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The following definitions may be of use to you as you peruse ASTM and other standards:

  • A Test Method Standard is “a definitive procedure that produces a test result.” Examples include identification, measurement, and evaluation of one or more qualities, characteristics or properties.

  • A Practice Method Standard is a “definitive set of instructions for performing one or more specific operations that does not produce a test result.” Examples include application, assessment, cleaning, collection, inspection, preparation, sampling and training.

  • A Specification Standard is “an explicit set of requirements to be satisfied by a material, product, system or service”. A specification identifies test methods for determining whether each of the requirements is satisfied. These requirements can include physical, mechanical or chemical properties and safety, quality or performance criteria.

  • A Classification Standard is “a systematic arrangement or division of materials, products, systems or services into groups based on similar characteristics such as origin, composition, properties or use.”

  • A Guide Standard is “a compendium of information or series of options that does not recommend a specific course of action.” Guides generally increase the awareness of information and approaches in a given subject area.

  • A Terminology Standard is “a document comprising definitions of terms, explanations of symbols, abbreviations or acronyms.”


* This information is courtesy of ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, PA 19428