Official ASME Group

Committee on Organization and Rules

Committee on Organization and Rules ASME Group


The Committee on Organization and Rules (COR) is responsible for facilitating some of the Board of Governors' most important tasks in the area of ASME governance.


The organization and conduct of ASME are prescribed in the Society Constitution & By-Laws, and Society Policies: collectively known as Rules.

Rules may not seem so important in the day-to-day activities of the Society, but they play several vital roles:

  • They keep the Society accountable to its membership and legal authorities. A codified set of administrative guidelines gives a window onto what ASME is doing and how it is doing it.
  • Crafting and revising rules allows units in the Society to carefully consider their operational procedures, articulate their ideas, and come up with guidelines that will provide the best service.
  • Rules allow the Board of Governors and other leadership bodies to understand proposed changes to unit organization and procedure, and to make an informed decision as to whether the change is in the best interests of the Society.   
  • Rules provide recourse for the Society and its members to violations of ethics, conflicts of interest, harassment, discrimination, and other issues that may arise among the membership and staff.

Timetable for Review  Policies are required to be reviewed by their responsible units at least once every six years, but they usually change more often than that to reflect changes in the Society's procedures.

By-Laws have no required time-table for revision, but they must also accurately reflect the unit's structure and activities.

Responsibility for Rules  Policies are the responsibility of specific units of ASME: one of the Sectors, a board or committee that reports to a Sector, one of the committees reporting to the Board of Governors (BOG), or the Board of Governors itself.

By-Laws are not assigned to specific units. Sometimes By-Laws describe a specific unit, in which case that unit may be regarded as having primary responsibility. Generally, units should know where they are mentioned in the By-Laws, and should regularly ensure that the By-Laws accurately reflect the unit's structure and actions.

Starting the revision process  Policy and By-Law changes start with the responsible unit or must be recommended to the responsible unit by an interested party. In either case the responsible unit decides whether the policy or By-Law accurately reflects current procedures or organization and revises the document accordingly.

Sometimes COR will notice inconsistencies between actual procedure and policy, and they will alert a unit to the fact. It is still the responsibility of the responsible unit to begin the revision process.

Making and forwarding revisions  Revisions are first worked out and approved by the responsible unit and are then forwarded to its directing Sector for review, unless the Sector is itself the responsible unit. The Sector forwards the revision with any additional comments to COR to be reviewed on behalf of the BOG.

COR is given authority by the BOG to review submissions for rules revisions. The Committee ensures that revisions comply with actual organization and procedure along with other ASME rules.

If COR decides a revision is mostly a clarification of wording that does not fundamentally change the meaning of the Policy or By-Law, it can approve a change as "editorial" on behalf of the BOG. If the change is deemed more substantial, COR will forward it on to the BOG with the recommendation that it be approved, or it will send the revision back to the responsible Sector with directions for clarification.

Review by the Board of Governors The BOG meets periodically throughout the year and votes on rule revisions submitted to it by COR at the BOG's meetings. Rules that are forwarded to the BOG can still be rejected and returned to the responsible Sector.

Policies may be approved after one reading: only one meeting session is required.

By-Law revisions require two readings, over the course of two separate meeting sessions, before being adopted.

Re-Affirmation Units should regularly examine their policies to ensure their accuracy. If a policy is still considered accurate six years following its last review, a unit can submit the policy to COR to be reaffirmed. COR may reject the reaffirmation, however, if it believes the policy is inaccurate.

Constitutional Amendments The ASME Constitution can only be modified by vote of the Membership, with ballot results being presented to the BOG at an annual business meeting. COR and the BOG may from time to time review the Constitution for accuracy and consider proposing a revision to the Membership.


In addition to the Constitution, By-Laws, and Policies, the specific procedures and responsibilities of ASME units are described in official documents called Operation Guides.

Operation Guides Every Society unit should have an Operation Guide which that unit creates and has been approved by its supervising unit. This outlines the purpose of the unit, as well as the organization and procedures through which the unit will carry out that purpose.

COR reviews the Operation Guides of the Sectors and Committees of the BOG at any time when there are changes to a unit's organization or procedures, and at least every 3 years.

There is no specified length for operation guides; a guide be as long and detailed as the complexity of the unit's task requires. However, the Operation Guide should be more specific and detailed than the descriptions that exist in By-Laws or policies. At the same time it should be as brief and succinct as possible.

Society Policy 4.12 gives advice on the general contents and format required for Operation Guides