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A voluntary standard is a standard established generally by a private-sector body and that is available for use by any person or organization, private or government. The term includes what are commonly referred to as "industry standards" as well as "consensus standards." A voluntary standard may become mandatory as a result of its use, reference, or adoption by a regulatory authority, or when invoked in contracts, purchase orders, or other commercial instruments.
- ANSI, "Standards Management: A Handbook for Profit."