ISO/TS Technical Specification

A normative document representing the technical consensus within an ISO committee

The way it is done

a) A TC/SC may decide that a particular work item should result in publication of a technical specification. Normally this decision should be agreed at the outset, i.e. simultaneously with approval of the NP. The text is developed through the preparatory and committee stages at the end of which the text shall be submitted for a three month vote by the P-members of the committee to approve publication of the document as a technical specification. Acceptance of the document requires approval by 2/3 of the P-members. If the acceptance criterion is satisfied the document shall be sent to the Central Secretariat for publication as an ISO/TS.

b) In cases in which a committee had decided to produce an International Standard, but subsequently discovered that there was insufficient support for the publication of a standard, the committee may agree, by the above process, to publish the document as a technical specification.

c) Any P-member or category A or D-liaison organization of a committee may propose that an existing document be considered for adoption as a technical specification. The process for approval is as described in a). NB: A-type liaison: participation by an organization in a TC or SC which can make an effective contribution to the work of the committee. D-type liaison: participation at the working group level only or contribution to a specific project


As defined above, technical specifications essentially replace the existing type 1 and type 2 technical reports. (As described later, this latter type of publication is retained for purely informative documents formerly, type 3 technical reports.)

Technical specifications may be processed in one language only.

Competing technical specifications offering different technical solutions are possible provided that they do not conflict with existing International Standards. (A TC/SC may decide to revise an ISO standard to allow conflicting technical specifications.)

Technical specifications shall be reviewed at least every three years to decide either to confirm the technical specification for a further three years, revise the technical specification, process it further to become an International Standard or withdraw the technical specification. After six years, a technical specification shall either be converted into an International Standard or be withdrawn.

ISO member bodies may adopt technical specifications and publish them as documents having the same level of authority as the ISO/TS.