International Standard

Do you know about standards?!

International standards are standards developed by international standards organizations. International standards are available for consideration and use worldwide. The most prominent organization is the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

A standards organization, standards body, standards developing organization (SDO), or standards setting organization (SSO) is an organization whose primary activities are developing, coordinating, promulgating, revising, amending, reissuing, interpreting, or otherwise producing technical standards that are intended to address the needs of a group of affected adopters.

Most standards are voluntary in the sense that they are offered for adoption by people or industry without being mandated in law. Some standards become mandatory when they are adopted by regulators as legal requirements in particular domains.

The term formal standard refers specifically to a specification that has been approved by a standards setting organization. The term de jure standard refers to a standard mandated by legal requirements or refers generally to any formal standard. In contrast, the term de facto standard refers to a specification (or protocol or technology) that has achieved widespread use and acceptance – often without being approved by any standards organization (or receiving such approval only after it already has achieved widespread use). Examples of de facto standards that were not approved by any standards organizations (or at least not approved until after they were in widespread de facto use) include the Hayes command set developed by Hayes, Apple’s True Type font design and the PCL protocol used by Hewlett-Packard in the computer printers they produced.

Normally, the term standards organization is not used to refer to the individual parties participating within the standards developing organization in the capacity of founders, benefactors, stakeholders, members or contributors, who themselves may function as the standards organizations.

What are standards?

Standards are documents that describe the important features of a product, service or system. For example, CSA Standard Z262.34-00 Ice Hockey Pucks specifies a hockey puck’s material, size, mass, hardness at room temperature and test methods.

There are thousands of standards in use around the world. They cover everything from the simplest screw thread to the most complex information technology network.

By applying standards, organizations can help to ensure that their products and services are consistent, compatible, safe and effective. Today, products are assembled from components made in different countries, and are then sold around the world, so standards are more important than ever.

Standards affect nearly every product or service we encounter in our daily lives. Just imagine how difficult and dangerous it could be to change a light bulb if there were not standards concerning electric safety, voltage, and light bulb sizes.

What are codes?

Codes are collections of laws and rules which provide correct procedures to maintain uniformity and safety. Important codes such as the Ontario Building Code and the National Building Code are available in the library.

The Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC) develops the National Construction Codes. The building, fire, plumbing and farm building codes are adopted, with or without modifications, and enforced by most provinces and territories.

Standards-writing organizations such as CSA (Canadian Standards Association) publish other Canadian construction codes and standards, such as the Canadian Electrical Code.


International standards may be used either by direct application or by a process of modifying an international standard to suit local conditions. The adoption of international standards results in the creation of equivalent, national standards that are substantially the same as international standards in technical content, but may have (i) editorial differences as to appearance, use of symbols and measurement units, substitution of a point for a comma as the decimal marker, and (ii) differences resulting from conflicts in governmental regulations or industry-specific requirements caused by fundamental climatic, geographical, technological, or infrastructural factors, or the stringency of safety requirements that a given standard authority considers appropriate.

International standards are one way of overcoming technical barriers in international commerce caused by differences among technical regulations and standards developed independently and separately by each nation, national standards organization, or company. Technical barriers arise when different groups come together, each with a large user base, doing some well-established thing that between them is mutually incompatible. Establishing international standards is one way of preventing or overcoming this problem.



The implementation of standards in industry and commerce became highly important with the onset of the Industrial Revolution and the need for high-precision machine tools and interchangeable parts. Henry Maudslay developed the first industrially practical screw-cutting lathe in 1800, which allowed for the standardization of screw thread sizes for the first time.

Maudslay’s work, as well as the contributions of other engineers, accomplished a modest amount of industry standardization; some companies’ in-house standards spread a bit within their industries. Joseph Whitworth’s screw thread measurements were adopted as the first (unofficial) national standard by companies around the country in 1841. It came to be known as the British Standard Whitworth, and was widely adopted in other countries.

By the end of the 19th century differences in standards between companies were making trade increasingly difficult and strained. The Engineering Standards Committee was established in London in 1901 as the world’s first national standards body. After the First World War, similar national bodies were established in other countries. The Deutsches Institut für Normung was set up in Germany in 1917, followed by its counterparts, the American National Standard Institute and the French Commission Permanente de Standardization, both in 1918.

