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What is a Standard?

Standards are published documents setting out specifications and procedures designed to ensure products, services and systems are safe, reliable and consistently perform the way they were intended to. They establish a common language which defines quality and safety criteria.

Standards can be:

  • International standards

Developed by ISO and IEC (and others) and are used directly or adopted by other standardising bodies.

  • Regional standards

Prepared for use in a specific geopolitical region, the best known is the European Union (EU) where EN standards are used. Joint Australian/New Zealand standards can also be considered regional standards since they apply equally in both countries.

  • National standards

Prepared, adopted or approved by a national standards body or other body accredited to produce national standards.

For example, Australian Standard® brand Standards are either developed in Australia or are adoptions of international standards.

Australian and joint Australian/New Zealand standards are practical and don't set impossible goals. They are based on sound industrial, scientific and consumer experience and are regularly reviewed to ensure they keep pace with new technologies.

They cover everything from consumer products and services, construction, engineering, business, information technology, human services to energy and water utilities, the environment and much more.

In addition to Standards a range of supporting documents are also produced. These include Handbooks and Technical Reports and their role is to provide guidance and assistance on implementing Standards.

For more information on the various Standards Australia products refer to SG-003: Standards and Other Publications.