A Standard is a document established by consensus and approved by a recognised body that provides for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context.
Standards should be based on consolidated results of science, technology and experience, and aimed at he promotion of optimum community benefits.
If products are not compatible with worldwide standards, then it is conceivable for that product will not become a success.
Having one common standard that guarantees access to a worldwide audience, means that product can reach a much wider market at a cheaper development and testing cost.
Standard products gain automatic acceptance by their target users as they can identify and consequently accept these products:
Founded in 1901, the BSI Group is a leading global provider of professional services to organisations worldwide.
British Standards is the world's leading provider of standards covering every aspect of the modern economy from protection of intellectual property to technical specifications for personal protective equipment.
British Standards Online is the authoritative and most current site for all BSI publications. The site is updated daily and includes over 38,500 current, draft and historic British Standards.
In addition to standards the site also includes:
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has served in its capacity as administrator and co-ordinator of the United States private sector voluntarily standardisation system for more than 80 years.
ANSI currently provides a forum for over 270 ANSI-accredited standards developers representing approximately 200 distinct organisations in the private and the public sectors.
These groups work co-operatively to develop voluntary national consensus standards and American National Standards (ANS). In 2001, there were approximately 11,500 such documents available.
The ANSI process serves all standardisation efforts in the United States by providing and promoting a process that withstands scrutiny, while protecting the rights and interests of every participant. In essence, ANSI standards quicken the market acceptance of products while making clear how to improve the safety of those products for the protection of consumers.
The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is the leading global organisation that prepares and publishes international standards for all
These serve as a basis for national standardisation and as references when drafting international tenders and contracts.
Through its members, the IEC promotes international cooperation on all questions of electrotechnical standardisation and related matters such as the assessment of conformity to standards, in the field of electricity, electronics and related technologies.
IEC references now use a 60000 series designation, so for example - IEC 455-3-2 is now 60455-3-2
As a leading player in European and International standardisation, the tasks of AFNOR are:
AFNOR works in collaboration with the trade organisations and with a large number of national and regional partners. Within the framework of the decree of January 26, 1984, AFNOR pilots the French standardisation system comprising 31 sectorial standardisation bureaux, the public authorities and 20000 experts.
DIN, the German Institute for Standardisation, is a registered association, founded in 1917.
Since 1975, it has been recognised by the German Government as the national standards body and represents German interests at International and European level.
The DIN group is throughout a modern services organisation dedicated to the creation of technical rules and the promulgation of their application.
DIN standards promote rationalisation, quality assurance, safety and environmental protection, as well as improving communication between industry, technology, science, government and the public domain.
Perinorm, a bibliographic database dedicated to helping with standards and technical regulations enquiries, has become the world's leading database containing over 650,000 records from over 18 countries.
Perinorm offers the user a fast and flexible way to access standards collections through 35 search fields, including Standard Number and Publication Date. PLEASE NOTE: Perinorm is only available on subscription.
VDI The Association of Engineers is a financially independent and politically unaffiliated, non-profit organisation of 126,000 engineers and natural scientists.
Established in 1856, the VDI is today recognised as the largest engineering association in Western Europe.
New developments and innovations cannot be kept to single countries or continents. Indeed, as the strands of the global economy intertwine ever more tightly, the world now requires a more extensive exchange of technical knowledge and expertise on an international level.
The VDI was quick to recognise these trends and has taken an active part in helping to shape the rapidly changing conditions in the field of engineering.
ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) is a network of the national standards institutes of 147 countries on the basis of one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that co-ordinates the system.
ISO is the world's largest developer of standards. Although ISO's principal activity is the development of technical standards, ISO standards also have important economic and social repercussions.
ISO standards make a positive difference, not just to engineers and manufacturers for whom they solve basic problems in production and distribution, but to society as a whole.
ISO standards are technical agreements, which provide the framework for compatible technology worldwide. Developing technical consensus on this international scale is a major operation. In all, there are more than 2,850 ISO technical groups (technical committees, subcommittees, working groups etc) in which some 30,000 experts participate annually to develop ISO standards.
ISO - together with the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and ITU (International Telecommunications Union) - has built a strategic partnership with the WTO (World Trade Organisation) with the common goal of promoting a free and fair global trading system.
CEN's mission is to promote voluntary technical harmonisation in Europe, in conjunction with worldwide bodies and its partners in Europe.
Harmonisation diminishes trade barriers, promotes safety, and promotes common technical understanding.
CEN works through procedures which guarantee respect for the following principles:
CENELEC, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation, was created in 1973 as a result of the merger of two previous European organisations: CENELCOM and CENEL.
CENELEC's mission is to prepare voluntary electrotechnical standards that help develop the single European Market / European Economic Area for electrical and electronic goods and services removing barriers to trade, creating new markets and cutting compliance costs.
CENELEC members have been working together in the interests of European harmonisation since the 1950's, creating both standards requested by the market and harmonised standards in support of European legislation and which have helped to shape the European Internal Market.
CENELEC works with 35,000 technical experts from 22 European countries. Its work directly increases market potential, encourages technological developments and guarantees the safety and health of consumers and workers.