Standards Association Modifies Corporate Membership Structure

The association has restructured its corporate membership program into two levels with a simpler dues structure

6 November 2009

The IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) has restructured its corporate membership program into two levels with a simpler dues structure. The changes go into effect in January.

The IEEE-SA Corporate Program allows companies, government agencies, academic institutions, partnerships, consortia, and non-IEEE standards-development organizations to participate directly in developing what are referred to as IEEE entity-based standards. Such standards are created using a one-company, one-vote approach to reaching the final document for those involved in writing the standard; other IEEE standards development projects operate on a one-individual, one-vote process. More than 130 entities belong to the IEEE-SA, including Sony, Hewlett-Packard, Huawei Technologies, Motorola, China Telecommunications, Dell, and the Tokyo University of Science.

“The new model simplifies corporate membership and participation requirements, making it easier for the technical staff of member companies to engage in standards-development projects,” says Steve Mills, chair of the IEEE-SA Corporate Advisory Group, which oversees the program.

The new basic corporate membership level allows organizations to send representatives to observe standards-development meetings for an unlimited number of entity standards projects. Basic members can also vote for members of the Corporate Advisory Group and the Standards Association Board of Governors, and they are eligible to become Corporate Advisory Group members. In addition, they have access to restricted areas of the Corporate Program Web area and are alerted to new entity standards projects.

An advanced membership level includes all the benefits of basic membership plus full participation privileges in any number of entity standards development working groups. Members of these working groups can make proposals and offer other technical contributions to development of the standards and speak on motions in working group meetings. Once they attend a certain number of meetings, advanced members also may make motions and vote in IEEE-SA’s one-entity, one-vote process, nominate and elect officers, and serve as officers. Projects with enough advanced membership participation may receive support services from IEEE, such as help with balloting and project management.

NEW COST STRUCTURE
Membership dues for both levels are based on an organization’s annual revenues. Basic annual dues range from US $1250 to $5500, and advanced- level dues from $3500 to $10 000. Previously, the Standards Association had one basic membership fee for everyone but additional annual fees for each standards development project in which a company participates.

“These changes streamline the number of payments that corporate members must make to IEEE,” says Mary Lynne Nielsen, IEEE-SA director of corporate programs, the area that provides administrative support. “Making one yearly dues payment instead of multiple payments spread over the course of a year for each new entity project makes the budgeting process for members more predictable.”

According to Mills, the simplified structure will increase corporate participation in standards development. “We believe that by making project participation an entity member benefit for advanced-level members, the new model will result in more organizations becoming involved in IEEE standards development projects,” he says.

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