accreditation: Assessment and approval of the process by which standards bodies develop standards, and by which conformity assessment bodies certify products, services, and systems in accordance with recognized accreditation standards. When used in relation to testing facilities, accreditation refers to the process of evaluating testing facilities for competence to perform specific tests using standards test methods.
Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET): ABET, Inc., the recognized accreditor for college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology, is a federation of 30 professional and technical societies representing these fields. Among the most respected accreditation organizations in the U.S., ABET has provided leadership and quality assurance in higher education for over 70 years. ABET currently accredits some 2,500 programs at over 550 colleges and universities nationwide. Over 1,500 dedicated volunteers participate annually in ABET activities.
Accredited Standards Developer: An entity whose procedures satisfy the requirements set forth in the ANSI Procedures for the Development and Coordination of American National Standards, and that has been approved as such by the ANSI Executive Standards Council (ExSC) for the development of American National Standards.
Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS): ATIS is a United States based body that is committed to rapidly developing and promoting technical and operations standards for the communications and related information technologies industry worldwide using a pragmatic, flexible and open approach.
amendment: A normative document developed according to consensus procedures. It is approved by the IEC membership and it changes the technical normative elements of a particular international standard.
American National Standards (ANS): ANSI facilitates the development of American National Standards (ANS) by accrediting the procedures of standards developers. This accreditation signifies that the procedures used by the standards developer in connection with American National Standards meet ANSI’s essential requirements for openness, balance, consensus and due process. ANSI approves a standard only when it has been shown that the standard submitted by an ANSI-accredited standard developer meets these requirements.
American National Standards Institute (ANSI): A private, non-profit organization that coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization system. The Institute represents the interests of its company, organizational, government, institutional and international members. ANSI accredits national standards developing organizations and approves American National Standards. It represents U.S. interests in international standards development activities.
ANSI Board of Standards Review (ANSI BSR): The ANSI Board of Standards Review is responsible for the approval and withdrawal of American National Standards and for other responsibilities that may be delegated to it by the Board of Directors. The functions of the Board of Standards Review include, but may not be limited to, the following: implementing procedures for the approval and withdrawal of standards as American National Standards and adjudicating questions or conflicts that develop in the standards approval procedure; and determining whether standards submitted to the Institute for approval or withdrawal as American National Standards meet the requirements of the Institute and acting on all requests for approval, reaffirmation, revision and withdrawal of American National Standards.
ANSI members: The ANSI federation has 1,000 U.S. companies, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, institutes and consumer and labor interests as members, all working together to develop voluntary national consensus standards.
asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) forum: The ATM forum is an international non-profit organization formed with the objective of accelerating the use of ATM products and services through a rapid convergence of interoperability specifications. In addition, the Forum promotes industry cooperation and awareness.
backward compatibility: Compatible with earlier models or versions of the same product. A new version of a program is said to be backward compatible if it can use files and data created with an older version of the same program.
balance: Participants from diverse interest categories (stakeholders) are sought to participate in the standard development process (e.g., committee) with the objective of achieving balance in the process.
certification: A scheme, structure or process that ensures that the origin, material, quality, mode of manufacture, accuracy, or other characteristics of a product or service has met certain agreed upon-criteria developed for that product, service or profession.
Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA): CDMA is a form of wireless multiplexing, in which data can be sent over multiple frequencies simultaneously, optimizing the use of available bandwidth. In a CDMA system, data is broken into packets, each of which are given a unique identifier, so that they can be sent out over multiple frequencies and then re-built in the correct order by the receiver.The technology is used in cellular telephone systems in the 800-MHz and 1.9-GHz bands.
committee draft (CD): This is the first public form of a proposed international standard. Once a Committee Draft has been registered a further 3-month letter ballot amongst the Participating Member Bodies of the Sub-Committee must approve it.
conformity assessment: A process whereby a product, procedure, service or system is evaluated or measured against a standard. Activities associated with conformity assessment include testing, certification, accreditation, and quality assurance system registration.
consensus: Represents a common viewpoint of those parties concerned with its provisions, namely producers, users, consumers and general interest groups. General agreement that involves seeking and taking into account the view of all parties concerned, and to reconciling any conflicting arguments. Consensus does not imply unanimity.
due process: Any organization, company, government agency, or individual with a direct and material interest has a right to participate by expressing a position and its basis, having that position considered, and appealing if adversely affected.
