How national standards are developed

Standards development organizations develop National Standards of Canada (NSCs). They are guided by technical committees composed of subject matter experts and interested parties. 

The development of NSCs:

  • uses best practices for international standards development 
  • allows for World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO-TBT) provisions for standards development
  • creates safeguards that look after the interests of Canadians


NSCs may be developed in Canada or adopted using international standards. 

SCC accredits the procedures that standards development organizations (SDOs) use. We also approve their NSCs, which must meet our requirements for openness, balance, consensus and prescribed process. This ensures standards development protects the public’s interest and that all interested parties have an opportunity to participate in standards development. 


Did you know?

The National Standard of Canada is one of SCC's many standards-based solutions that support public policy objectives, commercialization and the overall well-being of Canadians.


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Requirements for standards development

To be recognized as a National Standard of Canada developed by an SCC-accredited SDO, the standard must be developed in accordance with the Requirements & Guidance – Accreditation of Standards Development Organizations. Key requirements include (but are not limited to): 

  • development by consensus from a balanced committee of interested parties 
  • public scrutiny
  • publication in Canada’s two official languages
  • consistency with (or incorporation of) existing international and foreign government  standards
  • not acting as a barrier to trade
  • maintenance through periodic review (5-year cycle) or as needed

The results of the periodic review of the standard confirm that the technical content is still valid or requires revision or withdrawal. This ensures that standards continue to be relevant and current. 



Who are SCC-accredited standards development organizations? 

SCC has a Directory of Accredited Standards Development Organizations (SDOs)

Interested in becoming an SCC-accredited SDO? Find out how

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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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Buy standards

Looking to purchase a standard? Browse and buy standards from our Canadian and international resellers.

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How international standards are developed

Standards can be developed nationally or internationally. We also ensure that Canadian technical experts contribute to developing ISO and IEC International Standards.