During the production process of technical products standards can be tremendously useful! Manufacturers and engineers can spare the time-consuming elaboration of (safety-related) solutions; instead, they can find this solution directly within the appropriate standard. Yet, searching for the adequate standard can sometimes turn out to be effortful. Due to constantly new legal requirements, manufacturers may find it difficult to obtain a suitable standard to offer the fitting solution for the quested demand. In order to facilitate this process on an international level, ISO, the International Organisation of Standardisation, has established the ICS catalogue system, which enables a classification and grouping of single standards.
ICS (International Classification of Standards) is the abbreviation for International Classification of Standards
ICS scopes are meant to define a consistent structuring and system of international, national and regional standards
This is established with the help of a hierarchically set up classification system: two figures from level 1 define altogether 40 superordinate areas of standardization, e.g. area 79 (woodworking)
These 40 areas are clustered into 392 groups (level 2), which obtain a more accurate classification via 3 figures, e.g. 79.120 (woodworking equipment)
Finally, those groups can be split up into 909 sub-groups (level 3) and represent the highest possible specification of standards. An example would be ICS scope 79.120.10 (woodworking machinery)
ICS scopes are adjusted regularly by ISO and may be complemented if necessary
The national organizations of standardisation have mostly adopted the ICS classification (with smallish adjustments) into their national standardization
Edition 7 of ICS scopes can be downloaded as a PDF-file here.
When searching the right standard an ICS-scope can be a useful aid. The ICS figure is apparent on the cover sheet of all ISO and European standards; on the basis of a clearly defined numbering the figure determines the classification of standards:
Figure 1 illustrates that EN ISO 13857:2019 is part of the ICS-scope 13.110. The latter stands for the group “Safety of Machinery“ from the superordinate area 13 (environment, health protection, safety).
Support from the Safexpert StandardsManager:
In the Safexpert StandardsManager searching via ICS scopes is already incorporated. All ICS scopes are listed hierarchically and enable the user to conduct a detailed research for standards in the context of his existing project.
Posted on: 20.10.2020
Daniel Zacek, MSc Employed in the areas community and data management IBF in Vils. Studies of Business Administration and Economics at the Universities of Passau and Stuttgart with focus on International Management.