Published on 06-Oct-2020

Code, Standard, and Specification - Differences

Code, Standard, and Specification - Differences

A code is a standard that has been adopted by one or more governmental bodies and has the force of law, or when it has been incorporated into a business contract.

  • Codes are generally the governing documents, providing a set of rules that specify the minimum acceptable level of safety for manufactured, fabricated or constructed objects.
  • Most codes will provide acceptance and rejection criteria for the required inspections but often refer to the ASTM performance standards for the methodology used in applying the best nondestructive testing (NDT) method and technique.
  • ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) Codes are legally enforceable in many US states. Whereas, in the other part of the world they are not legally enforceable but such countries have their own similar codes.

Examples of some commonly used Codes are:

1.ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC)

2. AWS D1.1/D1.1M => Structural Welding Code - Steel

3. API 570 => Piping Inspection Code: In-Service Inspection, Rating, Repair, and Alteration of Piping Systems


Standards are documents that establish engineering or technical requirements for products, practices, methods or operations.

  • Standards are the documents, prepared by professional societies or committee, which are believed to be eļ¬ƒcient engineering practices and which contain mandatory requirements.
  • An inspection standard may include information on how to apply multiple testing techniques but usually does not include acceptance and rejection criteria, which is either specified by the governing code or the inspection purchaser's requirements.
  • "Standardization" of certain items to prevent multiple version being used. Build confidence about quality in users.
  • Lower the cost of production as requirements are standardized.
  • Standards are usually created by individual companies, organizations or countries. They are not legalized.