IEEE standard development process

A process of standard development consists of 8 stages:

  • Initiate
    • Initiate the project
    • Develop the working group
  • Produce
    • Write the draft
    • Ballot the draft
    • Get the final approval
  • Manage
    • Publish the standard
    • Reaffirm the standard
    • IEEE standards forms

A presentation, which can be accessed at describes shortly how the IEEE standard is developed. Information available there will be used to show specific steps (graphs cited from presentation). (click for better picture)

As we can see the process starts with the idea of the standard. It is normally created by a group of people, but responsibility for this idea is assumed by the sponsor. A sponsor is not a single person, but it is usually a society, or already existing committee.

Afterwards idea itself is transformed into a legal document called PAR. It has to describe for example legal issues connected with copyrights. Each PAR has to be approved before the standardization process continues. Approval is done by New Standards Committee.

A working group assigned to a given standard is then responsible for creating a draft of the standard, as well as for a revision.

A finalized draft is then balloted by a balloting group formed by the sponsor. This step has to achieve consensus to be followed by the next step.

After balloting process the standard is sent to Review Committee and Standards Board to be approved again. This step has to finish before a time limit of 4 years (from PAR to approval).

Of course after this standardization process is finished the standard has to be published, so interested parties can implement it. What is interesting, such a standard has to be reaffirmed before the end of its five year validity period.

This graph presents a process of approving PAR. It starts with finding a sponsor. After this step the Project Authorization Request is created and submitted to NesCom. If PAR is complete and fulfills basic requirements, it’s presented for a review to NesCom Standards board. If it is approved in the current version, the process of standardization can continue to workgroup stage.

Work group is responsible for creating a draft document of standard. It is done after specification of goals and schedule. The finalized draft is presented for a review to technical editor, who decides if it needs any changes. Such revised document can be sent for balloting stage.

Balloting stage is a fairly complicated process. It starts with a sponsor forming a balloting group. As on its members depends a representation of interests of each company, it is important that it will result in a balanced group. Balloting process usually takes 30 days. Each member has to answer with one of three votes: approve, disapprove, abstain.

If less than 75% of members answered in a given time the ballot failed and has to be repeated. Next it’s important to address comments received and check if at least 75% of votes were approving. If it’s the case and there are no negative ballots, the standard can be sent to Standards Board.

This step is necessary to determine if all documents and forms are in order and also to get approval from Standards Board after reviewing the proposal. If the standard is approved, then the final step of publishing it is done. At this point a 5 year validity period starts, which will be concluded with reaffirmation process.

This shows a basic process of standardization in IEEE environment. Wireless Body area Network currently is at the stage of draft creation.


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