Standards ensure that products are suitable for use on the purpose they are intended. Users are now increasing awareness of the value of purchasing a product certified to national and international standards that ensures the quality of manufacture, and that the product does not have design faults which are likely to make it fail prematurely in normal service leading to financial saving not only of the cost of early replacement but also of the cost of 'down-time'.
A standard is defined as a technical specification or other document available to the public, drawn up with the cooperation and consensus or general approval of all interests affected by it, based on the consolidated results of science, technology and experience, aimed at the promotion of optimum community benefits and approved by a body recognised on the national, regional, or international level.
Most countries have national standards body whose main function is the preparation and/or publication of national standards and/or the approval of standards produced by other bodies.
The international standards organisation primarily concerned with electrical standards is the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).