World Standards Day (or International Standards Day) is celebrated internationally each year on 14 October, in order to recognize the efforts of the thousands of experts who develop voluntary standards within standards development organizations such as the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
International standards are standards developed by international standards organizations. International standards are available for consideration and use worldwide. The most prominent organization is the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). One purpose of International standards Is to overcome technical barriers in international commerce caused by differences among technical regulations and standards developed independently and separately by each nation, national standards organization, or company. Technical barriers arise when different groups come together, each with a large user base, doing some well established thing which between them is mutually incompatible. Establishing international standards is one way of preventing or overcoming this problem.
International standards may be used either by direct application or by a process of modifying an international standard to suit local conditions. The adoption of international standards results in the creation of equivalent, national standards that are substantially the same as international standards in technical content, but may have (i) editorial differences as to appearance, use of symbols and measurement units, substitution of a point for a comma as the decimal marker, and (ii) differences resulting from conflicts in governmental regulations or industry-specific requirements caused by fundamental climatic, geographical, technological, or infrastructural factors, or the stringency of safety requirements that a given standard authority considers appropriate.
The aim of World Standards Day is to raise awareness among regulators, industry and consumers as to the importance of standardization to the global economy. The date of 14 October was specifically chosen to mark the occasion, in 1946, when delegates from 25 countries first gathered in London and decided to create an international organization focused on facilitating standardization. Even though ISO was formed one year later, it wasn’t until 1970 that the first World Standards Day was celebrated.
Around the globe, various activities are chosen by national bodies to commemorate the date. The United States held a 2014 U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day on 23 October 2014. The Standards Council of Canada (SCC), Canada’s national accreditation body, celebrates World Standards Day together with the international community by observing the day near the dates of the international observance. In 2012 SCC celebrated World Standards Day on Friday, 12 October.