European Union (EU): The EU is a union of twenty-five independent states based on the European Communities and founded to enhance political, economic and social co-operation. Formerly known as European Community (EC) or European Economic Community (EEC).
Executive Standards Council (ExSC): The ANSI ExSC is responsible for the approval of accreditation and reaccreditation of standards developers and ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs) to ISO. It has oversight responsibilities for the audit program and is the appeals body for procedural and accreditation issues.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC): The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent United States government agency, directly responsible to Congress. The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. The FCC’s jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions.
final committee draft: This is the final public form of the Committee Draft of a proposed international standard, and must be identified as such before being submitted for a four-month approval ballot among the Participating Member Bodies of the Sub-Committee.
Global System Mobile (GSM): GSM is a living and evolving wireless communications standard that already offers an extensive and feature-rich ‘family’ of voice and data services. (Source: Google search “local area network definition”)
harmonized standards: Equivalent standards on the same subject approved by different standardization bodies, which allow for establishment of interchangeability of products, processes and services, and for mutual understanding of test results or information provided according to these standards.
IEC: The purpose of the International Electrotechnical Commission (founded in 1906) is to promote international cooperation in standardization in the fields of electricity, electronics and related technologies.
industry technical agreement (ITA): A normative or informative document that specifies the parameters of a new product or service. It is developed outside the technical structures of the IEC and it helps to enable production and/or market launch of industry products to proceed. It is similar to an industrial de facto standard or specification. Fast moving technology sectors are the main potential users of ITAs, but the whole domain of electrical and electronic engineering may be covered. It does not cover horizontal aspects of safety, health, environmental protection and other similar subjects that are normally the province of regulation and consensus standards. ITAs offer a new and dynamic way of achieving market acceptance of a new technology with the IEC’s intrinsic seal of approval because they offer: quick development time, so costs are limited, participants have full control because they are sole arbiters of technical content, acceptance is achieved among participants.
IEEE: The IEEE (Eye-triple-E) is a non-profit, technical professional association of more than 360,000 individual members in approximately 175 countries. Through its members, the IEEE is a leading authority in technical areas ranging from computer engineering, biomedical technology and telecommunications, to electric power, aerospace and consumer electronics, among others. Through its technical publishing, conferences and consensus-based standards activities, the IEEE; produces 30 percent of the world’s published literature in electrical engineering, computers and control technology, holds annually more than 300 major conferences and has nearly 900 active standards with 700 under development.
InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS): INCITS is the primary U.S. focus of standardization in the field of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), encompassing storage, processing, transfer, display, management, organization, and retrieval of information. As such, INCITS also serves as ANSI’s Technical Advisory Group for ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee 1. JTC 1 is responsible for International standardization in the field of Information Technology.
International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC): This is a non-governmental federation of national committees from around 50 countries, representing all the industrial countries in the world. It was established in 1906 to “promote international cooperation on all questions of standardization and related matters in the fields of electrical and electronic engineering and thus to promote international understanding.”
International Organization for Standardization (ISO): This is a non-governmental, world-wide federation of national standards bodies from some 100 countries, one per country, which was established in 1947 to “promote the development of standardization and related activities in the world with a view to facilitating the international exchange of goods and services, and to developing cooperation in the spheres of intellectual, scientific, technological and economic activity.”
international standard (IS): A standard adopted or developed for global use. As defined in IEC/ISO Guide 2, an IS is a document, established by consensus and approved by a recognized body, that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context. An international standard is a standard adopted by an international standardizing/standards organization and made available to the public.
International Telecommunication Union (ITU): The ITU, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland is an international organization within the United Nations System where governments and the private sector coordinate global telecom networks and services.
international trade: Measures the difference between imports and exports of both tangible goods and services. The level of the international trade balance, as well as changes in exports and imports, indicate trends in foreign trade.
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF): Is a large open international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet. It is open to any interested individual.
interoperability: Ability of a system or a product to work with other systems or products without special effort on the part of the customer. Interoperability is made possible by the implementation of standards.
ISO: The purpose of International Organization for Standardization (founded in 1947) is to facilitate the internationalization and unification of standards and related activities over almost the entire range of technology (except that covered by IEC).
