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Engineering: Standards

What are Standards and Why Use them?

Standards: What they are and what the National Standards Authority of Ireland do?

Standards - definition

Standards are agreed criteria designed to ensure that products and services meet minimum thresholds.
They cover areas such as:

  • Quality
  • Performance
  • Design
  • Safety
  • Environmental impact.

Standards create a climate of trust in the marketplace for goods and services. For customers, a certified standard is a badge of quality. For business, it can provide protection against unfair competition and help instil consumer confidence. 

Standards and trade

As a cost-effective way of complying with regulations, Standards help to stimulate trade both in domestic and overseas markets. Many public sector contracts are required to comply with specified standards.

Voluntary standards are a form of flexible self-regulation for business and can remove the need for government-imposed regulation, which tends to be more rigid and less adaptable.

NSAI works closely with the Irish Government and provides support to the Department of Enterprise, Trade, Employment and Innovation on the subject of the removal of technical trade barriers. 

Legally enforceable standards

The standardization of most products and services is a voluntary process. However, some standards are established by law, through European Directives and Irish legislation.

These are designed to protect the public and employees, and include:

copyright: National Standards Authority of Ireland

Standards Databases