About the Dialogue and How to Post to It
WHAT IS THE DIALOGUE
The Dialogue is the online forum for requesting precedent-setting clarifications, exceptions, and definitions related to program requirements. Through its responses to those requests, ILFI provides guidance on situations, devised strategies, or innovations that were not contemplated by the rule set articulated in the Handbooks for a given Standard or Program. Anyone can review the posted questions and rulings, but only registered manufacturers that have initiated at least one label submission can submit posts to the Dialogue.
Rulings are made publicly available so that other project teams and interested parties can learn from the posted questions and responses. Identifying information specific to the manufacturer (or any party submitting a request) and its product(s) will be omitted, but all other content included in the inquiry will be posted. Searchable based on content, the activity in the Dialogue not only provides a mechanism for distributing strategies for success, but also yields modifications to future releases of Declare and its program requirements. In this way, the Dialogue captures the ongoing evolution of the Standards and Programs and gives credit to the hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals who contribute to the process.
POSTING TO THE DIALOGUE
To ensure that the question is directed through the most appropriate process, manufacturers are advised to consider the following questions before submitting.
Does the answer already exist?
- Have you looked in the Petal Handbooks?
- Have you searched the Dialogue?
Is the situation unique or does it require specific guidance?
- Are you requesting a specific approach or strategy that isn’t clearly permitted in the Standard or Handbooks?
- Are you requesting clarification on how to apply a requirement, pathway or exception that might be open to interpretation?
- Are you asking about a product-specific situation, circumstance, or process that isn’t addressed in the Standard or Handbooks?
- Does use of a pathway or exception require submission to Dialogue for approval?
If a review of those questions suggests that the inquiry doesn't warrant submission as a Dialogue post, but rather is seeking clarification or additional information, then it should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org as a standard technical support question. Technical support staff will direct the question through Dialogue if deemed appropriate.
- A subject line that identifies the topic and includes the words “Dialogue Post”;
- The registered project ID, (found on the project page);
- The product name and whether it is confidential;
- The certification being sought and the version of the Standard;
- The Imperative the post pertains to; and
- A specific question(s) on a single topic with sufficient detail and background to permit evaluation.
If a new exception or alternative pathway is being requested, the post must clearly explain why the existing Imperative structure does not fit the particular circumstance, including a description of other scenarios explored in a diligent effort to comply within the existing framework. It must also explain how the proposal meets the intent of the requirement and how compliance will be demonstrated.
ILFI will review the submission and reply by email with either a formal determination or request for additional information. After the final determination has been sent to the project team, both the submission and the determination will also be posted to the public Dialogue site.