Maintenance of IEEE Standards FAQs

Maintenance of IEEE Standards

Information on the maintenance process for IEEE standards.

How long are IEEE standards active for?

Upon IEEE SASB approval, all IEEE Standards have a 10 year life cycle. Approved IEEE standards are designated as either active or inactive. Active standards must undergo a revision process at least every 10 years to remain in active status Standards may become inactive through a Standards Association ballot to withdraw and are designated as inactive-withdrawn, or are designated as inactive-reserved if they do not complete a revision process within 10 years.

What are the categories of IEEE standards?

The following outlines 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  • superseded: These standards have been replaced with a revised version of the standard, or by a compilation of the original active standard and all its existing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  • inactive-withdrawn*: These standards have been removed from active status through an IEEE SA ballot where the standard is made inactive as a consensus decision of a balloting group.

*Inactive: Standards that are no longer being reviewed or assessed for accuracy, relevance to current practices, or further applications; these standards are removed from active status

Note: Standards withdrawn by ballot or administratively withdrawn prior to 1 January 2012 are identified as withdrawn standards, and were not reclassified as inactive-withdrawn or inactive-reserved.

Can an inactive-withdrawn or inactive-reserved standard be revised?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 An inactive-withdrawn or inactive-reserved standard can be revised at any time. Any active standard created by revising an inactive-withdrawn or inactive-reserved standard will be the revision approved by the IEEE SASB, and will be identified using that approval date.

Note: The status of the inactive-withdrawn or inactive-reserved standard will remain unchanged.

What will happen to standards that were withdrawn prior to 1 January 2012?

No changes will be made to withdrawn standards, and they will remain withdrawn unless revised. These standards will continue to be identified as “withdrawn.”

What will happen to revision projects under development once the standard’s 10 year life cycle is reached?

PARs for revision projects under development are not affected by the standard’s 10-year expiration date. The PARs remain valid and revision work can continue. However, the revision project needs to be completed (i.e., approved by the IEEE-SASB) within 10 years after the approval of the existing standard in order to ensure that the standard remains continuously active. At the 10-year mark, the existing standard will be transferred to inactive-reserved status if it has not otherwise been approved as a revised standard by the IEEE SASB.

Does IEEE SA have a reaffirmation process?

No, effective 1 January 2012 the IEEE SA eliminated the reaffirmation process. All standards will need to undergo a revision project to remain active.

Can the timeline of the active standard be extended?

No. There is a 10 year cutoff on the maintenance of an active standard. If a revision project has not been completed and SASB approved by Year 10, the active 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 do amendments or corrigenda impact an active standard’s 10 year life cycle?

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 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 IEEE 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 IEEE 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).

Does the maintenance cycle affect standards that were developed jointly with external organizations?

No. All IEEE standards have a 10 year life cycle. Revisions should be coordinated with the external organization.

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 IEEE 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 labeled as such and 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.

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