The development of an IEEE standard begins with an idea. Individuals, companies, or other entities may contact each other and discuss the need for a standard. If a need for a standard is identified, the idea may be brought to a Standards Committee for support. The Standards Committee for the project assumes responsibility for the respective area of standards development, including the organization of the Working Group and its activities. If the idea is supported by the Standards Committee, the Standards Committee will submit a formal request to IEEE SA to begin the project.
Types of IEEE Standards Projects
IEEE standards are classified as:
- Standards – documents with mandatory requirements
- Recommended Practices – documents in which procedures and positions preferred by IEEE are presented
- Guides – documents in which alternate approaches to good practices are suggested but no explicit recommendations are made
- Trial-Use – documents in effect for no more than three years. The documents can be a Standard, Recommended Practices or Guide.
How to Identify a Standards Committee
There are a large number of IEEE Standards Committees within IEEE Societies and Councils. If the standards development project proposal falls within the scope of one of these committees, it should be brought to that Standards Committee for consideration.
However, sometimes the proposal may be in a new area, one that isn’t covered by an existing Standards Committee. Contact the IEEE SA Operational Program Management team, and they will be able to assist you in identifying the appropriate Standards Committee.
How Projects Are Started
A Project Authorization Request (PAR) is a structured document that provides the scope, reason for the project (the need) and what it intends to do (the purpose). All PARs are submitted in the myProject system.
A standards project does not exist until a PAR is approved. Any IEEE SA member with an idea for a project may submit a PAR after obtaining the support of a Standards Committee. Additionally, a Standards Committee may form a Study Group to make a recommendation for a project. The Study Group usually has six months to generate a PAR. Likewise, new PARs can be developed by existing Working Groups as well. An approved PAR enables a Working Group to move forward with the development of the draft standard.
Submitting a Project Authorization Request
The first step in beginning a standards development project in IEEE SA (whether an individual- or entity-based project) is the submission of the PAR. Every PAR that is submitted must have a Standards Committee to oversee the project.
Upon submission, each PAR is placed on an upcoming New Standards Committee (NesCom) agenda. Approximately one month prior to the NesCom meeting, NesCom members begin their review of the PARs and submit comments. The PAR submitter, Working Group Chair and Standards Committee Chair receive notification of such comments as well as instructions on response preparation and submittal.
NesCom meets throughout the year to review and consider all PARs submitted. They provide their recommendations to the IEEE SA Standards Board who approves the PARs. NesCom has PAR submittal deadlines that can be found on the Standards Board meetings calendar.
Once a PAR is approved, it has four years to be completed. If, for various reasons, the Working Group is unable to complete the project within the time frame, a PAR extension can be requested from NesCom, who decides whether to recommend approval of the extension request to the IEEE SASB.