Project Management: Standards

What is a standard?

 “Close-up of colored pencils” by Johnny Magnusson  CC0 1.0 Universal (, image source:   Freestock photos [ ]

"Standards are published documents setting out specifications and procedures designed to ensure products, services and systems are safe, reliable and consistently perform the way they were intended to. They establish a common language which defines quality and safety criteria" (Standards Australia).

Standards are developed by various bodies, agencies, trade and professional association. Some standards are voluntary. Others are enforced by legislation - mandatory.

Australian standards

Standards Australia, an independent organisation, produces most of the Australian standards. Its policy is to adopt International Standards wherever possible.

Useful sites - a selection

Where to start...

The Library subscribes to standards databases, searchable by keyword or standard number. As some databases may include other material, look for an option to limit your search to standards only.

Note: Some databases have limited access licenses. If you cannot access them initially try again later.

Below are the key Library databases that include standards:

  • BCA + standards - Building Code of Australia +standards
  • IEEEXplore - the IEEE database has standards in key technology fields. You can search by the standard number/title or for a topic and look under "content type" in the left hand menu to limit to standards.
  • SAI Global on-line public library - full text access to all current Australian Standards, Joint ISO/Australian Standards, Joint NZ/Australian Standards, current Draft Australian Standards, amendments to Australian Standards and most Standards Australia handbooks.

The Library has some standards in print format. These can be found using the Library Catalogue.

Know the exact title? Type the exact title into the search box and select the Title option. For example: SAA Loading Code. However, you may need to check the publication date to see if it's the most current standard.

If you are searching for standards on a topic try the Library databases - see below.


Subject specific standards

For information about subject specific standards, go to the following subject guides: