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Drafting IEC publications



4 Objective of standardization

The objective of documents is to specify clear and unambiguous provisions in order to help international trade and communication. To achieve this objective, documents shall:

  • be complete within the limits specified by their scope;

NOTE 1 When a document provides requirements or recommendations, these are either written explicitly, or made by reference to other documents (see Clause 10).

  • be consistent, clear and accurate;
  • be written using all available knowledge about the state of the art;
  • take into account the current market conditions;

NOTE 2 There is sometimes a tension between what is technically feasible and what the market actually requires and is prepared to pay for.

  • provide a framework for future technological development;
  • be comprehensible to qualified people who have not participated in their preparation; and
  • conform to the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2.

A document does not in itself impose any obligation upon anyone to follow it. However, an obligation can be imposed, for example, by legislation or by a contract which makes reference to the document.


A document shall not include contractual requirements (e.g. concerning claims, guarantees, covering of expenses) or legal or statutory requirements.