The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association
(IEEE-SA) is a leading developer of global industry standards
in a broad-range of industries, including:
- Power and Energy
- Biomedical and Healthcare
- Information Technology
- Information Assurance
IEEE-SA has developed standards for over a century, through a program that offers balance, openness, due process and consensus. Technical experts from all over the world participate in the development of IEEE standards.
Each year, the IEEE-SA conducts over 200 standards ballots, a process by which proposed standards are voted upon for technical reliability and soundness.
Standards and the IEEE Standards Development Process
IEEE is one of the leading standards
-making organizations in the world. IEEE performs its standards making and maintaining functions through the IEEE Standards Association
(IEEE-SA). IEEE standards affect a wide range of industries including: power and energy, biomedical and healthcare, Information Technology
(IT), telecommunications, transportation, nanotechnology, information assurance, and many more. In 2005, IEEE had close to 900 active standards, with 500 standards under development. One of the more notable IEEE standards is the IEEE 802 LAN
group of standards which includes the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet
standard and the IEEE 802.11
Wireless Networking standard.
The IEEE standards development process can be broken down into seven basic steps, as follows:
- Securing Sponsorship: An IEEE-approved organization must sponsor a standard. A sponsoring organization is in charge of coordinating and supervising the standard development from inception to completion. The professional societies within IEEE serve as the natural sponsor for many standards.
- Requesting Project Authorization: To gain authorization for the standard a Project Authorization Request (PAR) is submitted to the IEEE-SA Standards Board. The New Standards Committee (NesCom) of the IEEE-SA Standards Board reviews the PAR and makes a recommendation to the Standards Board about whether to approve the PAR.
- Assembling a Working Group: After the PAR is approved, a "working group" of individuals affected by, or interested in, the standard is organized to develop the standard. IEEE-SA rules ensure that all Working Group meetings are open and that anyone has the right to attend and contribute to the meetings.
- Drafting the Standard: The Working Group prepares a draft of the proposed standard. Generally, the draft follows the IEEE Standards Style Manual that sets “guidelines” for the clauses and format of the standards document.
- Balloting: Once a draft of the standard is finalized in the Working Group, the draft is submitted for Balloting approval. The IEEE Standards Department sends an invitation-to-ballot to any individual who has expressed an interest in the subject matter of the standard. Anyone who responds positively to the invitation-to-ballot becomes a member of the balloting group, as long as the individual is an IEEE member or has paid a balloting fee. The IEEE requires that a proposed draft of the standard receive a response rate of 75% (i.e., at least 75% of potential ballots are returned) and that, of the responding ballots, at least 75% approve the proposed draft of the standard. If the standard is not approved, the process returns to the drafting of the standard step in order to modify the standard document to gain approval of the balloting group.
- Review Committee: After getting 75% approval, the draft standard, along with the balloting comments, are submitted to the IEEE-SA Standards Board Review Committee (RevCom). The RevCom reviews the proposed draft of the standard against the IEEE-SA Standards Board Bylaws and the stipulations set forth in the IEEE-SA Standards Board Operations Manual. The RevCom then makes a recommendation about whether to approve the submitted draft of the standard document.
- Final Vote: Each member of the IEEE-SA Standards Board places a final vote on the submitted standard document. In some cases external members are invited to vote. It takes a majority vote of the Standards Board to gain final approval of the standard. In general, if the RevCom recommends approval, the Standards Board will vote to approve the standard.
Notable IEEE Standards committees and formats