Masterformat® Revision Process

All decisions on revision proposals submitted through are made by the MasterFormat® Maintenance Task Team (MFMTT), a group appointed annually by the presidents of CSI and CSC.

The decisions are made at a task team meeting typically held sometime in late July or August. The deadline for submitting proposals has been extended to May 15; any submissions made after May 15 will be added to the queue for next year’s meeting.

MasterFormat® Meeting Decision-making Process

All proposals must pass through a two-stage process before approval. Both stages measure the proposal as presented against the same set of criteria, but at different levels of detail.

The first stage is an initial screening of the proposal for addition to the task team meeting agenda. This screening measures the proposal as submitted against neighboring MasterFormat® numbers and titles and also against similar proposals that have been submitted. If upon a cursory examination the proposal is found to meet the decision-making criteria established by the task team, it is added to the meeting agenda for further discussion and decision. If not, it is denied for addition to the meeting agenda and the proposer is informed immediately.

The second stage takes place at the task team meeting, when the task team examines each proposal on the agenda in more depth, and determines its usefulness and how well it meets the decision-making criteria.

MasterFormat® Meeting Decision-making Criteria

All proposals are judged against the following criteria for addition to the decision-making agenda and also for approval as revisions to MasterFormat®. The questions posed by the criteria are taken in order as presented below.

1. Eligibility. "Is the subject matter in question a work result?" Work results are defined as "permanent or temporary aspects of construction projects achieved in the production stage or by subsequent alteration, maintenance, or demolition processes, through the application of a particular skill or trade to construction resources." In most cases, "construction resources" are products.

Generally speaking, product-derived proposals are not "work results." Unless information is presented by the proposer that the number being proposed embodies a new work result, with new properties and/or new installation requirements previously unanticipated by existing MasterFormat® numbers and titles, a product-derived proposal will likely be denied.

If the answer to this question is yes, then the decision-making process will proceed to the second question. If the answer to this question is no, then the proposal will be denied.

2. Duplicate of Existing MF04 Listing. "Is the subject of the proposal already addressed adequately by an existing number and title?" Many work results are specified under titles that have broader subject coverage than the work result in question – such a title may consider many possible alternative work results with substantially similar qualities.

If the answer to this question is no, then the decision-making process will proceed to the next question, if yes, then the proposal will be denied.

2.1 Usefulness: If a proposed number and title covers a subject matter area already addressed by an existing MasterFormat® number and title, it may still be appropriate for inclusion in MasterFormat™ if the proposed title better defines the subject matter addressed by the existing title or the proposed title’s potential usefulness or appropriateness exceeds that of the existing title. As with all considerations in this process, there is a need to balance potential usefulness for the organization of specifications with purity of classification and potential usefulness of MasterFormat™ for other information applications. When applying the above guideline and this exception, it is important to avoid potential confusion in the use of MasterFormat™ either from potentially duplicative section titles or from section titles that don’t accurately convey the subject they are written to express.

3. Prior Action by MasterFormat® Maintenance Task Team. "Is the subject one that has already been addressed by the task team as a result of an earlier proposal?" If the answer to this question is yes, then the proposal will be denied unless the subject matter of the new proposal is in some way materially different from the earlier proposal. The reasons for denial will depend on the action taken on the earlier proposal: In the case of an earlier approved proposal, the new proposal will be denied because the subject matter is now covered in MasterFormat®, per criteria 2. above. If the earlier proposal was denied, then the new proposal will be denied as well, in order to maintain consistency in task team decision making.

4. Documentation. "Is the subject of the proposal adequately documented?" Is there a clear, unambiguous synopsis of the proposal subject in generic, non-proprietary terms that show application of resources, with appropriate illustration or references (e.g. professional/industry input such as guidelines, standards, literature, etc,). The substance supporting the proposal must be sufficient for task team discussion and decision making purposes.

If the answer to this question is yes and the proposal was found to have sufficiently met all of the other criteria, then it will be placed on the task team agenda or approved; otherwise the proposer will be contacted to obtain additional supporting documentation before a decision is rendered.

5. Minor changes. If the proposal suggests only title or added information change(s) to existing work result(s) in the current edition of MasterFormat®, screening factors 1, 2, and 3 will not apply and only step 4 will apply in determining approval of the item.