Standard guarantees the life quality.
Since the beginning of human civilization development, and start of human social life, they wanted to achieve higher quality of life. When we want to evaluate different things, we consider quality as a criterion. So, it’s very important to keep the standards, to guarantee the quality from every different aspect. After some time, people wrote down these criteria and standards as a confirmed form. And then, these criteria and standards became mandatory and legally binding. After some time, people wrote down these laws and standards. In this chapter, we will explain about standards.
Standard, Definition and Characteristics:
Standard is a familiar word that we use frequently. Usually, when we say a product or service has the required standards, it makes us feel safe when we use that product or service. But do you know where that word came from? What is the definition of standards? What are the characteristics of it?
From Middle English, from the Old French estandart (gathering place, battle flag), from Old Frankish standhard (literally “stand firm, stand hard”), equivalent to stand+ -ard. Alternative etymology derives the second element from Old English ord (“point, source, vanguard”), German Standort (“location, place, site, position, base”, literally: standing point”.)
We examined the concept of standard with the law and criteria of quality stabilization. But what kind of quality is that? The standards clarify the rules in four different areas: social responsibilities, management, evaluation and comparison, and products characteristics are the main factors that standards observe our work. And we clarify the standards to improve these areas.
Different standards are for different levels and areas. Everyone can clarify the specific standards for his/her own work and the employees should use these standards.
Also, there are large-scale standards that the governments set out. Of course, keeping these national standards is mandatory. Beside that, there are international standards which people in many countries should keep, and these standards are beyond the borders of just one country or nation. The levels of standards include:
Standards of a factory:
The first level of standards are the standards of a factory or company which are about the internal affairs of that company and the employees should keep these standards. In some cases, the similar companies that work in the same field also follow these standards.
Standards of a society:
These standards are the larger scale of the factory standards. Certain groups or craft guilds in a country, have their own specific standards and rules.
Standards of a nation/country:
These type of standards are set out by governments to keep the mandatory rules and conditions in all over the country.
Standards of a region:
Sometimes, standards that are beyond a country, come into effect in a region, but not necessarily in the whole world. For example, the European Union have clarified some standards with CE marking. Also requires products to bear CE marking as an affirmation of conformity.
These international standards indicate conformity with health, safety and environmental protection standards for products and services sold in different parts of the world. Also, these standards indicate an integrated assessment of some criteria. The most famous international standards are ISO.
Standards in different crafts and industries:
Different crafts and industries have their specific standards. These industries include:
- Food, medicine and health industries
- Chemical and pulp, paper and wood industries
- Casting and metal industry
- Machinery and equipment industries
- Nonmetallic minerals
- Information and communication (cyber space)
- Electronic and electric products
- Motor vehicles
- Weaving, clothing and leather industries
- Engineering services
Standards are beneficial and necessary for human life. So, there should be some organizations to set out and clarify standards and monitor their implementation. These organizations started in 1901 in Britain. UK’s national standards body (NSB) is the first national standards body to be created. After world war 1, in 1917, Germany’s National Standards Body was founded and started its work. One year later, in 1918, standards organizations of America and France was created, too.
Bureau of Weights and Measures:
In Iran, the history of founding standards organization goes back to 1925. In this year, Bureau of Weights and Measures was created. In 1954, after enactment of a law, Iranian National Standards Organization was founded.
Iranian National Standards Organization continued its work towards its goals and it became a role model and inspiration for other eastern countries, so they founded their own standards organizations. In fact, Europa was the first region that developed the culture to found standards organizations as a body that monitor and clarify the standards. The next region was America. Then, the eastern nations of Asia including Iran founded this kind of organizations. Four years after the foundation of standards organization in Iran, Japan founded its own standards organization and the next nation was China, which two years after that, created this organization. In 1981, Iranian National Standards Organization became a member of International Organization for Standardization (or ISO).
What is Open Standard?
This type of standard is a standard that is publicly available and has various rights to use associated with it and may also have various properties of how it was designed. These standards could be freely available (without any charge) for users. This concept first developed in the field of computer and software. But now, it’s expanding to other areas and industries.
The qualities of open standard are:
- These standards are publicly available without any limits. It’s not like that only a certain type of people or small part of the community has access to these standards. But, it’s for all the people.
- No part of these standards requires payment or has copy right.
- There is not any legal or technical obstacles to limit that only to a certain area or obstructs other people access to these standards.
- The process to set open standards and to continue the work should be completely clarified, so if someone wants to continue the work, he/she be able to do it smoothly.
- It should be publicly available as a complete content, or some publishers distribute that competitively.
In general, the existence of standards is necessary. One of the necessary principles for society’s progress is to write down the basic laws that everybody needs to follow in order to reach a higher developed society. If people follow the standards and respect them, they actually respect themselves and respect their own society. In fact, keeping the standards is an investment that you will see the benefits in near future. In the following sections, there are beneficial information about safety standards, fire-fighting standards and NFPA.