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Technical Standards: Home



About Standards

What are standards, specifications, and codes?

  • A standard is a document that provides requirements, specifications, guidelines or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose.  (ISO)
  • It is an approved set of criteria defining the performance or design of a product or defining the process of constructing a product.
  •  adhering to standards is to ensure minimum performance, meet safety requirements, make sure that the product/system/process is consistent and repeatable, and provide for interfacing with other standard-compliant equipment.
  • ISO has identified many benefits to using standards.
    • Improving Performance
    • Reducing Business Risk
    • Encouraging Innovation

Understanding the Standard Number

 A standard is usually represented by the acronym of the issuing organization followed by a number and the date of issuance.  


ABC D123.56-07

  • ABC is the organization that developed the standard
  • D is a broad subject category (not always present)
  • 123.56 is a document/standard number
  • 07 indicates the standard was approved in 2007 (not always present)

. Examples:

  • IEEE Std 519-2014
  • ISO 9000
  • BS 5656-1 

Some institutions also include language as part of the code e.g EN; DIN

Subject Guide


The content of this Guide was developed by Mariella Pilgrim.