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OpenStand Principle 2: Adherence to Principles

Posted by Karen B on November 1st, 2012

The second principle of the OpenStand modern paradigm for global standardization is “Adherence to Priniciples”. Before I say more, I have to explain the terminology a bit. It sounds like a circular reference, but it’s not. This principle is not stating “you must obey the law”. Instead it refers to the fundamental tenets of standards development. These are consistent with the World Trade Organization’s principles for standards creation from its Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.

If you think of the second principle of OpenStand as “Adherence to Fundamentals” it helps avoid confusion.

The five fundamentals of standardization are (copied from the OpenStand principles):


Due process.

  • Decisions are made with equity and fairness among participants. No one party dominates or guides standards development. Standards processes are transparent and opportunities exist to appeal decisions. Processes for periodic standards review and updating are well defined.

Broad consensus.

  • Processes allow for all views to be considered and addressed, such that agreement can be found across a range of interests.


  • Standards organizations provide advance public notice of proposed standards development activities, the scope of work to be undertaken, and conditions for participation. Easily accessible records of decisions and the materials used in reaching those decisions are provided. Public comment periods are provided before final standards approval and adoption.


  • Standards activities are not exclusively dominated by any particular person, company or interest group.


  • Standards processes are open to all interested and informed parties.


The explanations under each fundamental give clarity to them. They are designed to prevent misinterpretation of the terms. My favorite overloaded term is “open”. In the case of OpenStand, “open” does not mean “free standards”, although free standards are certainly recognized under the OpenStand paradigm. Standards development and maintenance requires resources, and there are different funding models for different standards organizations. I’ll talk a little more about this when I describe Principle 4 in a future post. For Principle 2, “open” means participation in developing standards is available to everyone.

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