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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Standards ver2.0

  1. What are standards?
    "document, established by consensus and approved by a recognised body, that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context."

    In simple terms, a standard is an agreed way of doing something.

    Fundamentally, standards are designed with the following criteria:

    • be complete within the limits given in its scope clause;
    • be consistent, accurate and unambiguous;
    • take full account of the current state of technical development;
    • provide a framework in which innovation can be accommodated and supported;
    • be readily comprehensible to those who might reasonably be expected to use it (i.e. its target audience).

  2. What is the Malaysian Standard?
    Malaysian Standard (MS) is a consensus document developed by Standards Development Committee (SDCs) within the Malaysian Standards Development System and approved by the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation in accordance with Standards of Malaysia Act 1996 (Act 549).

    A MS is a technical document that specifies the minimum requirements of quality and safety for voluntary use by the public. A standard becomes mandatory when a regulatory agency enforces its use through the relevant Act and Regulations.

  3. Where can I buy Malaysian Standards (MS)?
    MS Standard can be bought at Department of Standards Malaysia, Century Square, Level 1 & 2, Block 2300, Jalan Usahawan, 63000 Cyberjaya, Selangor DE:

    Contact Person : Hasnida Jakeria Siti Sarah Amil
    Tel : 03-8319 1554 03-8319 1546
    E-mail : hasnida@jsm.gov.my sarah@jsm.gov.my

  4. What are categories of Malaysian Standards?
    Standards cover a broad range of types and serve a wide variety of purposes.

    Types Description
    Specification / Requirements Standard that sets out detailed requirements, to be satisfied by a product, material, process, service or system, and the procedures for checking conformity to these requirements.

    These specifications provide the user with comprehensive guidance for producing, processing, selling, purchasing and using the product. These standards may include requirements for dimensions, performance, packaging, labelling, methods of sampling and test methods.
    (e.g. test method, determination, method of sampling)
    Standard that gives a complete account of the way in which an activity is performed (and, where appropriate, of the equipment or tools required to perform it) and conclusions are reached, to a degree of precision appropriate to the stated purpose.
    Code of practice Standard that recommends practices or procedures for the design, manufacture, installation, maintenance or utilisation of equipment, structures or products.
    Terminology / glossary / vocabulary / nomenclature Standard that is concerned with terms, usually accompanied by their definitions, and sometimes by explanatory notes, illustrations, examples, etc.
    Guide Standard that provides general guidance with recommendations and background information.

  5. How Malaysian standards benefits us?
    Standards make life safer, healthier and easier for people, organisations and enterprises all over the world. They enable communication and trade, while allowing resources to be used more efficiently. All businesses can benefit from standards: from global enterprises to small local firms; from ambitious start-ups to long-established household names; from hospitality, catering and retail businesses through construction, manufacturing and engineering firms to high-tech innovators.
    Additionally, standards provide technological, economic and societal benefits to different sectors of society.
    For businesses, the widespread use of standards means that manufacturers/suppliers can develop and offer products and services in a more efficient, safer and cleaner manner. Therefore, businesses using standards can compete on many more markets around the world through good management practice.
    Standards are essential to trade in the increasingly competitive markets. They ensure that any business offering products, services or processes is:

    • Cost-effective and time efficient.
    • Commercially practical.
    • Credible.
    • Safe.

    Companies can use standards to win customers’ confidence and hence, derive win-win advantage. When companies view improvements as investment for the future, they are then more willing to accept new technologies and innovations, hence improving on the standards. This would lead to enhancement of company’s reputation and branding.

    For manufacturers, standards:

    • Rationalise the manufacturing process.
    • Eliminate or reduce wasteful material or labour.
    • Reduce inventories of both raw material and finished products.
    • Reduce the cost of manufacture.

        For customers, standards:

    • Assure the quality of goods purchased and services received.
    • Provide better value for money.
    • Are convenient for settling disputes, if any, with suppliers.

    For example, Quality management standard MS ISO 9001 enables a company to build good relations and trust with its customers and helps to:

    • Consistently provide high-quality customer service through continual improvements.
    • Increase business efficiency through improved working practices.
    • Add value to its products and services.

    For innovators of new technologies, standards provide support for innovation from original concept through to market. Standards on aspects like terminology, compatibility and safety speed up the dissemination of innovations and their development into manufacturable and marketable products.
    For governments, standards provide the technological and scientific bases supporting health, safety and environmental legislation, and conformity assessment.
    For trade officials, standards facilitate trade between countries and make it fairer. The existence of divergent national or regional standards can create technical barriers to trade. Standards are the technical means by which political trade agreements can be put into practice. Harmonisation of standards helps to eliminate barriers to trade.
    For consumers, conformity of products and services standards provides assurance in terms of:

    • quality and reliability;
    • protection of safety and health;
    • compatibility between products;
    • consistency in the delivery of services;
    • choice of goods and services;
    • transparency in product information;
    • fair competition, hence lower prices for consumers;
    • suitability of products for vulnerable populations (children, the elderly);
    • environmental protection.

    For the earth we inhabit, standards on air, water and soil quality, on emissions of gases and radiation and environmental aspects of products can contribute to efforts to preserve the environment.

  6. Standard: Voluntary or Mandatory?
    Standards are designed for voluntary use and they may be used as the best way to make sure a product is safe, or to give assurance to customers and add value to your product, service or process.

    Although standards are voluntary and separate from legal and regulatory systems, they can be used to support or complement legislation. Such standards become mandatory when cited in laws or regulations.

  7. Malaysian Standards and Copyright
    Whether intentionally or unknowingly, a significant number of standards users are breaking copyright laws by reproducing and/or redistributing standards. Violation of copyright results in lost revenue for the organisations which develop and distribute standards. It also jeopardises the standards by putting them at risk of tampering and/or inadvertent modifications.

    Therefore, protection of copyright is fundamental to the sustainability of the standardisation system.

    Department of Standards Malaysia reserves ownership over the copyright of published Malaysian Standards.
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