Learn More About Standards

Types of standards:

  • Methods of manufacturing, designing, or drawing
  • Methods of testing, analyzing, appraising, verifying, or measuring 
  • Terms, abbreviations, symbols, marks, preferred numbers, or units 

Points to remember when using standards:

  • Some standards are government-mandated, and others are voluntary.  There may be various penalties associated with not adhering to the standard. 
  • Standards are updated frequently to keep pace with changing technology - check to see if the standard you are using is the latest version. 
  • Older, superseded versions of standards may be useful in many cases, such as legal disputes concerning the performance of a product that was manufactured when the older standard was in force.  

Identifying Standards:

Standards typically have a title and a report number associated with the organization that produced the standard, for example:

  • ASTM F1511 - Standard Specification for Mechanical Seals for Shipboard Pump Applications
  • IEEE 1708-2014 - Wearable Cuffless Blood Pressure Measuring Devices
  • MIL-DTL-641 - Jacks, Telephone General Specification for


Standards are created by a wide variety of organizations such as:

  • Professional societies (eg. IEEE)
  • Industrial or manufacturing associations (e.g. American Wire Rope Manufacturers)
  • Governmental agencies or bodies 
  • Companies [Company standards are often proprietary and therefore are available only to approved subcontractors]  
  • International bodies, such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
  • Many countries also have national standardization organizations.  

Using Standards in the Classroom


Even more about Standards