International organizations

By the mid to late 19th century, efforts were being made to standardize electrical measurement. An important figure was R. E. B. Crompton, who became concerned by the large range of different standards and systems used by electrical engineering companies and scientists in the early 20th century. Many companies had entered the market in the 1890s and all chose their own settings for voltage, frequency, current and even the symbols used on circuit diagrams. Adjacent buildings would have totally incompatible electrical systems simply because they had been fitted out by different companies. Crompton could see the lack of efficiency in this system and began to consider proposals for an international standard for electric engineering.

In 1904, Crompton represented Britain at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in Saint Louis as part of a delegation by the Institute of Electrical Engineers. He presented a paper on standardization, which was so well received that he was asked to look into the formation of a commission to oversee the process. By 1906 his work was complete and he drew up a permanent constitution for the first international standards organization, the International Electro Technical Commission. The body held its first meeting that year in London, with representatives from 14 countries. In honor of his contribution to electrical standardisation, Lord Kelvin was elected as the body’s first President.

The International Federation of the National Standardizing Associations (ISA) was founded in 1926 with a broader remit to enhance international cooperation for all technical standards and specifications. The body was suspended in 1942 during World War II.

After the war, ISA was approached by the recently formed United Nations Standards Coordinating Committee (UNSCC) with a proposal to form a new global standards body. In October 1946, ISA and UNSCC delegates from 25 countries met in London and agreed to join forces to create the new International Organization for Standardization (ISO); the new organization officially began operations in February 1947.

List of international common standards

A list of common and basic information standards, that are related by their frequent and widespread use, and which are conventionally used internationally by industry and organizations.

In circumstances and situations there are certain methods and systems that are used as benchmarks, guidelines or protocols for communication, measurement, orientation, reference for information, science, symbols and time. These standards are employed to universally convey meaning, classification and to relate details of information.

The standards listed may be formal or informal and some might not be recognized by all governments or organizations.


Braille, Diving signals, Flag semaphore, International Code of Signals, International Maritime Signal Flags, International Phonetic Alphabet, Musical notation

– In radio communications

Voice procedure, Procedure word, International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet, Aeronautical Code signals, Maritime Mobile Service Q Codes, Standard Marine Communication Phrases, Brevity code, Q code, Call sign, Morse code

– In electronics

Binary code, Unicode


ISO 216 or A4 paper


International System of Units, Standard mathematical notation, Metric system, Numeral system, Tally marks, Unary numeral system


Arrow (symbol), Cardinal direction (also known as absolute direction), Relative direction

Reference for information

Barcode, International Standard Book Number, QR code, Uniform resource locator, vCard

– In geographical location

Cartography, Geotagging, Geographic coordinate system


Amino acids (1-letter and 3-letter codes), Electromagnetic spectrum, Genome reference, Medical classification, Periodic table


Chemical symbols, Hazard symbol, International orange, International Symbol of Access, No symbol, Mathematical symbols, Recycling symbol, Tick (check mark), Traffic light, X mark

– In electronics

Electronic symbols, for circuit diagrams, Media control symbols, Power symbol


Calendar, Clock, Time zones, Universal Time

List of technical standard organizations

International standards organizations

  • 3GPP — 3rd Generation Partnership Project
  • 3GPP2 — 3rd Generation Partnership Project 2
  • Accellera — Accellera Organization
  • A4L — Access for Learning Community (formerly known as the Schools Interoperability Framework)
  • AES — Audio Engineering Society
  • AIIM — Association for Information and Image Management
  • ASAM — Association for Automation and Measuring Systems – Automotive technology
  • ASHRAE — American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE is an international organization, despite its name)
  • ASME — formerly The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • ASTM International
  • ATIS – Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions
  • AUTOSAR — Automotive technology
  • BIPM, CGPM, and CIPM — Bureau International des Poids et Mesures and the related organizations established under the Metre Convention of 1875.
  • CableLabs — Cable Television Laboratories
  • CCSDS — Consultative Committee for Space Data Sciences
  • CIE – International Commission on Illumination
  • CISPR — International Special Committee on Radio Interference
  • CFA — Compact flash association
  • DCMI — Dublin Core Metadata Initiative
  • DDEX — Digital Data Exchange
  • DMTF — Distributed Management Task Force
  • Ecma International — Ecma International (previously called ECMA)
  • EKOenergy — EKOenergy Network managed by environmental NGOs
  • FAO — Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • FAI — Fédération Aéronautique Internationale
  • GlobalPlatform – Secure element and TEE standards
  • GS1 — Global supply chain standards (identification numbers, barcodes, electronic commerce transactions, RFID)
  • HGI — Home Gateway Initiative
  • HFSB — Hedge Fund Standards Board
  • IATA — International Air Transport Association
  • IAU* — International Arabic Union
  • ICAO — International Civil Aviation Organization
  • IEC — International Electro Technical Commission
  • IEEE — Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE-SA-IEEE Standards Association)
  • IETF — Internet Engineering Task Force
  • IFOAM — International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements
  • IFSWF — International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds
  • IMO — International Maritime Organization
  • IMS — IMS Global Learning Consortium
  • ISO — International Organization for Standardization
  • IPTC — International Press Telecommunications Council
  • ITU — The International Telecommunication Union
  • IUPAC — International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
  • Liberty Alliance — Liberty Alliance
  • Media Grid — Media Grid Standards Organization
  • NACE International — Formerly known as National Association of Corrosion Engineers
  • OASIS — Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards
  • OGC — Open Geospatial Consortium
  • OHICC — Organization of Hotel Industry Classification & Certification
  • OIF – Optical Internetworking Forum
  • OMA — Open Mobile Alliance
  • OMG — Object Management Group
  • OGF — Open Grid Forum (merger of Global Grid Forum (GGF) and Enterprise Grid Alliance (EGA))
  • Open Travel Alliance — Open Travel Alliance (previously known as OTA
  • OSGi — OSGi Alliance
  • PESC – P20 Education Standards Council
  • SAI — Social Accountability International
  • SDA — Secure Digital Association
  • SNIA – Storage Networking Industry Association
  • SMPTE — Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
  • SSDA — Solid State Drive Alliance
  • The Open Group — The Open Group
  • TIA – Telecommunications Industry Association
  • TM Forum — Tele management Forum
  • UIC — International Union of Railways
  • UL – Underwriters Laboratories
  • UPU — Universal Postal Union
  • WMO — World Meteorological Organization
  • W3C — World Wide Web Consortium
  • WSA — Website Standards Association [citation needed]
  • WHO biological standards — Mostly developed by NIBSC
  • XSF — The XMPP Standards Foundation

Regional standards organizations


  • ARSO — African Organization for Standardization
  • SADCSTAN — Southern African Development Community (SADC) Cooperation in Standardization


  • COPANT — Pan American Standards Commission
  • AMN — MERCOSUR Standardization Association
  • CROSQ — CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality
  • AAQG – America’s Aerospace Quality Group

Asia Pacific

  • PASC — Pacific Area Standards Congress
  • ACCSQ — ASEAN Consultative Committee for Standards and Quality


  • CEN — European Committee for Standardization
  • CENELEC — European Committee for Electro Technical Standardization
  • URS — United Registrar of Systems, UK
  • ETSI — European Telecommunications Standards Institute
  • EURAMET – the European Association of National Metrology Institutes
  • IRMM — Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (European Union)
  • EASC — Euro-Asian Council for Standardization, Metrology and Certification
  • RoyalCert International Registrars
  • WELMEC – European Cooperation in Legal Metrology

Middle East

  • AIDMO — Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organization
  • IAU* — International Arabic Union

Nationally-based standards organizations

This list is not limited to ISO members.

  • Afghanistan — ANSA — Afghan National Standard Authority
  • Algeria — IANOR — Institut algérien de normalization
  • Argentina — IRAM — Instituto Argentino de Normalización
  • Armenia — SARM — National Institute of Standards and Quality
  • Australia — SA — Standards Australia
  • Austria — ASI — Austrian Standards Institute
  • Bahrain — BSMD — Bahrain Standards and Metrology Directorate
  • Bangladesh — BSTI — Bangladesh Standards and Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution
  • Barbados — BNSI — Barbados National Standards Institution
  • Belarus — BELST — Committee for Standardization, Metrology and Certification of Belarus
  • Belgium — NBN — Bureau voor Normalisatie/Bureau de Normalisation (formerly: IBN/BIN)
  • Belgium — BEC / CEB — The Belgian Electrotechnical Committee – Belgisch Elektrotechnisch Comité – Comité Electrotechnique Belge
  • Bolivia — IBNORCA — Instituto Boliviano de Normalización y Calidad
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina — BASMP — Institute for Standards, Metrology and Intellectual Property of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil — ABNT — Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas
  • Brunei Darussalam — CPRU — Construction Planning and Research Unit, Ministry of Development
  • Bulgaria — BDS — Bulgarian Institute for Standardization
  • Canada (SCC — Standards Council of Canada, CSA – Canadian Standards Association, Centre for Study of Insurance Operations — Canadian insurance data standards organization)
  • Chile — INN — Instituto Nacional de Normalizacion
  • China — SAC — Standardization Administration of China
  • China — CSSN — China Standards Information Center
  • Colombia — ICONTEC – Instituto Colombiano de Normas Tecnicas y Certificación
  • Costa Rica — INTECO — Instituto de Normas Técnicas de Costa Rica
  • Croatia — DZNM — State Office for Standardization and Metrology
  • Cuba — NC — Oficina Nacional de Normalización
  • Czech Republic — CSNI — Czech Standards Institute
  • Denmark — DS — Dansk Standard
  • Ecuador — INEN — Instituto Ecuatoriano de Normalización
  • Egypt — EO — Egyptian Organization for Standardization and Quality Control
  • El Salvador — CONACYT — Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología
  • Estonia — EVS — Eesti Standardikeskus
  • Ethiopia — QSAE — Quality and Standards Authority of Ethiopia
  • Finland — SFS — Finnish Standards Association
  • France — AFNOR — Association française de normalisation
  • Germany (DIN — Deutsches Institut für Normung, Deutsches Institut für Bautechnik)
  • Georgia — GEOSTM – Georgian National Agency for Standards, Technical Regulations and Metrology
  • Ghana GSA- Ghana Standards Authority
  • Greece — ELOT — Hellenic Organization for Standardization
  • Grenada — GDBS — Grenada Bureau of Standards
  • Guatemala — COGUANOR — Comisión Guatemalteca de Normas
  • Guyana — GNBS — Guyana National Bureau of Standards
  • Hong Kong — ITCHKSAR — Innovation and Technology Commission
  • Hungary — MSZT — Magyar Szabványügyi Testület
  • Iceland — IST — Icelandic Council for Standardization
  • India — BIS — Bureau of Indian Standards
  • Indonesia — BSN — Badan Standardisasi Nasional
  • Iran — ISIRI — Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran
  • Ireland — NSAI — National Standards Authority of Ireland
  • Israel — SII — The Standards Institution of Israel
  • Italy — UNI — Ente Nazionale Italiano di Unificazione
  • Jamaica — BSJ — Bureau of Standards, Jamaica
  • Japan — JISC — Japan Industrial Standards Committee
  • Jordan — JISM — Jordan Institution for Standards and Metrology
  • Kazakhstan — KAZMEMST — Committee for Standardization, Metrology and Certification
  • Kenya — KEBS — Kenya Bureau of Standards
  • Republic of Korea — KATS — Korean Agency for Technology and Standards
  • Kuwait — KOWSMD — Public Authority for Industry, Standards and Industrial Services Affairs
  • Kyrgyzstan — KYRGYZST — State Inspection for Standardization and Metrology
  • Latvia — LVS — Latvian Standard
  • Lebanon — LIBNOR — Lebanese Standards Institution
  • Lithuania — LST — Lithuanian Standards Board
  • Luxembourg — SEE — Service de l’Energie de l’Etat, Organisme Luxembourgeois de Normalisation
  • Malaysia — DSM – Department of Standards Malaysia
  • Malta — MSA — Malta Standards Authority
  • Mauritius — MSB — Mauritius Standards Bureau
  • Mexico — DGN — Dirección General de Normas
  • Moldova — MOLDST — Department of Standardization and Metrology
  • Morocco — SNIMA — Service de Normalisation Industrielle Marocaine
  • Nepal — NTA— Nepal Telecommunication Authority
  • Netherlands — NEN — Nederlandse Norm, maintained by the Nederlands Normalisatie Instituut (NNI)
  • New Zealand — SNZ — Standards New Zealand
  • Nicaragua — DTNM — Dirección de Tecnología, Normalización y Metrología
  • Nigeria — SON — Standards Organisation of Nigeria
  • Norway — SN — Standards Norway (Standard Norge)
  • Oman — DGSM — Directorate General for Specifications and Measurements
  • Pakistan — PSQCA — Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority
  • Palestine — PSI — Palestine Standards Institution
  • Panama — COPANIT — Comisión Panameña de Normas Industriales y Técnicas
  • Papua New Guinea — NISIT — National Institute of Standards and Industrial Technology
  • Peru — INDECOPI — Instituto Nacional de Defensa de la Competencia y de la Protección de la Propiedad Intellectual
  • Philippines — BPS — Bureau of Product Standards
  • Poland — PKN — Polish Committee for Standardization
  • Portugal — IPQ — Instituto Português da Qualidade
  • Romania — ASRO — Asociatia de Standardizare din România
  • Russian Federation — Rostekhregulirovaniye — Federal Agency for Technical Regulation and Metrology
  • Saint Lucia — SLBS — Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards
  • Saudi Arabia — SASO — Saudi Arabian Standards Organization
  • Serbia and Montenegro — ISSM -Institution for Standardization of Serbia and Montenegro
  • Seychelles — SBS — Seychelles Bureau of Standards
  • Singapore — SPRING SG — Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board
  • Slovakia — SUTN — Slovak Standards Institute
  • Slovenia — SIST — Slovenian Institute for Standardization
  • South Africa — SABS — South African Bureau of Standards
  • Spain — UNE— Asociación Española de Normalización y Certificación (AENOR)
  • Sri Lanka — SLSI — Sri Lanka Standards Institution
  • Suriname — SSB — Suriname Standards Bureau
  • Sweden — SIS — Swedish Standards Institute
  • Switzerland — SNV — Swiss Association for Standardization
  • Syrian Arab Republic — SASMO — The Syrian Arab Organization for Standardization and Metrology
  • Taiwan (Republic of China) — BSMI — The Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection
  • Tanzania — TBS — Tanzania Bureau of Standards
  • Thailand — TISI — Thai Industrial Standards Institute
  • Trinidad and Tobago — TTBS — Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards
  • Turkey — TSE — Türk Standardlari Enstitüsü
  • Uganda — UNBS — Uganda National Bureau of Standards
  • Ukraine — DSSU — State Committee for Technical Regulation and Consumer Policy of Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates – ESMA – Emirates Standardization and Metrology Association
  • United Kingdom (BSI — British Standards Institution aka BSI Group, DStan – UK Defence Standardization)
  • United States of America (ANSI — American National Standards Institute, ACI — American Concrete Institute, NIST — National Institute of Standards and Technology)
  • Uruguay — UNIT — Instituto Uruguayo de Normas Técnicas
  • Venezuela — FONDONORMA — Fondo para la Normalización y Certificación de la Calidad
  • Vietnam — TCVN — Directorate for Standards and Quality

