Standards Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions for Technology and Standards


1. Why are standards important?

In today’s complex global marketplace, your company needs every advantage it can get. So you want to access new markets, reduce costs, increase efficiency and be more competitive. As a consumer, you want faster access to new technologies that can offer you the services you need to make your life more efficient, comfortable and enjoyable. Standards are the answer!

By participating in standards development activities – and by implementing standards and conformance tools – organizations have been able to streamline processes, trim costs, earn and maintain market access, and boost their bottom line. Voluntary standards and conformity assessment activities benefit public health, safety, and the environment. You, the consumer, benefit from the development and design of new and improved requirements for the safety and quality of the products you buy and the services you rely upon each day.

For more information, check out ANSI’s Standards Boost Business campaign. TIA is a proud sponsor of the Standards Boost Business program.

2. Why aren't Industry Standards free?

There are many costs associated with developing, maintaining, and distributing standards – all of which can be reflected in the price of a standard. While some standards development organizations (SDOs) especially those in Europe and Asia receive significant government funding for their development, that is not the case in the United States of America. SDOs have different operational models and funding sources, but TIA and many others depend upon the purchases of standards to offset the cost of hosting meetings and managing the standards development process. Accordingly, it’s very important to protect the intellectual property that is invested in standards. Every standard is a work of authorship and, under U.S. and international law, is copyright protected giving the owner certain rights of control and remuneration that cannot be taken away without just compensation. For more information, see the ANSI white paper entitled "Why Voluntary Consensus Standards Incorporated by Reference into Federal Government Regulations Are Copyright Protected".

3. How Do I Participate in TIA Standards Development?

Learn more about participating in TIA Standards.

Fill out a TIA Engineering Committee Application to participate.

4. What Should I do if I have a question about the content of interpretation of a TIA standard or published document?

When a Member of the public, having a direct and material interest in a TIA Publication, wishes a formal interpretation of any provisions of the TIA Publication, he or she may request the Technology and Standards Department in writing ( for such an interpretation. The request shall include as a minimum the following information:

  1. the name, address, email and telephone number of the person requesting the interpretation
  2. a statement demonstrating the requestor's direct and material interest in the document
  3. the number, issue, and issue date of the document in question
  4. a statement of the question(s)

Upon receipt of a written request, the Technology and Standards Department will then forward the request to the appropriate Chair, Parent Committee or Technical Steering Subcommittee (TSSC) who will acknowledge receipt of the request and provide an estimate of the time required for response to the request. The Chair shall place the request on the agenda of the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Formulating Group and distribute copies of the request. The Formulating Group shall attempt to form a consensus on a reply to the requester. The reply may include clarifying explanations or other comments of the Formulating Group. If a consensus is formed, the Chair shall forward the agreed-upon reply to the Technology and Standards Department for formal transmittal to the requester.

Note: Formal interpretations will not be provided on Standards Proposals or Committee Letter Ballots.

Ref: TIA Engineering Manual, 5th Edition

5. What is TIA's process to obtain a copy of the final version of a TIA Standard or TSB for review prior to a vote to revise or reaffirm the document at a quorum meeting? 

In most cases, the complimentary copy that was provided upon approval of the document should suffice.  In some cases, this may mean that the voter from the member company who received the copy will need to be located.  TIA may be able to assist a member seeking the identity of the voter.

In many cases, the member company has a subscription service with TIA’s publisher which allows access to TIA documents for company employees.  If you do not know if your company has a subscription service, TIA will be happy to contact IHS on your behalf.

In those few cases where the voter who received the complimentary copy is no longer at the company, in many cases they would have left a printed copy (company library, for example) that would suffice.

In the fewer cases where the voter who received the complimentary copy is no longer at the company and did not leave a printed copy for others, a representative of the company can request a scanned copy of the document from TIA for their review.  TIA will verify the company’s vote and voter prior to responding to such a request.  If a voting member does not have access to the originally balloted document and wishes to obtain a copy of the TIA Standard or TSB published document prior to the meeting he/she may send an email request to the TIA Standards Secretariat with following information:  

1. the complete document title

2. the committee number and meeting date where the disposition will be determined

3. complete signature of the voting member including full contact information

For all other cases, purchasing the standard through TIA’s authorized publisher, IHS Markit, is the appropriate way to obtain a copy of the standard.  Please note that IHS offers TIA members a discount on retail purchases.

Note: Based on TIA’s process, TIA Standards and TSB reaffirmation votes may be taken at the quorum formulating group meeting or by a letter ballot, so an industry ballot is not necessary.

6. What is "US TAG"?

In international standards developing organizations, country interests are represented by Technical Advisory Groups (“TAG”s).  The United States has several TAGs, and each TAG is assigned an administrator and a TAG Secretary, usually a US-based standards developer through a national standards body.  TIA is the administrator for US TAGs to ISO/IEC  JTC1/SC25, ISO/IEC /JTC1/ SC 25 WG1, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC25 WG3, IEC TC46 (A, C and F), IEC TC 76 and IEC TC 86 (A, B. C).

7. How do I become a US TAG member?

In order to become a US TAG member, your membership has to be approved by the Technical Advisor/ Chair, who will ask you to submit your biography or resume which the Chair or the Technical Advisor (TA) will circulate to the TAG for review. Following the review by the TAG, the TAG will assess your area of expertise and how relevant it is to the TAG. The TAG will then respond to the TA or Chair if they endorse your candidacy. The Chair/TA will then instruct the TAG Secretary to add the new participant to the TAG.  The TAG Secretary will take the necessary steps to add the new member to the TAG, the database and the e-mail reflector. The TAG Secretary will send the new member a welcome package and other relevant TAG information. She or he will follow up with the new participant to ensure that the new participant has found her or his bearings and can access TAG documents from the TAG web site, and is comfortable enough to participate on the TAG without any problems.

8. How can I be appointed as a US Expert?

In order to be appointed as a US expert to a Technical Committee or Sub-Committee, you must first inform the Chair or TAG Secretary of your interest and intentions to join as US expert to a Technical Committee or Sub-Committee.  Then you must be approved by the TAG and appointed by the National Committee.  The Chair/TA and the TAG Secretary will then send that information to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and they will add your name to the IEC Expert Management Database System also known as EMS.

9.  Why do I receive two invoices when I am in a TAG?

To cover the additional external and administrative costs associated with TAG participation, there is a separate invoice from TIA. Additional ANSI dues are to cover the expenses assessed by the international organizations for participating as a member of the TAG.

Please note that TIA TAG fees are included with TIA membership dues. You can become a TIA member by joining TIA. In order to join, you can contact our membership staff at or you can visit

Similarly, you can avoid ANSI dues if your company becomes a member of ANSI. To join ANSI you will need to contact ANSI.

10.  Is it possible to participate on more than one TAG once I have paid my TAG dues?

The fees are assessed on a per person/per committee basis, and dues are similarly assessed. If your company is a general member of TIA, you can participate on as many IEC committees as desired.  However, ANSI dues will be assessed for each committee in which you participate.

For JTC 1 Committees, the TAG dues will depend on your company’s status as a member, Engineering Committee Participant (ECP), or non-member.

General TIA membership allows two representatives on the on JTC 1 TAGs.

11. How many times can I attend a meeting as an observer before I make up my mind to become a member of the US TAG that I am attending?

With the permission of the Chair or Technical Advisor, a representative may attend one TAG meeting as an observer.

12. My company has a subscription service to IHS documents, how do I find my company's point of contact for subscription services and access to documents?

Questions regarding access to a company's subscription service may be directed to IHS' Customer Service at 1-800-447-2273 or by email at