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What is a Standard?

A Standard is a document, established by consensus that provides rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results. (As defined in ISO/IEC Guide 2:2004). Standards are published documents that set out specifications and procedures designed to ensure products, services and systems are safe, reliable and consistently perform the way they are intended to. They establish a common language that defines quality and safety criteria.

Standards cover everything from consumer products and services, construction, engineering, business, information technology, human services to energy and water utilities, the environment and much more.

Why are Standards important?

Standards play an important role in everyday life. They may establish size or shape or capacity of a product, processing system. They can specify performance of products or personnel. They also can define terms so that there is no misunderstanding among those using the standard.

As examples, Standards help/ ensure that photo copy paper fits to photocopying machine, papers of standard size/s can be purchased anywhere in the world, a light bulb fits a socket, and plugs for electrical appliances fit outlets. With Standards, our homes, workplaces and public buildings are safer from collapse, fire and explosion.

How to obtain Standards

Published Standards can be purchased in the form of hard copies and or soft copies. Please contact Documentation and Information Division (Telephone: +94 112 671 567-72 Ext: 252)

What is Conformity Assessment?

Conformity assessment is defined as any activity concerned with determining directly or indirectly that relevant requirements are fulfilled. (As defined in ISO/IEC Guide 2:2004). While a Standard is a technical expression of how to make a product safe, efficient, and compatible with others, a standard alone cannot guarantee performance. Conformity assessment, however, provides assurance to consumers by increasing consumer confidence when personnel, products, systems, processes or services are evaluated against the requirements of a voluntary Standard.

Does Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) develop Standards?

Yes, SLSI establishes the consensus procedures that are the basis for the development of Sri Lanka Standards. Please refer activates of the division.

What are Sri Lanka Standards?

Documents established by consensus & approved by the Council of SLSI which are essential to use in every industry. Today, there are about 2000 Sri Lanka Standards that have been developed and approved by the Council of SLSI. National Standards are voluntary and serve interests well because all materially affected stakeholders have the opportunity to work together to create them. SLSI-approved Standards only become mandatory when, and if, they are adopted or referenced by the government regulations or when market forces make them imperative.

What subjects are covered by Sri Lanka Standards?

Sri Lanka Standards provide dimensions, ratings, terminology and symbols, test methods, and performance and safety requirements for personnel, products, systems and services in hundreds of industries. Many Standards make it clear how to improve the safety of products for the protection of consumers, including products such as food items, baby cologns, baby cribs, bicycle helmets, home appliances, lawn mowers, ladders, etc.

Classification of published Standards

  • Agriculture
  • Food
  • Chemicals
  • Cosmetics
  • Paper and board
  • Packaging
  • Societal Needs
  • Textiles & Garments
  • Leather and foot ware
  • Code of practices
  • Test methods
  • Terms and glossaries
  • Management system Standards
  • Other

Does SLSI work only within Sri Lanka?

SLSI works extensively with, Regional and International Standardization bodies to ensure Sri Lankan interests are well represented in the development of global Standards. International Standards support the worldwide sale of products and services;. SLSI’s membership in Regional and International organizations permits delegations to influence the development and content of Regional and International Standards and Conformity Assessment Programmes, and enhances Sri Lanka position in the global market place.

Who are ISO and IEC?

SLSI is the official Sri Lanka representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

ISO develops, coordinates and promotes International Standards for a wide range of business sectors. ISO Standards include technical product specifications, procedures and guidelines for services, personnel, and management system standards for quality (ISO 9000) and the environment (ISO 14000) etc.

IEC is the global organization that prepares and publishes International Standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies.

Is participation occurring at the International level?

SLSI is actively participating in key regional activities around the world. To broaden the participation in the development of policy positions regarding Regional Standards and Conformity Assessment, it coordinates the activities and responds to initiatives and advice on matters relating to America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and the Asia-Pacific region.

How does SLSI ensure the integrity of the Voluntary Consensus Standardization Process?

The effectiveness and strength of the SLSI processes lays in a special system established since nineteen sixties. SLSI provides a fair and open process designed to protect the rights and interests of every participant. Defined procedures allow everyone with an interest in the subject covered by a Standard to participate, either as a member of the consensus committees or through public comment, and to have their comments considered.

How can I submit a proposal for a New Standard or send comments on an existing (published) Standard?

