American National Standards Institute

Definition of American National Standards Institute

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private, non-profit organization that coordinates the development of voluntary consensus standards in the United States. It aims to enhance business competitiveness and promote innovation by endorsing globally recognized standards and conformity assessments. ANSI represents the US in international standards organizations, helping to create guidelines that shape various industries and ensure product compatibility, functionality, and safety.


The phonetic pronunciation of “American National Standards Institute” would be:əˈmɛrɪkən ˈnæʃənəl ˈstændərdz ˈɪnstɪˌtuːt

Key Takeaways

  1. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private, non-profit organization that oversees the development and implementation of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, and systems in the United States.
  2. ANSI serves as the coordinator and facilitator for U.S. standards development by accreditating the procedures of standards developing organizations, enabling the harmonization of standards, and promoting their adoption by industries, governments, and consumers.
  3. ANSI represents and defends U.S. interests in regional and international standardization efforts, collaborating with foreign organizations to enhance global trade. They also engage with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to influence global standardization processes.

Importance of American National Standards Institute

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is an important technology term because it represents a private, non-profit organization that coordinates and oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, and systems in the United States.

ANSI facilitates collaboration among diverse groups and interests, ensuring a fair and balanced approach to the creation of industry standards that are crucial for market expansion and international trade.

By promoting and maintaining standards, ANSI helps in streamlining communication, boosting productivity, improving safety, and enabling interoperability—which ultimately fosters innovation, economic growth, and the well-being of consumers.

Thus, the organization plays a critical role in shaping the technological landscape, consumer confidence, and overall competitiveness.


The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) serves a crucial role in bolstering the technological and economic well-being of the United States by ensuring the standardization, conformity, and compatibility of products and systems. As a private, non-profit organization, ANSI’s purpose is to nurture collaboration between the federal government agencies, businesses, and consumers to develop and maintain a comprehensive framework of industry standards.

These standards not only facilitate productive exchanges and accelerate innovation in domestic and global markets but also enhance the overall safety, quality, and performance of products and services. Thus, ANSI’s efforts are essential in fostering trust, encouraging fair competition, and providing consumer protection.

To achieve its goals, ANSI operates as a voluntary standardization organization that oversees the creation, promulgation, and use of norms and guidelines affecting various sectors, such as IT, healthcare, construction, and energy. By enabling the participation of diverse stakeholders, this inclusive process ensures that the established standards reflect the broader needs and perspectives of the industries they govern, minimizing potential conflicts and inconsistencies.

Additionally, as the official US representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and other international bodies, ANSI plays a pivotal role in shaping global standard-setting efforts, ensuring that American interests are adequately represented in the formulation of international standards. Through its commitment to consensus-based decision-making, ANSI strengthens the global competitiveness of US businesses while simultaneously promoting the protection and welfare of individuals and communities.

Examples of American National Standards Institute

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a non-profit organization that oversees the creation, promotion, and usage of voluntary standards in various industries across the United States. Many technologies rely on ANSI standards to ensure smooth operations and compatibility. Here are three real-world examples of technology utilizing ANSI standards:Safety Codes: ANSI plays a crucial role in setting safety standards in numerous fields such as construction, industrial machinery, and emergency services. A notable example is ANSI Z

1, which establishes performance criteria and testing requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE) used in workplaces, such as safety glasses, face shields, and welding helmets. This standard ensures that these protective gear items provide adequate protection against potential hazards and comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.Barcode and QR Code Standards: ANSI’s work extends to the creation of widely accepted standards for barcode and QR code technologies. ANSI MH

2 is the standard that defines the data format and symbology specifications for creating barcodes. Similarly, ANSI/AIM BC1 provides guidelines for the dimensions, format, and data encoding of QR codes. These standardized technologies have been adopted across various sectors, including retail, logistics, and manufacturing, to facilitate efficient data exchange and minimize errors.Information Technology: ANSI oversees multiple standards related to information technology, including programming languages, networking protocols, and cybersecurity guidelines. One such example is the ANSI C programming language standard, also known as ANSI X

This standard defines the syntax, semantics, and library functions of the C programming language, promoting uniformity across compilers and platforms. It has significantly contributed to the widespread adoption and reliability of the C language throughout the software development industry.

American National Standards Institute FAQs

What is the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)?

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private, non-profit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel in the United States. Its primary objectives are to promote and facilitate the use of standards, ensure their integrity, and maintain a position of leadership in the global standard development process.

What is ANSI’s role in the standards development process?

ANSI does not develop standards directly but serves as the coordinator and facilitator of U.S. voluntary standardization activities. ANSI accredits standards developers, approves American National Standards, represents the United States in international standards activities, and provides a neutral forum for resolving standards-related issues, among other activities.

What is the significance of an American National Standard?

An American National Standard represents a voluntary consensus achieved by a balanced group of stakeholders, such as industry, consumers, and government, on the requirements of a product, service, process, or system. These standards help to ensure safety, reliability, and consistency of goods and services, facilitating trade and protecting public interests.

Which standards organizations are accredited by ANSI?

ANSI accredits more than 240 standards developers, including professional societies, industry associations, governmental agencies, and other organizations. Some well-known accredited standards developers include ASTM International, ASHRAE, IEEE, and NFPA.

How can companies or individuals get involved in ANSI activities?

Companies and individuals can participate in ANSI’s ongoing activities by joining ANSI committees, working groups, or attending events held by the organization. They can also join various standards developing organizations accredited by ANSI and contribute to the development or revision of a standard.

Related Technology Terms

  • ANSI-accredited Standards Developers
  • Voluntary Consensus Standards
  • International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
  • ANSI/ISO Standards
  • Uniform Code Council (UCC)

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.

These experts include:


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

More Technology Terms

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents