International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies
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General Public

Your perspective

 

How are international standards created?

At the beginning of a standard lies the real need of an industry. A company or industry in a given country formulates and communicates the need for a new standard to their NC (National Committee). The NC generally knows which TC (Technical Committee) is in charge of the work and will circulate the information to all the countries who participate in the relevant TC.

 

The NCs of these countries will then consult with their industry and vote (one vote per country) for or against the development of this new standard. To start work, a simple majority (half + one) is needed.

 

If a majority is in favour of the new standard, then a group of at least five experts from five different countries will start work on the new project.

 

To begin with the group develops a draft which usually goes through several reviews until the experts are happy with the result. At that stage the draft is sent to all IEC NCs, who share it in turn with their industry and other key stakeholders, sometimes organizing a public enquiry. In principle, the NC will accept comments from any stakeholder in the country, no matter if they participate in the IEC or not.

 

If needed, the draft goes through another stage of reviews to satisfy or address all comments. At the end of this process each country (one vote per country) casts its vote for the Final Draft International Standard. To accept the International Standard, at least 75% of voting countries must have voted yes.