ISO Project Management

Making it all add up – International Standards for quantities and units are under revision

When is a kilogramme a kilogramme? How do you accurately measure the spectrum of light? How do you correctly measure in thermodynamics? Consistency in quantities and units is essential for accurate measurement and can only be achieved if everyone is using the same language. The ISO/IEC 80000 series of standards does just that, and it is currently under revision.

The ISO/IEC 80000 quantities and units series is referenced in the International Bureau of Weights and Measurements (BIPM)’s guide on the International System of Units, known as the SI brochure, and thus provides important support for the definition of quantities and units. It consists of 13 different parts, featuring 11 from ISO and two from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), some of which are approaching a crucial and final stage of their revision.


The series gives terms, definitions, recommended symbols, units and any other important information related to quantities used in science, engineering, metrology and industry. It is a reference for those writing scientific or technical documents, textbooks, standards and guides.

Prof. Leslie Pendrill, Chair of ISO/TC 12, Quantities and units, the technical committee (TC) responsible for the ISO parts in the series, and Dr Michael Krystek, Convenor of the TC’s working group in charge of their revision, are also involved in the revision of the SI brochure to ensure that the standards correspond.


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