Skip to Main Content

Technical Standards: Home

About Standards

What are standards, specifications, and codes?

A standard sets out an agreed way of doing something. According to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) definitions outlined in ISO/IEC Guide 2:2004:

  • A standard, is a "document established by consensus and approved by a recognized body that provides for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results aimed at achieving the optimum degree of order in a given context.” 
  • A code of practice, is a "document that recommends practices or procedures for the design, manufacture, installation, maintenance or utilization of equipment, structures or products."
  • A technical specification, is a "document that prescribes technical requirements to be fulfilled by a product, process or service." 

NOTE: A code of practice and technical specification may be a standard, a part of a standard or independent of a standard. 

ISO has identified many benefits to using standards, some of these benefits include:

  • Improving Performance
  • Reducing Business Risk
  • Encouraging Innovation

Click here to learn more about the benefits of standards.

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.  


ASTM A615/A615M-22

  • ASTM is the organization that developed the standard (example: ASTM International, formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials)
  • A615 is a document/standard number
  • A is a broad subject category (not always present)
  • 22 indicates the year that the standard was approved/published (example: 22 represents 2022). Note: year of publication may not always be present in the standard number.


  • TTS 171:Part 1:2015
  • IEEE Std 519-2014
  • ISO 9001:2015
  • BS 5656-1 

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


Ask a Librarian (Online Contact Form)

Contact Us

The staff of the Engineering Division of the Alma Jordan Library are ready to help you get the materials you need!

As always, you can contact:

Adnan Maharaj - Library Attendant

Teriq Thomas - Library Assistant II 

Randy Siew - Faculty Liaison Librarian - Engineering 


☎ (868) 662-2002 ext. 82244


This LibGuide was originally created by Mariella Pilgrim, with additional content by Simone Primus and Michelle Gill. This LibGuide is currently being updated by Randy Siew.  If you have any questions regarding content, email: