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Aims and principles

Aims of standardisation

Standardisation may have one or more specific aims, to make a product, process or service fit for its purpose (ability to serve a defined purpose under specific conditions). These objectives may be, for instance:

Compatibility

Suitability of products, processes or services to be used together to fulfil the established requirements. Possibility to integrate a product into the system.

Interchangeability

Ability of one product, process or service to be used in place of another to fulfil the same requirements.

Unification

Selection of the optimum number of sizes or types of products, processes or services to meet prevailing needs.

Safety

Achieving of an optimum balance of a number of factors, in the case of which threats remain at an acceptable degree.

Environmental protection

Preservation of the environment from unacceptable damage from the effects and operations of products, processes and services.

Aims of standardisation can be overlapping.

Principles of standardisation

When drafting a standard, the principle is followed, in the interests of transparency and comprehensibility, that a standard reflects state of art and the documents published do not contradict each other – they do not present contradictory requirements to the same standardisation object. In essence, a standard must be brief, unambiguous, user-friendly and correspond to the needs of the interested parties who prepared it. In the interests of the broadest possible applicability and the fitness for purpose of standards, five important principles are ensured in drafting every standard:

Involvement

All interested parties are involved in the drafting process of a standard to later achieve the broadest possible acceptability of the document.

Openness

The standardisation process is open for participation to all interested parties – each interested party has the right to participate in the preparation of a standard and to express their opinion.

Transparency

All drafting stages, from the initiation of a new standard project to the publication of a standard, are public.

Consensus

In order to approve the final draft of a document as a standard, a consensus must be reached between interested parties. A consensus is an agreement reached between interested parties and a lack of opposition with regard to the content of a standard. A consensus is reached by combining the opinions and viewpoints of interested parties – it may not imply complete concord.

Availability

The standards body responsible for co-ordinating the drafting of a standard ensures the standard’s availability.

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