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Chemical Engineering

What Is a Standard?

A standard is a "rule for the measure of quantity, weight, extent, value, or quality," which is "set up and established by authority."

(Based on Webster's Third New International Dictionary: the English Language Unabridged. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster Inc. Publishers, 1993.)

What are other names for standards? 

Some types of standards have specific names:

  • Regulations or codes - government-mandated standards
  • Protocols - Standard operation procedure that is a list of instructions to perform an experiment, usually in a research laboratory

Why are standards so expensive? 
Technical standards pack a high price tag due to a combination of factors: the intensive expertise and rigorous development process required, ongoing maintenance and updates, limited competition among standards bodies, ensuring transparency while offering accessibility, and additional certification costs. Although seemingly expensive, they offer valuable returns in reduced risk, increased efficiency, wider market access, and improved quality & interoperability, potentially outweighing the initial investment.

Why are standards so important?
Though sometimes costly, technical standards impact nearly every aspect of our lives. They act as the invisible glue, ensuring every phone charger fits, buildings stay standing, and medical devices are safe. By guaranteeing compatibility, they enable interoperability and innovation, fostering a level playing field where businesses compete on merit, and consumers benefit from choice and efficiency. From facilitating global trade to laying the groundwork for further advancements, technical standards are the silent partners in progress, shaping a safer, more interconnected future for all.

For more information about standards, please check: 


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