Maintenance of IEEE Standards
Information on the maintenance process for IEEE standards.
What is the difference between active and inactive IEEE standards?
Approved IEEE standards will either be active or inactive. Active standards must undergo a revision process at least every 10 years [i.e., approved as revised standards by the IEEE SA Standards Board (SASB) within 10 years of the prior revision, even if the standard is not changed]. Standards can become inactive through a Standards Association ballot to withdraw, or will be made inactive if they do not complete a revision process within 10 years.
What are the statuses of IEEE standards?
The following outline the statuses of IEEE standards:
- active: These standards are currently being maintained.
- superseded: These standards have been replaced with a revised version of the standard, or by a compilation of the original active standard and all its existing amendments, corrigenda, and errata.
- inactive-reserved: These standards are removed from active status through an administrative process for standards that have not undergone a revision process within 10 years.
- inactive-withdrawn: These standards have been removed from active status through a ballot where the standard is made inactive as a consensus decision of a balloting group.
Standards withdrawn by ballot or administratively withdrawn prior to 1 January 2012 are identified as withdrawn standards, and have not been reclassified as inactive-withdrawn or inactive-reserved.
Can an inactive-withdrawn or inactive-reserved standard be revised?
Yes. An inactive-withdrawn or inactive-reserved standard can be revised at any time. The inactive-withdrawn or inactive-reserved standard will remain inactive. Any active standard created by revising an inactive-withdrawn or inactive-reserved standard will be the revision approved by the SASB, and will be identified using that approval date.
What if I submit a revision PAR, or an Extension Request for an existing revision PAR, near Year 10 of the life of the approved standard? Can the timeline of the approved standard be extended?
No. There is a 10 year cutoff on the maintenance of an approved standard. If the revision project has not been completed and approved by Year 10, the approved standard will be transferred to inactive-reserved status.
What will happen to a PAR for revision of an active standard if that standard is transferred to inactive status?
The PAR for the revision project will remain active until the expiration date for the PAR.
How can IEEE minimize unnecessary or arbitrary changes?
The consensus process is the arbiter of what changes should or should not be made. The Standards Association ballot process allows materially interested parties and technical experts to determine through consensus whether specific changes should be made to the draft standard. Those interested in helping to ensure that arbitrary changes are avoided should participate in the Standards Association ballot process.
Is it possible to create amendments or corrigenda for an inactive standard?
An amendment (for additions or changes to a standard) or corrigendum (for corrections to a standard) can be created for any active standard. No new amendment or corrigendum for an inactive standard will be approved. NOTE: Amendments and corrigenda do not impact the maintenance cycle of the original active standard. The maintenance requirement for the original active standard can only be met by completing an appropriate revision action, or by transferring the standard to inactive status.
What if a standard that does not have any approved amendments or corrigenda, or any errata undergoes a revision ballot and reaches consensus with no changes? Will its designation change?
No. The previously published standard will remain available so the designation will not change. IEEE SA databases and online product descriptions will be updated to show the most recent date of approval by the IEEE SASB.
What if a standard with existing amendments, corrigenda or errata undergoes a revision ballot and reaches consensus with no changes? Will its designation change?
Yes. A draft must be provided for the ballot review with all existing amendments and corrigenda integrated into the draft. The ballot package may also include the separately published original active standard, amendments, corrigenda, and errata to allow the ballot group to review the accuracy of the compilation. After approval by the SASB, the designation will change. The standard will be published as a revision with a new designation showing the most recent date of approval by the SASB.
Can a revision ballot consist of only changes to update the normative references and the bibliography?
Yes, a revision can consist of only changes to normative references and the bibliography. However, during the Standards Association ballot, revision procedures apply (i.e., the entire document is open to comments and changes).
What happens to any standard that is recognized as an American National Standard (ANS)? Will a revision be required on an earlier timeline?
The Standards Committee for any standard that is currently an ANS will need to explain to the RevCom Administrator during Year 5 whether a revision is in progress, or whether a revision is slated to be completed within the next 5 years. If a revision is not in progress, the Standards Committee shall provide the schedule of work that will lead to a revision. This information will be forwarded to ANSI as an extension request.
What is the maintenance process for IEEE standards that are developed jointly or adopted by other standards development organizations (through the ISO/IEEE PSDO, IEC/IEEE Dual-Logo Agreement, etc.)?
Standards that undergo development as a part of the ISO/IEEE PSDO or IEC/IEEE Dual-Logo Agreement will need to coordinate their maintenance timeline with the partner or adopting organization as per the agreements, or defer to the partner or adopting organization’s decision on maintenance. Questions about specific projects should be directed to [email protected].
What is the maintenance process for standards from other organizations that are adopted by IEEE?
IEEE adopts standards from other SDOs using the existing process shown in Clause 5.6.2 of the IEEE SA Standards Board Operations Manual. However, once the adopted standards are approved, they are subject to the 10-year maintenance timeline to remain an active IEEE standard. Questions about specific projects should be directed to your Staff Liaison.
Can a revision be done prior to 10 years?
Yes. A Standards Committee and Working Group can conduct the revision of a standard at any time. A revision prior to Year 10 will keep the standard continuously active for another 10-year period after the approval of the revision by the SASB.
Can a withdrawal be done prior to 10 years?
Yes. A Standards Committee and Working Group can conduct a withdrawal ballot at any time.
Are inactive standards available for purchase?
Yes, inactive standards are available for purchase from the IEEE Standards Store.
How will you know the status of an IEEE standard?
The IEEE SA website will show the status of any IEEE standard as a part of the search result.
Do Patent Letters of Assurance apply to inactive standards?
Patent Letters of Assurance (LOAs) may not apply to inactive standards. Refer to Clause 6 of the IEEE SA Standards Board Bylaws and Clause 6.3 of the IEEE SA Standards Board Operations Manual. Additional information is available on the IEEE SASB Patent Committee website.