Standards are documents established by consensus and approved by a recognized body.  Standards are powerful tools that:


  • ensure products, services and systems are reliable, consistent and safe 
  • provide for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results
  • aim to achieve optimum order or performance in a given context
  • make life more prosperous and sustainable for people, communities and businesses in Canada and around the world

Find and buy standards

Browse our database to search for published National Standards of Canada and international standards. You can also search for Other Recognized Documents. Find out where to buy the standards you need.

Browse our Notices of intent

Our notification service lets people know about new standards development projects. Sign up for the service or view notices of intent from SCC-accredited standards development organizations.

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Get involved in standards development

By participating in standardization and shaping the standards of tomorrow, you can become a global leader at the very forefront of your industry, while helping to advance the health, safety and economic well-being of all Canadians.

Flexible standards-based solutions

We offer a wide range of flexible standards-based strategies and solutions:
•    National Standards of Canada
•    National Technical Specifications
•    Other Recognized Documents
•    Publicly Available Specifications
•    Workshop Agreements
•    Community-Sourced Guidance

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Benefits of applying standards

Standards make your everyday life work. They create opportunities that benefit consumers, businesses and regulators. 

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How standards are developed

Standards can be developed nationally or internationally. We work with standards development organizations across the country to facilitate the development of forward-looking standards. We also help ensure that Canadian technical experts contribute to developing ISO and IEC International Standards.

What are standards? 

A standard is a document that provides guidelines, characteristics or requirements for products, processes or services. It is developed by a committee or group of stakeholders and approved by a recognized body.

Standards establish accepted practices, technical requirements and terminologies for many different fields. 

Most standards aim to achieve optimum order or performance in a given context. They are easy to recognize and reference, so organizations can ensure their products or services can be manufactured, implemented and sold around the world.

Standards can be:

  • mandatory when they are enforced by laws or regulations, often for health and safety reasons or in an industry setting to follow a contract
  • voluntary when organizations are not legally required to follow them (they may choose to follow them to meet customer or industry demands)



They can be distinct from an act, regulation or code as they establish control or directives based on legal authority:

  • regulations have binding legal effects; if a voluntary standard is referenced in a regulation, it becomes mandatory
  • codes have a broad scope and are intended to carry the force of law when adopted by a provincial, territorial or municipal authority 



There are many different types of standards:

  • performance standards test products by simulating their performance under real service conditions
  • prescriptive standards identify product characteristics, such as material thickness, type and dimension
  • design standards identify specific design or technical characteristics of a product
  • management system standards define and establish an organization’s quality policy and objective
  • service standards specify the requirements that a service (such as telecommunications, laundering or banking) should meet and establish that it is fit for use. 

Level up your knowledge in standardization

Standards and conformity assessment create trust and confidence in the goods and services we rely on. Learn how you can use it to gain a competitive advantage for your business.

National Standards Strategy

Our National Standards Strategy considers the current geopolitical landscape, national priorities and critical issues that will have far-reaching consequences if not addressed. It tackles today’s top concerns from climate change, to supply chain management to the future of artificial intelligence by providing guidance and trust in the systems’ we use and the policies we develop and apply. The strategy sets the future direction of Canada’s standardization system and enhances Canada’s position as an international leader. 

Registration authorities and maintenance agencies

Registration authorities and maintenance agencies each have a role to play in assigning or tracking the unique codes or numbers based on international standards.  Find out how:

• registration authorities work
• maintenance agencies work
• to register for an Issuer Identification Number
• to register for an object identifier

Explore more

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Areas of work

We work with governments and industry to advance new technologies and strengthen value chains through standardization. Our areas of work include education, health, trade and many more.

SCC Awards

The SCC Awards recognize the commitment of people, organizations and committees working to dedicate their time and expertise in support of Canada’s national standardization network. These are Canada’s most prestigious awards in standardization.

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Young professionals

SCC’s young professionals develop standards that will fuel Canada’s future prosperity. Find out what it takes to join our young professionals program.