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Engineering Standards: About Standards

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The regular use of standards is supposed to be required in technical writing, research and coursework. Out of academia standards are used in projects to show safety, reliability, productivity, and efficiency of engineering components or equipment.


A standard is a document that provides requirements, specifications, guidelines or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes, and services are fit for their purpose. (International Organization for Standardisation).

Standards establish a minimum level of performance and quality control to ensure that optimal conditions and procedures for the purpose of creating compatibility with products and services from different periods and a range of sources (Primer on Engineering Standards by Maan H. Jawad).

Engineering standards provide rules and recommendations for

  • quality, safety, performance and construction, structure, equipment, durability,
  • codes of practice,
  • methods of testing, analyzing, appraising, verifying, or measuring, manufacturing, designing, drawing, using, operation of safety condition of production,
  • symbols and terminology, abbreviations, marks, preferred numbers, or units.


International Standards are developed by governmental or treaty organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and organizations that are either specialized in standardization or involved in other activities. In general, an international standard is voluntary and has no legal status unless a regulatory authority requires conformance to that standard. Adopted by the country standards might be included in national rules and regulations.

The European (EN) Standards are applied at European level and have the status of a national standard in all member countries of the European Union. They are developed and ratifies at the initiative of the EU by the European standards organization. As international standards, EN can be adopted by the country standards and included in national rules and regulations.

CEN and CENELEC build the framework for all the national standards organizations in Europe but also divide out the standards:

CENELEC - Electrical and electronic engineering; 

CEN - Mechanics.

GOST (Russian ГОСТ) refers to a set of technical standards maintained by the Euro-Asian Council for Standardization, Metrology and Certification (EASC), a regional standards organization operating under the auspices of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

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