ISO 14000: The ISO 14000 series of standards provide guidance on several aspects of environmental management, including environmental auditing, performance evaluation, and life cycle assessment. The series addresses the needs of organizations worldwide by providing a common framework for managing environmental issues. Developed by an ISO Technical Committee that has as its scope of work “standardization in the field of environmental management tools and systems,” ISO 14000 is a series of international, voluntary environmental management standards, guides and technical reports.
ISO 9000: The ISO 9000 family of standards represents an international consensus on good management practices with the aim of ensuring that the organization can time and time again deliver the product or services that meet the client’s quality requirements developed by an ISO Technical Committee. These good practices have been distilled into a set of standardized requirements for a quality management system, regardless of what an organization does, its size, or whether it’s in the private, or public sector.
JEDEC: The JEDEC Solid State Technology Association (Once known as the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council), is the semiconductor engineering standardization body of the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA), a trade association that represents all areas of the electronics industry. JEDEC is the leading developer of standards for the solid-state industry. Almost 2400 participants, appointed by some 270 companies (including both manufacturers and users of semiconductor components and others allied to the field) work together in 50 JEDEC committees meet the needs of every segment of the industry, manufacturers and consumers alike. The publications and standards that they generate are accepted throughout the world. All JEDEC standards are available online, at no charge.
JTC1/SC22: The sub-committee of JTC1 which has the responsibility for the development of International Standards in the area of “programming languages, their environments and system software interfaces.”
local area network (LAN): A local computer network for communication between computers; especially a network connecting computers and word processors and other electronic office equipment to create a communication system between offices.
Mandatory standards: Standards incorporated into laws or technical regulations for the protection of public health, safety, and the environment; or when incorporated into contractual agreements, between buyers and sellers.
model building codes: Building codes that establish minimum acceptable requirements for commercial and residential construction to preserve the public health, safety and welfare. Model building codes are developed nationally then adopted by state and local authorities.
National Electrical Code (NEC): A nationally recognized safety standard for the design, construction and maintenance of electrical circuits. The NEC, sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), generally covers electrical wiring within buildings.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST): A government agency that develops technologies, measurement methods and standards, that help U.S. companies compete in the global marketplace, and that coordinates U.S. federal government use of voluntary standards.
National Member Body (NB): Every country that participates in the work of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) nominates a single body that will represent it within ISO and those of its various sub-committees and working groups that it wishes to be involved with. These national member bodies may choose to participate in any, or all, of the various fields of standardization that are the responsibility of ISO by becoming either a Participating Member or an Observer Member.
national standard: A standard developed primarily for domestic use. U.S. national standards may be adopted as international standards and international standards may be adopted as U.S. national standards.
National Standards Strategy for the United States: The primary focus of the NSS is to improve U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace while continuing to provide strong support for domestic markets and key quality-of-life issues such as the environment. The NSS: reaffirms that the U.S. is committed to a sector-based approach to voluntary standardization activities, both domestically and globally; provides an outline of key principles necessary for the development of standards to meet societal and market needs and a strategic vision for implementing these principles nationally and internationally; provides a standardization framework built upon the traditional strengths of the U.S. system – such as consensus, openness and transparency – while giving additional emphasis to speed, relevance, and meeting the needs of public interest constituencies; sets forth a framework by building on the strengths of the U.S system by proposing a set of strategic and tactical initiatives that can be used by all interests to meet national and individual organizational objectives in the standards arena.
new work item proposal (NP): Before any technical work may start on developing an International Standard, an NP for the work must be approved by JTC1 and the work allocated to the appropriate Sub-Committee. In order for the NP to be approved it must be supported by a majority of Participating members, with at least five Participating members of the relevant Sub-Committee committing themselves to active participation in the associated work.
normative annex: Official parts of the standard that are placed after the body of the standard for reasons of convenience or create a hierarchical distinction. Used for conformance test procedures or tables. Some standards place syntax definitions, list of keywords, or printed source code in normative annexes, or as normative annexes for content-specific applications of a standard.
observing member (O-member): Any NB may elect to be an O-member of JTC1 or of any of its Sub-Committees. O-members may attend meetings, make contributions and receive documents, but are not eligible to vote.
