Over the past months, associations have been working to help prop up the nation’s essential industries and professions without a financial safety net during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many are struggling to maintain basic operations such as payroll, mortgages and rent. On behalf of associations and the publics we serve every day, in every state, we are drawing attention to the absence of much-needed legislative assistance for America’s trade and professional associations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are advocating for the expansion of eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program, which will provide critical funding to help associations survive this difficult time. We also are asking Congress to support the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act, which would establish a system of shared public and private compensation for business interruption losses and event cancellations resulting from future pandemics or public health emergencies. If enacted, associations and others would have access to this insurance beginning on January 1, 2021.

We urge Congress to act swiftly to resolve differing priorities in the next round of COVID relief legislation and affirm the support associations need to weather this pandemic. We are using our voices to make a difference on Capitol Hill for the association community and all those we serve – making the nation safer, stronger, and smarter in every way.

Creating and Enforcing Industry Standards

One of the most important ways that associations strengthen America is through the creation and enforcement of industry standards of quality, safety, environmental stewardship, and other vital business practices. From how healthcare services are delivered to how our food supply is protected, appliances are made safe for consumers and the environment, and machinery is labeled (to name only a few), associations leverage deep professional experience and research-based knowledge to develop the standards that protect life in America and around the world.

Examples of the Power of A in Action:

International Safety Equipment Association creates American National Standards for safety glasses and goggles, hard hats, gloves, high visibility apparel, first aid kits and other products essential to occupational safety and health. ISEA also represents manufacturers on standards committees of other organizations in the US and internationally, providing protective equipment for use in factories, construction sites, refineries, fire and emergency response, health care and the home.

International Society of Automation develops standards for the performance, management, safety, and security of automation and control equipment and systems used throughout industry and critical infrastructure. The published standards are used worldwide across the industry sectors including power generation, petroleum refining, chemicals, water and wastewater, cybersecurity and more.

Grocery Manufacturers of America promotes the development of science-based global standards by participating in various activities of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC). Codex’s mandate – to ensure food safety and facilitate international trade – results in food standards that are crucial for international trade in food and agricultural products. These standards help GMA members deliver safe products to consumers around the world.

Association of Household Appliance Manufacturers develops and maintains standards for home appliances that are used to test product performance or measure internal volume or capacity.  The standards are adopted voluntarily by appliance manufacturers in the public interest, to establish common understanding between manufacturers and consumers and to assist consumers in comparing appliances before purchases. AHAM also has led the effort to create sustainability standards for refrigerators, clothes washers, non-microwave cooking appliances, portable and floor care appliances. And, AHAM provides a central voice for home appliance manufacturers to contribute to the development of safety standards both in the U.S. and globally.

American Society of Addiction Medicine created the National Practice Guideline for the Use of Medications in the Treatment of Addiction Involving Opioid Use, a clinical guideline which provides recommendations for clinicians regarding patient evaluation, the selection of medication, combining psychosocial treatment with medications, and the treatment of special populations.

American Nurses Association offers a full range of support to nurses to help ensure they practice at the highest ethical level and maintain their rating as the most honest and ethical profession in America.

Child Life Council, Inc. established standards of practice, training and education for pediatric psychosocial care and creating a train-the- trainer program on best practices in pediatric psychosocial care.

The American Society of Civil Engineers and its members protect the safety, health and welfare of the public through a robust consensus-based standards development program with more than 60 active engineering standards – including structural, geotechnical and transportation engineering. For example, the newest codes include a new chapter on designing for the effects of tsunamis, which is critical for engineers and building code officials in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Engineers working on maritime structures such as piers and wharves have a standard to use for the seismic design of those structures. Environmental engineers have standards related to stormwater management, water infrastructure security enhancements, control of erosion and sediment, and international water quality agreements. Structural engineers have standards including earthquake-actuated gas shutoff valves, air supported structures, the seismic retrofit of buildings and loads on structures.

Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance, a division of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association has been developing medical imaging standards for more than 90 years. MITA’s standards development program includes not only development of MITA standards but also three US Technical Advisory Groups to the IEC (SC62B, SC62C and TC87). Additionally, NEMA/MITA serve as the secretariat for DICOM, the international, multi-stakeholder organization for the standardization of the handling, storing, printing, and transmitting information in medical imaging (ISO 12052). As an organization, MITA is dedicated to ensuring that standards continue to meet ever shifting market needs while avoiding conflict and duplication.

The National Ground Water Association develops ANSI-sanction consensus standards that lead to safe and efficient extraction and distribution of groundwater – the world’s most extracted raw material and the drinking water supply for nearly half of the planet’s population. NGWA also develops consensus-driven best suggested practices and guidelines dealing with groundwater quality, groundwater protection, and renewable energy options – all beneficial to consumer safety and confidence.

Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association develops and publishes evidence-based and clinical practice tools and resources to help hematology/oncology pharmacists deliver the best possible cancer care for patients and their families. HOPA also collaborates with other affiliated professional organizations to develop and share resources to help pharmacists optimize cancer care. A Resource Library is available on HOPA’s website that provides a platform for educators and learners to share innovations, materials, and resources that will help others in the field of hematology/oncology pharmacy practice.

The International Board for Certification of Group Psychotherapists developed the Certified Group Psychotherapist (CGP) credential to recognize and validate eligible mental health professionals who have met internationally accepted criteria of education, training and experience in group psychotherapy. A CGP is an ethical practitioner who is an expert in group psychotherapy and is committed to group psychotherapy as an autonomous treatment modality. The CGP certification was designed to strengthen group therapy services for persons experiencing mental health concerns.

American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association established standards for optimizing team care for individuals with oral cleft and craniofacial conditions. Established in 2008, the standards ensure that care is provided in a coordinated and consistent manner with the proper sequencing of evaluations and treatments within the framework of the patient’s overall developmental, medical and psychological needs. Teams that meet these standards are publicly recognized and are the only teams ACPA recommends when referring patients and families.

Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International develops and maintains American National Standards for the measurement of floor area and calculation of rentable square footage for commercial real estate, including office buildings, industrial properties, multi-unit residential properties, retail/shopping centers, mixed use properties and a standard for measuring gross areas of a building. The ANSI-accredited voluntary standards are used worldwide to promote clear communications among all participants in a real estate transaction; provide consistent measurement of rentable square footage; to allow accurate comparisons through clearly understood methods of measurement; and to align the BOMA measurement concepts and methodologies with the International Property Measurement Standards.