What is a Standard?

The term “standard” is used for many things. For this website by we mean standards that are:

a documented and industry/market applied agreement containing uniform engineering or technical guidelines to ensure that materials, products, processes, practices and/or services can be consistently produced and used and remain adequate for their purpose within a given context. This includes ensuring safety and enabling required interoperability with other materials, products, etc.

Such standards can bridge from and between technology and strategy, legacy approaches and innovation, products and markets, companies and ecosystems and government and industry.

Although the distinction is not clear or consistent, compared to “regulations” which may reference standards, standards tend to be voluntary (although compliance may become necessary for operations and market acceptance) and are generally consensus developed. Standards can make regulations unnecessary. Regulations are government defined and mandatory.  Although the US government provides opportunities for public comments before regulations are set, it is much easier to participate extensively in standards development from the ground floor.  

Among characteristics of a “quality” standard is that it addresses stakeholder concerns and is accepted and implemented.