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Standards Development Guidelines

IEEE Communications Society Standards Development Guidelines - April 2004



    The IEEE Standards Association approved Polices and Procedures (P&P) are contained in Annex 1 of this document. These Operating Procedures shall be used by a ComSoc whenever it undertakes the development of IEEE standards. Annex 2 contains internal ComSoc policies and procedures that were reviewed with the ComSoc Board of Governors on June 10, 1998.

    In additions to the P&P contained in Annex 1, development of standards in the IEEE is governed by various sets of policies and procedures. At the very highest level are the documents that govern the IEEE:

    IEEE Constitution
    IEEE Bylaws

    Those documents delegate the responsibility for standards activities to the IEEE Standards Association. The IEEE-SA is governed by a Board of Governors operating under IEEE Bylaws (see I-304.6) and under procedures described in::

    IEEE Standards Association Operations Manual

    To implement these responsibilities, the IEEE-SA Standards Board meets four times a year. Its operations are governed by:

    IEEE-SA Standards Board Bylaws
    IEEE-SA Standards Board Operations Manual

    The IEEE-SA and the Standards Board can be contacted through their designated staff liaisons. A complete list of IEEE standards staff is compiled in the staff directory.

    The Standards Board has developed the IEEE Standards Style Manual to explain the required format and content of an IEEE standard. The IEEE Standards Companion provides an informal and readable overview of the entire IEEE standards development process.

    The existing collection of IEEE standards can be viewed in the IEEE product catalog and the list of all ComSoc standards projects can be obtained by searching the string "Communications Society" at

    Upon approval of the standards Project Authorization Request (PAR), a PAR approval letter will be sent via email to the working group chair (as identified by the sponsor/ComSoc) containing the following information:

    - A URL giving access to the approved PAR and approval letter (necessary for submission of the completed standard to the IEEE SA Review Committee (RevCom) for final approval of the draft standard)

    - A URL to IEEE Standards Development Online, which contains tools, forms and training to assist the working group chair and the working group during the standards development process


    The official reporter, usually the Working Group Chair, of an IEEE standards project is required to satisfy the appropriate membership requirements. Typically, those who ballot on the standard must also be members. (There are provisions for non-member "expert" balloters and observers; their votes do not "count" in the numerical requirements for consensus although their comments are often influential.)

    The membership requirements are to (1) be a member of the IEEE or an affiliate of one of its constituent societies, like the Communications Society, and (2) be a member of the IEEE Standards Association. Membership information can be obtained as follows:

    IEEE membership application
    IEEE Communications Society membership application
    IEEE-SA membership brochure and application


    A Project Authorization Request (PAR) is needed to initiate or change a standard. The PAR is sponsored by one of the ComSoc Technical Committees supported by the ComSoc Standards Committee. All ComSoc PARs must be copied to the reflector so that all ComSoc Technical Committees will be notified of your plan to develop standards.

    The on-line PAR form is available as a part of the IEEE Working Guide for Submittal of Proposed Standards. Typically, the PAR is developed by the working group (of a ComSoc Technical Committee) and forwarded to the sponsor for submission to the New Standards Committee (NesCom) of the Standards Board. After consideration by NesCom, the PAR is ultimately forwarded to the Standards Board for final approval. NesCom and the Standards Board meet four times a year and are made up of volunteers who are provided with very little time to review dozens of submissions. This leads to a great deal of reliance on form. Care must be taken to complete the PAR form exactly in accordance with the instructions. Virtually any deviation from the proper form will lead to a return of the PAR to its originator and a delay of three months until the next meeting.

    When completing a PAR form, it is critical that the entries be well thought out. When the completed draft standard comes up for approval and acceptance, it will be compared with the original PAR. The title should match the title of the standard. The written draft standard should match scope and purpose as stated in the PAR. Coordination with specific groups (i.e. SCC 10, SCC 14, and IEEE Staff Editorial Review) is required and additional groups should be included depending on the nature of the standard. Care should be taken to avoid unnecessary coordination since documentation of such coordination will be required when the standard is submitted for approval.


    The IEEE standards staff is prepared to accept standards in a variety of word-processor formats. The standard must conform, though, to the requirements of the IEEE Style Manual. Word processing templates for IEEE Standards are available by contacting an IEEE Standards Project Engineer (Savoula Amanatidis).


    If it is necessary for another person to assume the role of Official Reporter, the Standards Board must be notified. A form is available for this purpose.


    When the drafting and balloting of a proposed standard are completed, the final draft must be submitted to the Review Committee (RevCom) of the IEEE-SA Standards Board. RevCom ensures
    that the draft is in proper format and that procedural requirements and due process, as required by ANSI accreditation, for consensus have been followed. Based on upon RevCom's recommendation, the Standards Board approves the standard for publication.

    RevCom meets four times a year. A typical meeting may involve the review of dozens of submissions, so it is important that all submission requirements are fulfilled. These requirements are summarized in the Guide for Submittal of Proposed Standard.


This Standards Development Guideline is based on Section VII of the IEEE Computer Society Standards Activities Board Handbook -- ComSoc extends its thanks to the Computer Society.


ComSoc Policies and Procedures