NASA - Home NEPP Home PagePartsPackagingRadiationAbout NASA Electronic Parts and Packaging (NEPP) Program
 Location:   Home  |  Workmanship Standards  |  Status for Adopted Workmanship Standards

Also on this page:

Status for Adopted Workmanship Standards

Information and Status for Adopted Workmanship Standards

Motivation for NASA's Adoption of Voluntary Industry Standards for Workmanship Quality

In the period of federal acquisition reform, the U.S. government determined that logistics, contracting and cost burdens could be reduced through the use of industry-owned and managed voluntary consensus technical standards where they were found to be practical and legal for federal acquisitions.  This position was published in the 1995 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-119 on Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities.  OMB Circular A-119 direct federal agencies to implement the policy.  The advantage to NASA suppliers who use industry standards for Workmanship quality assurance, is that they have an opportunity, through collaboration with their industry colleagues, with standards bodies and with their federal customers, to create a quality standard system that can used for all of their customers and they would no longer have to create special systems for responding to unique requirements in NASA Standards.  The federal government's objective is to reduce cost by reducing procurement uniquenesses, or conversely to align procurement requirements with more widely used standards to achieve economies of scale.

OMB Circular A-119's language recognizes that Agencies and programs within those Agencies, such as Workmanship Quality, remain responsible for ensuring that the technical standards applied meet the needs of their missions.  Agencies may refuse to use an industry technical standard if it is not adequate (impractical) or may choose to use only parts of an industry standard.  If equivalency and low risk can be established, the Agency is strongly compelled to use that industry standard and to retire the equivalent government standard.

The NASA Workmanship Standards Program were sustaining seven NASA technical standards in 1995 and thus were well placed for looking for suitable industry standard equivalents.  Following direct participation in industry standard coordination bodies and equivalency analysis, the first industry technical standard adoption for Workmanship occurred in 2002.  NASA's standard for Electrostatic Discharge Control was cancelled and ANSI/ESD S20.20 was adopted for Agency wide use within its own facilities and for use on contracts for all applicable mission hardware.  The second adoption/retirement was in the area of soldering in 2011 when IPC J-STD-001DS.1 was adopted (see FAQ page).  IPC/WHMA-A-620B-S is targeted for adoption in 2017 (see FAQ page).