Standards 101

What is a standard?

A standard is a document that defines specifications for design, performance, or process, as agreed upon by experts.  

According to International Standards Organization (ISO), you can think of a standard as "a formula that describes the best way of doing something". This short video breaks down the ISO's official definition of standards and what each part means (click 'next' for the second part).

Why are standards important?

This tutorial by engineering librarians at Purdue calls out these key benefits of using standards:

  • Cost savings - verified, consistent processes help companies maximize use of resources and eliminate waste.
  • Interoperability - different companies make different parts, and following standards ensures that their components will work together.
  • Safety - standards help ensure that companies make high quality products that are safe to use
  • Promote international trade - consistency of products means that consumers have options, and manufacturers can sell their products in other countries

How can I learn more?