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Finding Standards

Standards are developed by hundreds of U.S., international, foreign and regional organizations and finding the ones you need can be confusing and time-consuming. The resources below can help navigate the various organizations and standards.


To contact a specific organization directly, the following web sites provide listings of U.S., international, foreign and regional standards bodies.


For assistance in identifying specific standards, the following organizations have searchable bibliographic indexes available either free of charge or by subscription.


Many standards developing organizations sell their own standards. There are also resellers who sell standards documents. The National Center for Standards and Certification Information provides a list of organizations authorized to sell these documents.


  • Military Standards and Specifications
    The Acquisition Streamlining and Standardization Information System (ASSIST) provides direct access to specifications, standards and related documents cataloged under the Department of Defense Standardization Program.
  • USDA Quality Standards
    Provide measurable attributes describing the value and utility of certain agricultural products.
  • Voluntary Product Standards Program
    Voluntary Product Standards (VPS) are published by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Currently, there are three VPS concerning plywood, panels, and softwood lumber.
  • Federal Information Processing Standards Publications
    Developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for Federal computer systems, Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) are intended for use government-wide. NIST develops FIPS when there are compelling Federal government requirements such as for security and interoperability and there are no acceptable industry standards or solutions.
  • National Homeland Security Standards
    The Standards Portfolio within the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate develops and coordinates the adoption of National standards and appropriate evaluation methods to meet homeland security mission needs.
  • U.S. General Services Administration
    Search the Index of Federal Specifications, Standards and Commercial Item Descriptions (FPMR 101-29.1). This document is issued for public use, as authorized by the Federal Property Management Regulations. Search for standards by Title/Document Number/FSC.
  • National Institute of Justice Standards and Testing Program
    National Institute of Justice develops voluntary standards for criminal justice and public safety equipment.