Metanorma: Aequitate Verum

IHO deliverable development process

The process of developing an IHO deliverable is best described in the official IHO Quick Reference Guide: Standards Development Process, which summarizes the following two documents:

The following information is excerpted from the Reference Guide as a simple summary for editors. For official information, please refer to the official IHO sources.

When initiating a new IHO project (which produces an IHO deliverable), the following steps are taken:

  1. PAR approval. The initiating group submits a Project Authorization Request (PAR) to the New Standards Committee (NesCom). NesCom reviews PARs then makes a recommendation to the IHO Standards Board (SASB) as to whether or not the project should be approved. Once approved by the SASB, the PAR is the official document that authorizes work on a standards development project in IHO.

    There are three types of deliverables produced by IHO, including:

    • Standards: deliverables with mandatory requirements

    • Recommended practices: deliverables in which procedures and positions preferred by IHO are presented.

    • Guides: deliverables in which alternative approaches to good practice are suggested but no clear-cut recommendations are made.

  2. WG formation. A Working Group (WG) is formed by interested parties for the purpose of creating the deliverable. A working group is commonly named according to some number, such as "2874".

    There are two types of working group participation methods allowed in IHO, namely:

    • Entity-based: WG membership is comprised of entities that are IHO Corporate Members. These are usually companies, universities, government agencies, or organizations. Each entity has one vote each and appoint designated representatives to the WG.

    • Individual-based: WG membership is comprised of individual technical experts, which do not need to be IHO members. Each individual holds one vote.

  3. WG drafting. The WG creates an IHO deliverable draft and iterates the following process until it is approved via ballot. At each drafting iteration, the draft identifier typically holds the pattern of "P{wg-number}/D{draft-number}", where the draft number is follows an increasing sequence of "D1", "D2", etc.

    1. WG drafting. The WG develops and refines the draft. At this stage IHO provides the following resources:

      • IHO Standards Style Manual. Drafts are required to adhere to the requirements stated here.

      • IHO editorial support. IHO has a professional staff of editors who offer guidance.

      • Mandatory editorial coordination (MEC). Before WG ballot, it is necessary to complete a MEC review and have the necessary changes incorporated.

    2. WG internal approval. Once the WG reached consensus that a draft "Dn" is sufficiently complete, the WG determines whether the draft has gained WG approval. Once the draft gains WG approval, it will proceed to SC approval.

  4. SC approval. Once the WG and Standards Committee (SC) reach consensus that the draft standard is complete, the consensus balloting process (Standards Association (SA) ballot) can begin. One or more recirculation ballots may be required to resolve the SA ballot comments received.

  5. RevCom recommendation. Upon approval at the SA ballot, the draft standard is submitted to the Standards Review Committee (RevCom). RevCom ensures that procedural requirements of the IHO have been met and makes a recommendation to the IHO Standards Board (SASB) whether or not the draft standard should be approved as an IHO standard. See RevCom Conventions and Guidelines.

  6. SASB approval. After a standards project is approved by the SASB, the IHO editor prepares the standard for publication, working in conjunction with the WG Chair and/or Technical Editor.

  7. Publication. When editing is deemed complete by the SA editor and WG Chair and/or Technical Editor, the deliverable is published.

  8. Maintenance. All IHO standards have to undergo and complete a revision process within ten years from the approval year to retain active standard status. WGs may initiate a revision sooner than ten years.