openness: Participation in the standard development process shall be open to all persons who are directly and materially affected by the activity in question, and the committee’s activities are publicly available.
open shortest path first (OSPF): A routing protocol developed for Internet Protocol (IP) networks by the Interior Gateway Protocol (IGP) working group of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). OSPF has two primary characteristics. The first is that the protocol is open, which means that its specification is in the public domain. The OSPF specification is published as Request For Comments (RFC) 1247. The second principal characteristic is that OSPF is based on the SPF algorithm, which sometimes is referred to as the Dijkstra algorithm, named for the person credited with its creation. OSPF is a link-state routing protocol that calls for the sending of link-state advertisements (LSAs) to all other routers within the same hierarchical area. Information on attached interfaces, metrics used, and other variables is included in OSPF LSAs. As OSPF routers accumulate link-state information, they use the SPF algorithm to calculate the shortest path to each node.
participating member (P-member): Any NB may elect to be a P-member of JTC1 or of any of its Sub-Committees. P-members have an obligation to take an active part in the work of JTC1 or of the SC, and to attend meetings; they also have an obligation to vote on all questions submitted for voting.
performance standard: Performance standards specify the level of expected performance for a product, not how it should be designed, and may include test methods that simulate performance under actual conditions.
personnel certification: Personnel certification verifies that individuals in various professions have the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to perform their work. The purpose of certification of personnel is to provide improvement in professional competence, a more highly skilled workforce, particularly within industries that have an impact on public safety and protection.
professional association or society: Professional societies are generally membership organizations that represent the individual professionals in a specific profession from diverse industries, and have activities and programs that support the profession.
Publicly Available Specification (PAS): A normative document that represents a consensus among experts. A simple majority of the Participating Members of a technical committee or subcommittee approves the document. An IEC-PAS responds to an urgent market need for such a normative document and is designed to bring the work of industry consortia into the realm of the IEC.
references: Normative documents that contain material that must be understood and used to implement the standard.
specification: A set of conditions and requirements of precise and limited application that provide a detailed description of a procedure, process, material, product, or service for use primarily in procurement and manufacturing. Standards may be referenced or included in specifications.
standard development process: A step-by-step formalized committee process for developing voluntary consensus standards. For example, the national process includes beginning with a draft of the proposed standard through the various steps to application to ANSI for approval of the standard. ANSI does not approve the technical content of the standard. It approves the process by which the standard was developed. Not all national standards developed are submitted to ANSI for approval.
standards bodies: National, regional and international standards bodies that develop standards and/or that coordinate the standards activities of a specific country, region or the world. Standards bodies may be supported by the private sector, the government, or some combination thereof. Some standard bodies facilitate the development of standards through support of technical committee activities, and some may be directly involved in standards development.
strategic standardization: Strategic standardization is a management discipline that investigates all aspects of standardization across a business or industry, then defines, recommends, and implements appropriate strategies and policies that can give a company a competitive advantage, or avoid a competitive disadvantage.
technical corrigendum: Corrects a technical error or ambiguity in an IS. It also corrects information that has become outdated, provided the modification has no effect on the technical normative elements of the document it corrects.
technical report (TR): More descriptive than normative, this is an informative document of a different kind from normative documents (e.g. collection of data). A TR is approved by simple majority of Participating Members of an IEC technical committee or subcommittee.
technical specification (TS): Similar to an IS in that it is normative in nature, developed according to consensus procedures and is approved by two/thirds of the Participating Members of an IEC technical committee or subcommittee. A TS is published when required support for an IS cannot be obtained, or when the subject is still under technical development, or when there is a future – but no immediate – possibility of an IS.
technology trend assessment (TTA): Highlights certain aspects of a technology that might conceivably become an area for standardization in the near-to-medium term. It responds to the need for global collaboration on standardization questions during the early stages of technical innovation. A TTA gives the state of the art or trend in emerging fields. It is typically the result of pre-standardization work or research.
Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA): TIA represents providers of communications and information technology products and services for the global marketplace through its core competencies in standards development, domestic and international advocacy, as well as market development and trade promotion programs. The association facilitates the convergence of new communications networks while working for a competitive and innovative market environment.
time division multiple access (TDMA): A technology for delivering digital wireless service using time-division multiplexing (TDM). TDMA works by dividing a radio frequency into time slots and then allocating slots to multiple calls. In this way, a single frequency can support multiple, simultaneous data channels.
trade secret: A trade secret is a confidential practice, method, process, design, the “know-how” or other information used by a business to compete with other businesses. It is also referred to in some jurisdictions as confidential information, and in others is a subset or example of confidential information.
transmission control protocol (TCP): TCP is one of the main protocols in TCP/IP networks. Whereas the IP protocol deals only with packets, TCP enables two hosts to establish a connection and exchange streams of data. TCP guarantees delivery of data and also guarantees that packets will be delivered in the same order in which they were sent.
U.S. national body: ANSI is the U.S. member body to ISO and the IEC, via the U.S. National Committee to IEC, representing United States interests in international standards development. National standards bodies in other countries are the member bodies to ISO and IEC for their countries.
voluntary consensus standard: The term “voluntary” distinguishes the standards development process from governmental or regulatory processes. All interested stakeholders participate, including producers, users, consumers, and representatives of government and academia. Voluntary standards are also made mandatory at times by being incorporated into law by governmental bodie
voluntary consensus standards: Standards developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies, both domestic and international,” and it defines voluntary consensus standards bodies as “domestic or international organizations which plan, develop, establish, or coordinate voluntary consensus standards using agreed-upon procedures. For purposes of this policy, “voluntary consensus standards” are standards developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies, both domestic and international. These standards include provisions requiring that owners of relevant intellectual property have agreed to make that intellectual property available on a non-discriminatory, royalty-free or reasonable royalty basis to all interested parties. For purposes of this Circular, “technical standards that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standard bodies” is an equivalent term. (1) “Voluntary consensus standards bodies” are domestic or international organizations which plan, develop, establish, or coordinate voluntary consensus standards using agreed-upon procedures. For purposes of this Circular, “voluntary, private sector, consensus standards bodies,” as cited in Act, is an equivalent term. The Act and the Circular encourage the participation of federal representatives in these bodies to increase the likelihood that the standards they develop will meet both public and private sector needs. A voluntary consensus standards body is defined by the following attributes:
- balance of interest
- due process
- an appeals process
- consensus, which is defined as general agreement, but not necessarily unanimity, and includes a process for attempting to resolve objections by interested parties, as long as all comments have been fairly considered, each objector is advised of the disposition of his or her objection(s) and the reasons why, and the consensus body members are given an opportunity to change their votes after reviewing the comments
Voluntary Government Standard: A standard written by a government department or agency that prescribes requirements for a product or service, such as food grade standards developed to facilitate the marketing process. Use of the standard is voluntary.
voluntary standard: The term “voluntary” distinguishes the standards development process from governmental or regulatory processes. Voluntary standards are also made mandatory at times by being incorporated into law by governmental bodies.
voluntary standards system: A system used to develop voluntary standards wherein participation in the system itself is voluntary. All interested stakeholders participate, including producers, users, consumers, and representatives of government and academia.
wide-band code-division multiple access (WCDMA): A 3G technology that increases data transmission rates in GSM systems by using the CDMA air interface instead of TDMA. WCDMA is based on CDMA and is the technology used in UMTS. WCDMA was adopted as a standard by the ITU under the name “IMT-2000 direct spread”.
Wi-Fi Alliance: The Wi-Fi Alliance is a global, non-profit industry trade association with more than 200 member companies devoted to promoting the growth of wireless Local Area Networks (WLAN). Wi-Fi Alliance certification programs ensure the interoperability of WLAN products from different manufacturers, with the objective of enhancing the wireless user experience.
working draft (WD): This is the first stage that a document goes through, during which it is still a purely internal document to the Working Group that is responsible for it. It is actually the third of six possible stages in the production of an International Standard: Stage 0 (preliminary): A study period is under way Stage 1 (proposal): An NP is under consideration Stage 2 (preparatory): A WD is under consideration Stage 3 (committee): A CD is under consideration Stage 4 (approval): An FDIS is under consideration Stage 5 (publication): An International Standard is being prepared for publication
World Trade Organization (WTO): The WTO, located in Switzerland, is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified by their governments. It provides a forum for trade negotiations, handling trade disputes, and monitoring trade policies. The goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters and importers to conduct their business. (Source: Princeton Cognitive Science)