Did You Know....
The organization now known as ANSI was founded in 1918.

Why Standards Matter

Standards have become such an integral part of our existence that the average individual gives little or no thought to everyday products and services and how they work. But imagine our frustration if lightbulbs didn't fit into lamps, or if there were no common sizes for clothing, or common-sized spark plugs for automobiles, or if trains couldn't move from one state to another because the tracks were a different gauge.

This course is designed as a basic introduction to standards for management and technical personnel in business, industry association management, government, and public policy; university faculty and students; engineers, quality control and purchasing staff; consumers; and those new to organizations that develop standards.

This course highlights a variety of standards and references a sampling of organizations involved in standards development. These may not be the only organizations involved in standards development in the specific industry sector highlighted. The purpose of this course is to make a connection between the standard and an organization and industry, as example, and not to preclude or include all relevant organizations.


How are standards developed, and why are they important to you or your organization? This lesson will provide examples of how standards protect your health, protect the environment, ensure your safety, and provide insight into how thousands of individuals, organizations and companies representing different industries are involved in the development of standards.


There are standards for almost everything we can think of, and new ones can be written if there is a need for them. This lesson will explain the significance of standards before and after the World Trade Center disaster, how toy safety standards protect your children, and the role standards play in consumer protection.

When you complete this section, you will be able to:

  • Recognize the importance of standards in your life, company, society, or industry;
  • Recognize how different organizations and industries are involved in standards development;
  • Identify the different kinds of standards


In this lesson, you will learn how standards protect your health, safety, and the environment. When you complete this section, you will be able to:

  • Understand how standards protect your health;
  • Understand the importance of safety standards;
  • Understand why environmental standards are important;
  • Explain the difference between voluntary standards and mandatory regulations


Standards are critical to establishing and maintaining a business and a strong economy. This lesson will demonstrate how standards, when properly implemented, help to expand national, regional and international markets; reduce costs and time to market for products and services; achieve competitive advantage.

When you complete this section, you will be able to:

  • Recognize how standards are an integral part of every business;
  • Recognize the role of standards in U.S. business and the global marketplace;
  • Understand how standards improve efficiency and economy;
  • Recognize how standards provide access to global markets for U.S. industry.


It is now time for you to see how much you have learned. Click on the link below and take the final exam for this course.

Why Standards Matter: Final Exam


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Course objectives:

  • Build your vocabulary of standards-related terminology

  • Identify the difference between voluntary standards and mandatory regulations

  • Understand the basics of conformity assessment (i.e., how compliance with a standard is determined)

  • Recognize the importance of standards in everyday life by reviewing examples of how standards help to facilitate commerce, improve quality, and protect your health, safety and the environment

  • Understand how different stakeholders (individuals and consumer representatives, organizations and companies, government agencies, etc.) are involved in standardization activities

Training Courses in Standardization and Related Matters