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Demand increasing for IEC commented versions
Date: 2022-11-28    Source:IEC   

In response to market demand, the IEC launched new editions of its most popular standards with comments from technical experts in 2020. Since then, over 40 IEC Standards have been published with comments and satisfaction is high among standards developers and standards users. A further 10 standards will be published by the end of the year.

Known as Commented Versions (CMVs), these publications provide commentary from technical experts on the major changes between the new edition of the standard and the previous one.

Benefits to users

CMVs are an enhanced version of the traditional IEC Redline Version (RLV)?which highlights the changes between the previous edition and the new edition. However, with the Commented Versions, users can better understand the rationale for changes made to the newest edition of the standard. Comments include an explanation for the changes as well as information on the impact of these changes on the application and usability of the standard.

Feedback from users has been positive. According to a recent survey, 84% are highly satisfied by the comments of the CMVs and 97% would buy CMVs again in the future.

According to Michelle Andersen, the Convener of the editing committee for IEC Technical Committee 61 responsible for the preparation of CMVs, "Users of the standard, such as appliance manufacturers and certification bodies, often have questions about why new requirements or revisions were made to the standards. The greatest benefit of the CMV is that it offers this background information in a concise, easy to access format."

She also notes the ease with which the comments can be accessed. "In the CMV, the comments are linked. This means that the comment appears when hovering over the comment number in the body of the document, making it very easy and intuitive for the user," Michelle remarks.

Benefits to standards developers

Standards developers have also expressed their satisfaction with the publication of CMVs as it provides a method for capturing the reasons behind the changes to a standard. According to Neil Dennis, Chair of IEC SC 31J, "Sometimes we have to go back many years to understand the reasons for a clause in a standard. By providing additional information and recording historical changes, the CMV provides a mechanism to track changes for future reference."

In a survey of experts having developed CMVs, the feedback has been very positive. All indicated that they would develop CMVs again in the future. They value CMVs for enable a better understanding and implementation of their standards as well as to give greater visibility to their work.

As Neil highlights, "Understanding what a standard requires or allows is one thing but understanding WHY is an equally important dimension. If you understand why as well as the background, then following a standard becomes more intuitive and supports users with seeing the intent which can be a huge help in designing installations and equipment." By helping users, standards developers ensure that standards are implemented correctly.

Standards available as CMV

CMVs consist of a package, which includes both the new edition of the publication and the Commented Version. Several of the most widely sold IEC Standards are available as CMVs. They can be purchased from IEC Members, local reseller or from the IEC Webstore.

(Source: IEC)



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