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Standards - definitions

Basic terms, titles and definitions according to:  PN-EN 45020:2009

Activity of establishing, with regard to actual or potential problems, provisions for common and repeated use, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context.
NOTE 1 Standardization activity, in particular, consists of the processes of preparing formulating and issuing standards and ensuring the implementation of standards.
NOTE 2 Significant standardization benefits are improvement of products, processes and service benefits for intended (stipulated) purposes, preventing trade barriers and facilitating technological cooperation.

Document for common and repeated use, established by consensus and approved by recognized body, that provides rules, guidelines, characteristics of activities and their results aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context .
NOTE Standards should be based on consolidated results of science, technology and experience and aimed at the promotion of optimum community benefits.

normative document
Document that provides rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results.
NOTE 1 The term „normative document“ is a generic term that covers such documents as standards, technical specifications, codes of practice and regulations.
NOTE 2 A „document“ is to be understood as any medium with information recorded on or in it.
NOTE 3 The terms for different kinds of normative documents are defined considering the document and its content as a single entity.

technical specification
document that prescribes technical requirements to be fulfilled by a product, process or service.
NOTE 1: A technical specification should indicate, whenever appropriate, the procedure(s) by means of which it may be determined whether the requirements given are fulfilled.
NOTE 2: A technical specification may be a standard, a part of a standard or independent of a standard.

code of practice
document that recommends practices or procedures for the design, manufacture, installation, maintenance or utilization of equipment, structures or products.
NOTE: A code of practice may be a standard, a part of a standard or independent of a standard.

document providing binding legislative rules, that is adopted by an authority.

technical regulation
regulation that provides technical requirements, either directly or by referring to or incorporating the content of a standard, technical specification or code of practice.
NOTE: A technical regulation may be supplemented by technical guidance that outlines some means of compliance with the requirements of the regulation, i.e. deemed-to-satisfy provision.


Aims of standardization

The general aims of standardization follow from the definition of standardization. Standardization may have one or more specific aims, to make a product, process or service fit for its purpose. Such aims can be, but are not restricted to variety control, usability, compatibility, interchangeability, health, safety, protection of the environment, product protection, mutual understanding, economic performance, trade.

1. Fitness for purposes
Ability of a product, process or service to serve a defined purpose under specific conditions.
2. Compatibility
Suitability of products, processes or services for use together under specific conditions to fulfill relevant requirements without causing unacceptable interactions.
3. Interchangeability
Ability of one product, process or service to be used in place of another to fulfill the same requirements.
4. Variety control
Selection of the optimum number of sizes or types of products, processes or services to meet prevailing needs.
5. Safety
Freedom from unacceptable risk of harm.
6. Protection of the environment
Preservation of the environment from unacceptable damage from the effects and operations of products, processes and services.
7. Product protection
Environmental protection (deprecated)
Protection of a product against climatic or other adverse conditions during its use, transport or storage.


Principles of standardization:

1. Consensus
The basic principle of standardization is consensus.
consensus - general agreement, characterized by the absence of sustained opposition to substantial issues by any important part of the concerned interests and by a process that involves seeking to take into account the views of all parties concerned and to reconcile any conflicting arguments.
NOTE: Consensus need not imply unanimity.

2. Involvement of all stakeholders
The democratic procedure of the preparation of standards envisages the involvement of all stakeholders, who have the right to participate in and contribute to the preparation of standards they will voluntarily apply.

3. Openness to the public
The procedure of the preparation of standards must be open to the public from its very beginning and at all its stages. The public must be appropriately informed about the beginning of the preparation of a standard, about the body preparing it, about the document serving as the basis for its preparation and about the preparation stages (public enquiry, issue of the standard).

4. State of the art
State of the art - developed stage of technical capability at a given time based on the relevant consolidated findings of science, technology and experience.

5. Coherence of standards collection
A standards collection must be coherent, i.e. must not contain conflicting standards (by the adoption of a new standard on a subject the old standard is withdrawn).


Types of standards

basic standard
standard that has a wide-ranging coverage or contains general provisions for one particular field.
NOTE: A basic standard may function as a standard for direct application or as a basis for other standards.

terminology standard
standard that is concerned with terms, usually accompanied by their definitions, and sometimes by explanatory notes, illustrations, examples, etc.

testing standard
standard that is concerned with test methods, sometimes supplemented with other provisions related to testing such as sampling, use of statistical methods, sequence of tests.

product standard
standard that specifies requirements to be fulfilled by a product or a group of products, to establish its fitness for purpose
NOTE 1: A product standard may include in addition to the fitness for purpose requirements, directly or by reference, aspects such as terminology, sampling, testing, packaging and labelling and, sometimes, processing requirements.
NOTE 2: A product standard can be either complete or not, according to whether it specifies all or only a part of the necessary requirements. In this respect, one may differentiate between standards such as dimensional, material, and technical delivery standards.

process standard
standard that specifies requirements to be fulfilled by a process, to establish its fitness for purpose.

service standard standard that specifies requirements to be fulfilled by a service, to establish its fitness for purpose.
NOTE: Service standards may be prepared in fields such as laundering, hotel-keeping, transport, car-servicing, telecommunications, insurance, banking, trading.

interface standard standard that specifies requirements concerned with the compatibility of products or systems at their points of interconnection.

standard on data to be provided
standard that contains a list of characteristics for which values or other data are to be stated for specifying the product, process or service.
NOTE: Some standards, typically, provide for data to be stated by suppliers, others by purchasers.


Types of European normative documents:

EN European Standard
prEN Draft European Standard
ENV European Prestandard
HD Harmonization Document
TR Technical Report
TS Technical Specification
CWA CEN Workshop Agreement

Types of ISO and IEC normative documents:

ISO International Standard (ISO)
IEC International Standard (IEC)
TR Technical Report
ITA Industry Technical Agreement
IWA Industry Workshop Agreement
TA Technical Agreement (ISO)
TP Technical Profile (ISO)
TS Technical Specification (ISO)
TTA Technology Trend Assessment (IEC)
ISO-PAS ISO-PAS Specifications
IEC-PAS IEC-PAS Specifications
AMD Amendment
ADD Addendum
COR Corrigendum


The ICS (International Classification for Standards)

ICS is intended to serve as a structure for catalogues of international, regional and national standards and other normative documents, and as a basis for standing-order systems for international, regional and national standards. It may also be used for classifying standards and normative documents in databases, libraries, etc. The ICS should facilitate the harmonization of information and ordering tools such as catalogues, selective lists, bibliographies, and databases on magnetic and optical media, thus promoting the world-wide dissemination of international, regional and national standards and other normative documents. The ICS is a hierarchical classification which consists of three levels. Level 1 covers 40 fields of activity in standardization, e.g. road vehicle engineering, agriculture, metallurgy. Each field has a two-digit notation, e.g. 43 ROAD VEHICLE ENGINEERING.
The fields are subdivided into 392 groups (level 2). The notation of a group consists of the field notation and a three-digit group number,separated by a point, e.g. 43.040 Road vehicle systems 144 of the 392 groups are further divided into 909 sub-groups (level 3). The notation of a sub-group consists of the group notation and a two-digit number, separated by a point, e.g. 43.040.20 Lighting, signalling and warning devices.