Many New Zealand and Australian 'standards' are referred to in 'Acceptable Solutions' published by the Department of Building and Housing as relevant criteria.

NZS 3604:1999 Timber Framed Buildings (and ammendements) is one of the most well known standards, since many of New Zealand's established building practices for timber framed buildings, are described in this standard. Standards are developed by consensus, usually with the co-operation of the relevant industry sector and with public comment allowed for, before the final draft is arrived at. In theory standards ought to represent the industry sector's best practice or agreed performance requirement. In practice some standards are more representative of a narrow section of the relevant industry sector and this can dilute the usefulness of these documents as criteria.

A variation of a 'standard' is a Code Of Practice' also called a COP. Codes of Practice are also developed along the same lines as standards, except there needs to be more agreement throughout the industry bsector on what consists of 'best practice, since it is common for COP's to be used as the basis for training courses and competency assessments.

A Standard can contain either or all of the following -

a) References (to other Standards);
b) Scope of application;
c) Product indentiification;
d) Product tolerances;
e) Test Methods
f) Criteria for acceptance;
g) Special conditions

For more information about the Standards development process here in New Zealand, click here