The world market place is changing dramatically and rapidly,
and dependability objectives have become more generally understood
and now more important for successful cooperation between organizations.
End-user demand for dependability and quality of service has
been, and is still, increasing because customers have higher expectations
concerning the dependability of products and they now include dependability
criteria in the choice of a service or product.
- TC 56 uses the best practice developed in different industries
as a major input to achieve standards that are generic and not
- TC 56 standards and their concepts may also be applicable
to non-industrial areas.
- TC 56 standards are influenced by the emerging environmental
standards and legislation, ensuring that dependability does
not contravene the requirements.
There are difficulties in obtaining a sufficient number of active
experts for some of the project teams due to the worldwide economic
climate. Increased support for the project teams that have limited
life, i.e. the production of one standard only, would be welcomed.
A major key to the achievement of dependability is the need to
ensure that all concerned in the design, development and use of
products and services have a common understanding of the terms and
definitions of dependability. This is increasingly important as
businesses are increasingly using more subcontractors to produce
items within a system. Similarly the methodology for achieving dependable
products and services needs to be consistent across industry and
TC 56 produces:
- Generic dependability standards developed
for ease of integration into one overall management system
- A limited but crucial set of business oriented
dependability standards to help
emerging business/industry sectors establish a common dependability
- Non-prescriptive guidelines, Technical Reports,
Technical Specifications and Publicly Available Specifications
to support dependability programmes
- A fundamental set of dependability principles,
terms and definitions that can be easily understood and adapted
for industry specific applications
These publications encourage the use of a common
dependability terminology through
Customers of published and future standards
Customers are those involved directly or indirectly in industry
sectors, such as electronics, telecommunications, energy and electrical
utilities, transportation, automotive, aerospace, chemical, medical
devices, government agencies, educational institutions, customer
support, which are concerned with dependability performance in their
respective objectives, products and services.
The standards produced by TC 56 are applicable across both large
and small companies, which deal with items ranging from components
to systems. All future standards will take into account legal, environmental
and safety requirements although TC 56 standards do not directly
cover these aspects. (Where applicable, TC 56 standards refer to
appropriate environmental and safety standards produced by other
TC 56 standards should be referenced by both ISO
and IEC Technical Committees, where appropriate. The committee,
therefore, recognizes other ISO and IEC TCs as its customers and
it is continually looking for more effective ways of making other
committees aware of its publications.
All of the business areas listed above are actively represented
on TC 56. Further representation from other business sectors and
from small and medium enterprises is encouraged. There have been
difficulties in obtaining sufficient active experts for some of
the Project Teams. Financial support would foster increased participation
The work load of TC 56 is being carried out effectively, but
additional representation from existing P and O members would be
welcomed as would membership of TC 56 by other IEC TechnicalCommittee
members, particularly those with whom TC 56 has liaison. New and
emerging technology-based organizations are also needed.
Use of TC 56 standards at regional/national
TC 56 projects are parallel voted in Europe, unless CENELEC/SR
56 makes a recommendation to the contrary. TC 56 standards are generally
recognized throughout the world by industries and the dependability
community and have been implemented as national standards in many
countries. Some standards that are specific to a narrow spectrum
may not be so widely applied and TC 56 is continually reassessing
its work programme to ensure that it meets the changing needs of
There is no competing set of dependability standards but there
are organizations, such as IEEE, developing similar dependability
standards for specific industry applications. TC 56 is aiming to
minimize the proliferation of standards and duplication of effort
through activities, such as collaboration with IEC/TC 107 and cross-committee
membership with organizations such as IEEE and ASQ. TC 56 also tries
to work closely with CEN/TC 319, Maintenance, with the same purpose.
Product committees are responsible for establishing and maintaining
the closest possible links with relevant TCs performing a horizontal
function, such as TC 56, when preparing or revising their own product
publications and when such TCs are preparing or revising relevant
Maintenance and development of standards
The committee's maintenance programme takes into account the
anticipated future needs of industry to ensure that TC 56 standards
meet these needs. The Maintenance Teams are encouraged to make use
of the confirmation and withdrawal options in the current MCR form
to save capacity for essential work.
The committee has been reassessing its document structure in
order to facilitate use and to cover current and future market needs.
As a result, TC 56 standards have been divided into three categories:
- Core standard
Standard providing overview on dependability
fundamentals, objectives or management
- Process standard
Standard giving guidance on a
particular dependability issue related to an aspect of management
or to a life cycle phase
- Support standard
Standard giving technical information
of general relevance in various dependability issues
Within these categories, the standards are further grouped according
to their content. In addition,
information is given on the phase
or phases of the life cycle during which the standard can be
Trends in technology and trade
There is increased demand for dependable, safe and environmentally
friendly products and services.
Time to market is critical and so there is extensive use and
adaptation of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products to enable
rapid design and system integration. Both these requirements are
impacting upon TC 56 standards.
TC 56 is monitoring and reacting to the rapid technology evolution
and innovation by developing broader-based process-orientated standards,
in addition to tool standards.
Business is recognizing the benefit of the integration of dependability
into the overall management system.
TC 56 has established guidelines for dependability management
including aspects of risk management.
Dependable products contribute significantly towards protecting
TC 56 standards address environmental issues where applicable,
and TC 56 monitors projects in order to include ways in which they
can contribute positively to the environment.