So, I just saw this question on the Statistics SE site, about how in artificial intelligence/machine learning some people use a particular set of terms in one way, and other people use the same set of terms in the exact opposite way. It got me thinking that this confusion might be resolved if there was an official standard by a body like the ISO or IEEE regulating things.

So, what's the official process for starting the process of creating an IEEE or ISO standard? If you wanted one of these big engineering organizations to make an official standard on the topic, what would you need to do?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ it's a loooong one! But it a nice question so +1 $\endgroup$
    – NMech
    May 25, 2021 at 4:30
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Assuming you got the process started at all, the thing you would then have to do is wait at least 10 years, to get a standard that will be 10 years out of date compared with the state of the art, and which will therefore be ignored by everyone. (I've been involved first hand in the process!). $\endgroup$
    – alephzero
    May 25, 2021 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ @alephzero It would really like to hear about your experience, but I'm guessing it was as painful. $\endgroup$
    – NMech
    May 25, 2021 at 19:43

1 Answer 1


The ISO committee has the following process for developing Technical committees (TC) and subcommittees (SC).

  • Stage 1: Proposal stage
  • Stage 2: Preparatory stage
  • Stage 3: Committee stage
  • Stage 4: Enquiry stage
  • Stage 5: Approval stage
  • Stage 6: Publication stage

There is a lot of detail at this wikipedia article under Standardization process. (Quite interesting read is the Criticism section, it mentions that the normal process is long,boring and tedious, and how artificially it can be speed up by pumping money into it).

  • $\begingroup$ Better than a wiki, go directly to the ISO website and follow through to "who develops standards" and the technical committees. See List of committees $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    May 25, 2021 at 7:09
  • $\begingroup$ I expect it works a lot like ASTM; One of the main requirements is that the person proposing the item chair the work group , or at least be a member. He will also need to get some volunteers to join the work group. A small variation; I was once told by the main chairman that I had volunteered to organize a product group. $\endgroup$ Feb 19, 2022 at 15:56

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