be valid.  So you can continue to use the publication the way that it was originally issued.   You will see this written as “2000(2016) Edition” or “2000 (R2016) Edition” or even “2000 R16 Edition.” Good standards practice usually requires such a review every 5 years.

Do you have to purchase an ASTM reapproved (or any reaffirmed) edition?  This is a judgement call for many organizations.  Since the technical content of a reaffirmed edition has not changed, there is no practical reason to buy a reaffirmed edition when you already have the original issue.  That is, there is no practical difference between a 2000 Edition and a 2000 R2016 Edition.

However, sometimes auditors will prefer to have the most current edition of a publication used.  So in some cases, documentation experts will go ahead and get the reapproved edition so that they have the latest copy on file at all times.  This should be discussed with your auditor should your document collection be part of a compliance review.

Sometimes ASTM publications are reaffirmed with editorial corrections.  You might see this as “2000(2016) e1 Edition” or 2000 R2016(e1) Edition.”  This means that the technical content has not changed, but there has been some other modification to the document.  It might be a correction to the address of a referenced entity or a reformatting of a table.  Again, since the technical content remains valid, purchasing the update is not mandatory.

If you are new to standards and have questions like this, you’ll be glad to know that we are here at Document Center Inc. to give you a helping hand.  We know that many of you come to the world of standards without any prior knowledge of this type of information.  So we are happy to assist you and explain the various conventions that can be so confusing.  Every question is acceptable!  Just get in touch with us by email (info@document-center.com) or phone (650-591-7600).

You’ll also find our website, www.document-center.com, to be a valuable resource.  When you search for standards to order, you can also review the document’s history.  Many times this will shed light on how the publication has changed over time.  And we also have information on the basics of standardization for you to review as well.

Remember, here at Document Center Inc. we’ve been working with standards since 1982.  We have many products and services set up specifically to help folks like you.  Make us your Standards Experts!

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Claudia Bach

Claudia Bach is the President of Document Center Inc. and a world-wide recognized expert on Standards and Standards Distribution. You can connect with her on Google+

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