Process for Establishing a New Official Method or Recommended Practice of the AOCS
The need for a new Official Method, Recommended Practice, or Standard Procedure is determined by an industry's requirements or requests. AOCS is contacted by industry professionals about a need for a new method or with suggestions to replace or revise methods already in place. After a proposal is submitted, AOCS staff coordinate with the industry experts to assemble any additional information needed.
A method validation and any additional scientific references, publications, or related materials are then submitted to an Expert Panel or a subcommittee of the Uniform Methods Committee (UMC) for evaluation and determination that the proposal should move forward. The panel or subcommittee then reviews the validation data and gives a recommendation to move forward, though it may request more validation data.
After the preliminary information is adopted by the subcommittee, a collaborative study is administered that follows the following AOCS guidelines:
- International guidelines require results from a minimum of eight expert laboratories (preferably domestic and international), hence the technical committee and AOCS choose labs that have expertise in method development and the topic.
- Samples are sourced and prepped for the collaborative study to ensure homogeneity. Samples and methods are delivered to participating labs with a deadline for the return of results.
- AOCS runs a statistical analysis on all data collected from the participating labs.
- Results are reported to the relevant group for approval by committee vote. Each method must have a two-thirds approval vote by all committee members.
- If method is rejected, the committee may make recommendations to change parts of the method. Methods may be changed and may require another collaborative study, depending on the nature of the requested changes.
- Methods may not be vendor specific.
- While methods and recommended practices may not be vendor specific, standard procedures may. The process for standard procedure is similar to method development.
- The process for revision of existing methods is the same as for method development.
- Final adoption of a method requires the approval by an oversight committee, in most circumstances the Uniform Methods Committee.