You can send proposals for New Standards, as well as comments on published Standards/existing Standards. It also includes International Standards (Adopted).You can write us through E-mail, Post, Fax, Addressed to Director General(SLSI): இம்மின்-அஞ்சல் முகவரி spambots இடமிருந்து பாதுகாக்கப்படுகிறது. இதைப் பார்ப்பதற்குத் தாங்கள் JavaScript-ஐ இயலுமைப்படுத்த வேண்டும்.,

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How can I comment on a draft Standard (During the time  period on Public Comments)?

An important stage in the development of a Sri Lanka Standard is the Public Comment stage (Please refer the activity diagrams). The Public Comment period is open for two months. Anyone who feels that he /she has something to contribute to a Draft Standard, he /she should use the Public Comment (Form For Public comments / FM- SD -18) Period to provide the views on it ‘s provisions. All comments are considered in detail by the relevant Committee and, if necessary, further drafting is undertaken. Draft Sri Lanka Standards for Public Comments can be downloaded from the web page of Documentation and Information Division of SLSI at no charge and also printed hard copies can be obtained from Standardization division / D&I Division of SLSI.

Draft Sri Lanka Standards which are adopted in total from International Standards (ISO) are available at a concessionary charge. Hardcopies / Soft copies can be purchased from D&I Division.

Application of Standards?

Standards are developed for a number of purposes, including;

  • Voluntary or mandatory applications
    Standards that specify requirements to achieve minimum objectives of safety, quality or performance of a product or service.
  • Regulatory compliance
    Standards that are used to specify minimum least-cost solutions to technical requirements expressing characteristics, performance and design criteria compatible with legislative requirements
  • Contractual purpose
    Standards that serve as purchasing specifications or technical conditions of contract between two parties.
  • Guidance
    Standards that may be intended for educational purposes and which include recommendations, or administrative or project management procedures. In general, these Standards will not be adopted in either legislation or contract specifications.

Sri Lanka Standards Institution uses the published Standards through various activities.

E.g: For Conformity Assessment on Certification of Products, Certification of Systems Eg: GMP, ISO 9001, and ISO 22000 and for testing purposes. Standards are also directly used in the operation of mandatory Import Inspection Scheme and also for testing purposes.

What is a Superseded Standard?

Superseded indicates that the Standard has been replaced by a more recent Standard. The replacement Standard may or may not bear the same designation (SLS number) and title.

When does a Standard come into effect?

There are two dates that may determine the date of a Standard comes into effect - the publication date (Date approved by the Council) and the implementation date.

  • The Publication date is the date that a Standard becomes publicly available and the date on which a Standard comes into effect.
  • The Implementation date is the date that a Standard becomes effective for regulatory or other purposes. Occasionally, legislation or certification programs may require a later date of implementation for a Standard than it‘s publication date, for instance to provide a period of grace during which products and practices can be upgrade.

What is an Amendment?

After a Standard has been published, new information may be presented to the Committee or errors may be found in the published Standard. When this occurs it is usual to issue an Amendment to the Standard. The date of an Amendment comes into effect from the date of approval by the Committee.

Levels of Standards-Levels of standardization

  • International - e.g. ISO, IEC, ITU, Codex Alimentarius
  • Regional - e.g. EU, SAARC
  • National - e.g. SLS, BS, IS
  • Company

Types of Standards-Different types of standards

  • Specifications
    E.g: SLS 557 Emulsion paint for exterior use
  • Code of Practices
    E.g: SLS 1314 Code of practice for packaging of agro pesticides for retail market
  • Test Methods
    E.g: SLS 516 Microbiological test methods
  • Glossary of terms
    E.g: SLS 71 Glossary of tea terms
  • Symbols
    E.g: SLS 809 Recommended shipping marks for goods

What is "SARSO"?

South Asian Regional Standards Organization (SARSO) has been established to achieve and enhance coordination and cooperation among SAARC member countries in the fields of Standardization and conformity assessment and is aimed at developing harmonized standards for the region, to facilitate intra-regional trade and to have access in global market. The Agreement on the establishment of South Asian Regional Standards Organization (SARSO) entered into force with effect from 25 August 2011 after ratification by all member States of SAARC. All Member States have nominated their Members in the Governing Board of SARSO.

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