This is chapter 5 of the Introduction to Standards and the Standards Council of Canada orientation module. A transcript of the video follows below.
Chapter 5 - Where do standards come from?
First, an organization identifies the need for a standard.
The organization may adopt a pre-existing standard or, if one does not already exist, it may begin the process of having one developed. Important factors such as timing, funding, and committee structure must be addressed before this process is undertaken.
Standards can be developed in Canada, regionally, or internationally. In particular, many standards are developed in international forums by the technical committees and subcommittees of the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission.
A Standards Development Organization, or SDO for short, is an organization that specializes in the development of standards through the process of consensus. This type of organization is accredited by SCC to carry out standard development work.
An SDO will develop a standard through a group of subject matter representatives who are experts on a given topic. This group is called a technical committee, and is composed of experts from industry, government and academia.
These committees are composed of volunteers, including individuals who work and specialize in the subject matter of the standard.
These participants provide technical expertise and input, while receiving considerable professional development.
If you believe you have skills to contribute to this rewarding process, you can look for opportunities to contribute on the websites on the SCC website.
The technical committee will:
- develop a draft,
- seek public review,
- establish voting on the draft, and
- resolve any issues.
Finally, the standard is published.
Accredited SDOs require that standards are periodically reviewed. Once a standard reaches this time, it must be reviewed, and, if necessary, revised or withdrawn. This is done to ensure the ongoing relevance and currency of standards.
Sometimes, after an appropriate process, standards are approved as National Standards of Canada.
These are standards that are recognized as the official Canadian standard in a particular subject area or topic. They can be uniquely Canadian or based on international standards. However, only accredited SDOs develop National Standards of Canada.
In order to be approved as a National Standard of Canada, a standard must be:
- Developed by consensus from a balanced committee of stakeholders;
- Subjected to public scrutiny;
- Published in both official languages;
- Consistent with or must incorporate existing international and pertinent foreign standards; and
- not act as a barrier to trade.