Voluntary and Mandatory Standards

What are the voluntary and mandatory standards?

Standards establish particular requirements, and published documents designed to maximize the products’ specifications, reliability, material and service. These standards are designed to safeguard consumer health and safety, simplify product compatibility, and increase peed in the market. Standards are divided into two voluntary and mandatory standards. Voluntary standards are not made mandatory to be followed. These standards help increase the safety of the products, ease manufacturing and provide a wide range of products. The government does not mandate that engineers and manufacturers follow these standards. This type of standard uses ASTM F96317 Standard for Toy Safety which can be found in Kinder Joy.

The mark increase safety for children who play with toys. Mandatory standards are such that they must be followed by the companies. The government agency or the federal enforces these standards. These standards are adopted out of concern for safety and health if they are not followed then, it results in legal liabilities and penalties. For example, in a building, the code for fire should be adopted as they are mandatory standards. Due to the growing concerns linked to safety and quality of food, there was a need for these standards to be adopted. Different levels of standards set up by the organizations can be distinguished as:

  • Private industry and trade
  • Multilateral standard ruling
  • Supranational standard-setting organizations
  • National standard-setting organisations

Benefits of Standards


  • Safe quality
  • Provides liability protection
  • Increase credibility with consumers and retailers
  • Provides accountability with safety toward quality
  • Healthcare


  • Health and safety
  • Quality and operability of the products


  • Increase in credibility with the consumers
  • Increases confidence in manufacturing
  • Decrease in risk to meet the higher standards in the industry

What organizations help create standards?

The International Standards Organization (ISO), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) are the number of standard development organisations engaged in the creation of standards. Most organizations create their standards. The tag of ASTM F963 and ASTM F2372 are everyday designations from toys to shopping carts. The ASTM creates standards for manufacturing processes, services, and various materials. ASTM membership includes 33,000 or more technical experts in 150 countries. Standard Development Organisations (SDO) also engage in the writing and development of standards. The organization charge technical committees with investigating and building a consensus for publishing the standards.

International Standards Organization- It is a non-governmental platform that supervises and controls the public as well as private sector providing standardization processes across the array of products in the world. The ISO establishes some guidelines in the market which help facilitate trade and focus on delivering better quality and safety in several areas. The steps are adopted to ensure the safety and health of the consumers. It develops a wide range of industrial, commercial and proprietary standards as well as publishes them. The main goal of ISO is to maintain fair world trade by providing standardized goods and services. In addition, ISO also produces standards in technical specifications and other related fields to secure the environment. The ISO was founded in 1947 and its headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland. It plays an important role in providing common standards by facilitating fair trade among different countries. The members of the organization involve 162 countries and each member has an equal vote in approving standards. ISO has published 18,000 international standards or more under activities including information technology, good business, agriculture, environmental and safety practices.

American National Standards Institute- It is a voluntary consensus standard consisting of thousands of government agencies, individuals, trade associations, industry, labour consumer groups, academics, and others who voluntarily participate in its development. Approximately 240 standard bodies are accredited by the ANSI. The American-driven system has diverse responsibilities to help and ensure the innovative standards system available globally and domestically.

Underwriters Laboratory- UL is another type of listing agency engaged in the process of quality management and safety of the products. It is a non-profit organization where goods are operated in laboratories. UL has six basic services offered by manufacturers, government officials and inspection authorities listed product of service, certificate service, inspection service, fact-finding, component recognition service and research. UL publishes the names of the companies demonstrating the ability of the product and upon the successful completion of the investigation process under the certification process and after the follow-up service which is within the terms and conditions the manufacturer is authorized to sell the listed product. The UL also performs the services of the consumer advisory council established under levels of safety for the consumers with additional user field experience and to educate the public about the specific consumer products.

American Society for Testing and Materials- The organisation is an internationally recognized body that is engaged in the development and delivers voluntary consensus which is designed to improve product quality, improve international standardisation and product quality to facilitate fair trade among countries. ASTM set standards for seatbelts, airbags, and tire performance in automobiles for automotive safety and performance.

Development process

When a standard is established by the government or an international trade agreement it is mandatory and they are legally obliged to follow the rules and regulations. Countries consider making standards mandatory and should be taken into account the potential consequences of technical trade. The development process is open to input from all interested parties and is based on consensus. Consensus refers to the significant agreement among the stakeholders in the preparation of the standards.


Standards are an essential process in the process of certifications for a product to be verified and sold in the market. These standards are divided into two types voluntary and mandatory standards. Standards help to mitigate the risk by following the rules and regulations. The final judgement is based on the judgement of safety experts and other quality manufacturers. Voluntary standards have been increased in the international markets.

Telugu GMP https://www.telugugmp.com/2021/06/voluntary-and-mandatory-standards-and-development-process.html

Promotional Products Association International https://www.ppai.org/media/1784/pr_bp_mandatoryvsvoluntarystandards.pdf

Association Headquarters https://www.ppai.org/media/1784/pr_bp_mandatoryvsvoluntarystandards.pdf

NSC https://nscpolteksby.ac.id/ebook/files/Ebook/Hospitality/Food%20Quality%20and%20Safety%20Standards%20(2007)/4.%20Chapter%203%20-%20Mandatory%20and%20voluntary%20standards%20an%20overview.pdf

Canvas https://umich.instructure.com/courses/301354/pages/types-of-standards-voluntary-+-mandatory?module_item_id=982147

Science Direct https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/underwriters-laboratories

Safeopedia https://www.safeopedia.com/definition/22/american-society-for-testing-and-materials-astm#:~:text=The%20American%20Society%20for%20Testing%20and%20Materials%20(ASTM)%20is%20an,standardization%20and%20therefore%20facilitate%20trade.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.


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In the year 2021, we wrote about 1000 Inspirational Women In India, in the year 2022, we would be featuring 5000 Start Up Stories.

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