In brief, the process of conducting a CAETS study, from proposal to publication covers:
- proposal of a study;
- approval of the proposed scope of work;
- selection of experts to undertake the work;
- selection of experts and the process of review of the recommendations and conclusions;
- approval and publication procedures;
- dealing with comments from member academies and conflicts of interests; and
- ensuring quality and balance in biases throughout the effort.
The consensus conclusions and recommendations of a CAETS study are the responsibility of the study committee; as a group they are its sole authority or author of record. The role of CAETS is to oversee the proper application of the process for conducting such studies. Member academies may propose appropriate experts for the study committee or other individuals needed in the study process. The preface of the report of any CAETS study will explain this process and will state that CAETS member academies have not endorsed the recommendations or conclusions of the report. These Procedures will be updated to reflect experience.
1. Any member academy or group of member academies may propose a topic for possible study by CAETS. Such proposals may be made and agreed at Council meetings. When proposed between Council meetings, the Board of Directors may agree or recommend consideration by the Council at its next meeting.
2. Once a topic is agreed for possible study by CAETS, a specific scope of work, including an estimated time schedule and needed resources, is prepared, normally by a group appointed by the CAETS President, including one or more experts nominated by each interested member academy. This group considers any proposed amendments.
3. The completed scope of work, including schedule and resources, is reviewed and approved by the CAETS Executive Committee. Appropriate criteria for approval include:
- importance of the scope of work to the international engineering community;
- uniqueness of CAETS to address the subject;
- existence of sufficient factual information on which to base authoritative recommendations and conclusions;
- a well-defined target audience that could implement the recommendations of the report; and
- likely availability of funding and resources needed for the conduct of the study.
4. Once the scope of work is approved, any necessary funding and other resources may be sought. At the same time member academies are invited to nominate experts to serve on the study committee. After appropriate consultation, including with member academies, the CAETS President appoints the chair and members of the Study Committee, ensuring expertise appropriate to the study, balanced biases, and no financial conflict of interest. Committee members serve as individuals, not as representatives of their academies or their organizations.
5. With the Study Committee appointed and necessary resources assembled, the Committee begins work. The CAETS President is responsible for oversight of the work of the Committee to ensure the Committee focuses on its scope of work and within its schedule and funds.
6. For the purpose of gathering information relevant to the study, the Committee may hold workshops, or meet with invited experts. Normally, such meetings will be open to the public. However, meetings at which the Committee discusses its recommendations and conclusions normally will not be open to the public.
7. When the Study Committee finishes its draft consensus report, including, if necessary, any dissenting opinions, a Review Group, with expertise similar to that of the Study Committee and selected and appointed in the same manner as the Study Committee, reviews the draft report. The Study Committee responds to each of the comments and suggested changes made by the Review Group. The CAETS President is responsible for refereeing this process to ensure that all Review Group comments are appropriately incorporated.
8. Once the review process is complete, the report is then published and distributed by CAETS. Members of the Study Committee, as well as member academies, may then comment publicly on its recommendations and content.