What Kind of Standard Is It, Anyway?

Writing a new standard presents many challenges, and sometimes, just figuring out which type of standard it should be is Challenge #1.

There are six different kinds of ASTM standards… which one are you writing? To help organize your thinking about it, a tire example could be useful.

The specification: Covers the tire and all its properties, such as air pressure (physical) and rubber and other components (chemical). The specification can reference test methods, or even include them; other standards will likely be referenced as well.

The test method(s): The way (or ways) to measure a property, such as tire pressure or how well the rubber resists cutting. To help the user know whether their test results are reliable, values are included with the procedure in the precision and bias statement.

The practice: How to conduct a procedure, such as changing a tire, but without including a value for the result.

The guide: How to choose the right type of tire for various climates, with information detailing considerations and possibilities.

The classification: An arrangement of information such as the various kinds of tires, presenting their characteristics in a way that is informational but doesn’tspecify a course of action.

The terminology: A tire, defined. Or a related symbol, abbreviation, or acronym.

Click to learn more and see our infographic, “What’s in a Standard’s Name?”

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