Accredited Standards Committee (ASC)

The Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) is an organization, certified by the American National Standards Institute, that produces standard communication protocols for electronic data interchange.[1]

The committee consists of members and a Secretariat. The membership of ASC is generally composed of organizations, companies, government agencies, individuals, etc. having a direct and material interest in the activities of the committee. A balance of the various interest groups must be maintained, i.e., no one interest group can dominate the committee.[2]

ASC Mission & Principles[3]

  • Mission
    • To develop high-quality e-commerce standards in an open consensus environment
    • To drive the adoption and implementation of the standards we develop
    • To collaborate with other standards bodies to ensure our standards are interoperable
    • To promote and provide education about the standards we develop
  • Principles
    • Provide high-quality standards that are responsive to the needs of the standards user and delivered in a timely manner.
    • Develop standards that are simple, efficient in use and support as broad a user base as possible. The standards must be functionally specific and unambiguous to the standards user so that only one standard is available to satisfy the intended use.
    • Emphasize, as our primary responsibility, the development, and maintenance of standards. However, we must also promote the expanded and proper use of the standards without interfering with the development and maintenance process.
    • Manage the evolution of EDI standards to accommodate change and introduce new technology while ensuring an orderly and acceptable transition within the existing user base.
    • Defined architecture with comprehensive and effective rules and procedures for standards development and maintenance and must dedicate ourselves to following the same.
    • Collaborate closely with other related standards bodies to avoid any duplication of effort, conflict, or confusion which may adversely affect the EDI user community.
    • Represent our user community in the development of the UN/EDIFACT standards, ensuring maximum compatibility with American National Standards. As our ultimate goal, we should strive for one set of EDI standards worldwide.
    • Adhere to the highest ethical principles.

Accredited Standards Committee X12 (ASC X12)[4]

Chartered by ANSI in 1979, the Accredited Standards Committee X12 provides standards that can be used for nearly all facets of business-to-business operations conducted electronically. The committee aims at:

  • Developing high-quality e-commerce standards that are responsive to the needs of the standards user
  • Collaborating with other existing standards to make the standards developed more interoperable
  • Avoiding any conflict, confusion, and duplication of effort
  • Publishing and promoting the standards along with their education
  • Driving the implementation and adoption of the standards developed by the committee

The committee also looks into evolving the electronic data standards while introducing new technological changes to ensure an organized, systematic transition for the existing user base. The committee body meets three times a year to define and modify the standards, and the members jointly develop and publish the EDI standards by means of uniform and common business languages, which help in streamlining business transactions. The membership of Accredited Standards Committee X12 consists of business process experts and technologists from government and different industries such as transportation, finance, health care, insurance, manufacturing, and supply chain.

Accredited Standards Committee X9 (ASC X9)[5]

In 1974, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved the scope of activity for the X9 Standards Committee on Banking, as “Standardization for Facilitating Banking Operations.” In June 1976, the X9 Standards Committee approved the expansion of its membership to include vendors, insurance companies, associations, retailers, regulators, and others in the financial services area. With this approval, the name was changed to X9, Financial Services. ANSI first granted X9 official accreditation in 1984. The official committee name became as it remains today, Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X9, Financial Services. Since this time, ASC X9 was incorporated under a 501 C6 nonprofit designation for associations. ASC X9, Inc. operates under its own procedures as well as those prescribed and approved by the American National Standards Institute. Presently, ASC X9 operates 5 technical subcommittees and 20-to-30 technical working groups that develop financial industry technical standards and guidelines. ASC X9 is the USA Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to the International Technical Committee on Financial Services (TC68) under the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), of Geneva, Switzerland. In this role, X9 holds the USA vote on all ISO standards of TC 68 or its subcommittees SC2, SC4, and SC7.

ASC X9 standards are widely used and recognized. Many X9 standards are either cited or required by the Federal government for use in financial procedures and transactions. In addition, X9 standards are the basis for many international standards used in facilitating global commerce.

See Also



Further Reading