Standard is a document, established by consensus and approved by a recognized body like Estonian Standardisation Organisation (EVS). For common and repeated use standard provides rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context.

Important benefits of standardisation are improvement of the suitability of products, processes and services for their intended purposes, prevention of barriers to trade and facilitation of technological cooperation.

For example, the measurements of an A4 sheet of paper, which is broadly used on a daily basis, are agreed by the standard EVS-EN ISO 216. The agreement laid down in the standard benefits, e.g.:

  • paper manufacturers, who prepare paper of the agreed measurements (e.g. A4);
  • printer manufacturers, who prepare the equipment to use paper of the agreed measurements (e.g. A4);
  • consumers, who acquire the necessary paper from the paper manufacturer, which is suitable for use with the equipment prepared by the printer manufacturer.

Standards are drafted and published on three levels of standardisation:

  • international;
  • regional;
  • national.
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