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This guide provides information on technical standards as well as resources to access standards.

What is a Standard?

Simply put, a standard is an agreed-upon way of doing something. In practice, it is a document that sets specific guidelines for the design, operation, manufacture, and use of nearly everything produced by mankind. There are standards to protect human health, safety, and the environment, and others to ensure that different products work compatibly together.

two-wheeled examplestandards-stock-image

Why are Standards Important?

From bicycle parts to electric cars to computer software, standards cover a huge range of subjects and activities. They drive innovation, strengthen businesses, and fuel our nation's economy. And most importantly, they make people's everyday lives easier, safer, healthier, and more enjoyable.

Who Creates Standards?

Developed by groups of engineers and other experts, voluntary standards are the result of cooperation between technical professionals, companies, industry groups, and government and consumer representatives. They represent the combined expertise of those who have a stake in the technology, working to agree upon requirements and best practices.

Scientific and professional organizations (such as ASME, IEEE, etc), trade organizations, and governments create standards, both nationally as well as internationally. In the United States, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) coordinates many standards producing organizations.


The content presented on this page has been drawn from ANSI's Standards 101 PDF file