National and International organizations producing codes and standards – ANSI, ISO, DIN, BSI

ACI – American Concrete Institute

American Concrete Institute

ANSI – American National Standards Institute

ANSI provides a forum for development of American national standards

API – American Petroleum Institute

The American Petroleum Institute – API

ASHRAE – American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers

ASHRAE Standards

ASME – American Society of Mechanical Engineers

ASME is one of the leading organizations in the world developing codes and standards

ASPE – American Society of Plumbing Engineers

International organization for professionals skilled in the design, specification and inspection of plumbing systems

ASTM – Sections and Volumes

ASTM standards in sections and volumes

ASTM International

ASTM International – American Society for Testing and Materials – is a scientific and technical organization that develops and publishes voluntary standards on the characteristics of material, products, systems and services

BSI – British Standards institute

British Standards institute – BSI

CEN – The European Committee for Standardization

The European Committee for Standardization (CEN)

DIN – Deutsches Institut für Normung

DIN – the German Institute for Standardization

ETSI European Telecommunications Standards Institute

Globally applicable standards for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT)

International Standard Organizations

Some international standard organizations

ISO – International Organization for Standardization

ISO – the International Organization for Standardization

JIS – Japanese Industrial Standards

Japanese Standards Association – JSA

NACE International

The corrosion engineering and science community

National Standards Organizations

Some National Standards Organizations

NEC – National Electrical Code

National Electrical Code

NEMA – National Electrical Manufacturers Association

National Electrical Manufacturers Association

NFPA – National Fire Protection Association

The U.S. authority on fire, electrical and building safety

NIST – National Institute of Standards and Technology

National Institute of Standards and Technology – NIST

SMACNA – Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association

SMACNA – Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association

Standard test methods (ASTM and others) and specifications for petroleum products

An overview of common test methods and specifications of petroleum fuels. What, why and how do the different test?

Standard test methods (ASTM and others) for crude oil properties

An overview of common test methods and typical ranges of variation of petroleum quality parameters. What, why and how do the different test?

Transnational and Continental Standards Organizations

Some transnational and continental standards organizations

Mohsen Sadeghkhani

Designer and Analyst

Mechanical Engineer (M.Sc.), with more than 8 years (Since 2011) of experience in simulation, analysis, modeling, software courses teaching, university and industrial research-optimization.Now, I am working on optimization, industrial design and computational mechanics. I am interested to have research and study in Energy Conversion, Multi-Phase Flow, Nano Technology, MEMS and NEMS, Fluid Structure Interactions fields. Read more

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