IEC

IEC is the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

The IEC charter embraces all electrotechnologies including electronics, magnetics and electromagnetics, electroacoustics, multimedia, telecommunication, and energy production and distribution, as well as associated general disciplines such as terminology and symbols, electromagnetic compatibility, measurement and performance, dependability, design and development, safety and the environment.

Membership

An IEC member is called a National Committee and each NC represents its nation's electrotechnical interests in IEC management and standardization work.

This includes:

  • manufacturers, providers, distributors and vendors
  • consumers and users
  • all levels of governmental agencies
  • professional societies and trade associations
  • standards developers

National committees are constituted in different ways. Some are public sector only, some are a combination of public and private sector, and some are private sector only. In this respect, the IEC does not specify how an NC should be formed. It is up to the interested parties in each country to decide how they will constitute their NC.

Kinds of members

There are two forms of active participation in the IEC's work. Full Membership allows countries to participate fully in international standardization activities. Full Members are National Committees each having equal voting rights. Associate Membership allows for limited participation of countries with limited resources. Associate members may participate in all technical meetings and in the Council and Standardization Management Board meetings held within the framework of the annual General Meeting. They have access rights and can comment on all IEC technical documents (from new work to Final Draft International Standards). In addition, Associate Members may request the IEC General Secretary to become Participating members (P-members) on a maximum of four technical committees and/or subcommittees with the right to vote on technical work emanating from their committees of choice.

Other kind of participation

There is also another kind of participation, spelled out in the Affiliate Country Programme, which is aimed at all newly-industrializing countries around the world. It should be noted that Affiliates are neither members nor associate members of the IEC. The Affiliate Country Programme is not a special form of membership.

Deliverables

The following IEC deliverables are available:

Deliverable Description
International Standard A normative document, developed according to consensus procedures, which has been approved by the IEC National Committee members of the responsible committee in accordance with Part 1 of the ISO/IEC Directives as a committee draft for vote and as a final draft International Standard and which has been published by the IEC Central Office.
Technical Specification (TS) Similar to an IS in that it is normative in nature, developed according to consensus procedures and is approved by two/thirds of the Participating Members of an IEC technical committee or subcommittee. A TS is published when required support for an IS cannot be obtained, or when the subject is still under technical development, or when there is a future - but no immediate - possibility of an IS.
Technical Report (TR) More descriptive than normative, this is an informative document of a different kind from normative documents (e.g. collection of data). A TR is approved by simple majority of Participating Members of an IEC technical committee orsubcommittee.
Guide Deals with non-normative matters related to international standardization. An example is the application of "horizontal" standards.
Industry Technical Agreement (ITA) A normative or informative document that specifies the parameters of a new product or service. It is developed outside the technical structures of the IEC and it helps to enable production and/or market launch of industry products to proceed. It is similar to an industrial de facto standard or specification. Fast moving technology sectors are the main potential users of ITAs, but the whole domain of electrical and electronic engineering (including ICT) may be covered.
Publicly Available Specification (PAS) A normative document that represents a consensus among experts. A simple majority of the Participating Members of a technical committee or subcommittee approve the document. An IEC-PAS responds to an urgent market need for such a normative document and is designed to bring the work of industry consortia into the realm of the IEC.
Technology Trend Assessment (TTA) Highlights certain aspects of a technology that might conceivably become an area for standardization in the near-to-medium term. It responds to the need for global collaboration on standardization questions during the early stages of technical innovation. A TTA gives the state of the art or trend in emerging fields. It is typically the result of pre-standardization work or research.