Technical Drawing Standards: What’s in a name?

The Technical Drawing standards in the UK are governed by the British Standards Institute (BSI).

However, the standards are no longer created by the BSI. In the year 2000 it was finally decided to adopt the standards from the International Organization for Standardization* (ISO).

British Technical Drawing Standards - What's in a name?

Image: zirconicusso /

The name for each standard reflects this, for example:

BS EN ISO 7519:1997 Technical drawing – Construction drawings – General principles of presentation’

BS’ Means that the standard has been ratified by the British Standards Institute

EN’ Means that the standard has been ratified by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN)

ISO’ Means that the standard has been ratified by the International Organization for Standardization.

7519’ Is the standard number. This is randomly picked for each standard. The number is unique, but otherwise not significant.

‘:1997’ Is the year that the standard was adopted or last amended. If the standard is changed, the standard number will not change, but the year will. The ISO standards are reviewed on a five year rolling basis.

* ISO‘s name

Because “International Organization for Standardization” would have different acronyms in different languages (“IOS” in English, “OIN” in French for Organisation internationale de normalisation), its founders decided to give it also a short, all-purpose name. They chose “ISO”, derived from the Greek isos, meaning “equal”. Whatever the country, whatever the language, the short form of the organization’s name is always ISO

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