The task of drafting formal full consensus standards (BS, EN, ISO) is usually delegated by a technical committee or subcommittee to a drafting group or panel. Occasionally a committee may commission a consultant to complete the drafting.
There are specific rules for drafting standards that must be adhered to. These are designed to ensure that standards meet their aim of providing, for common and repeated use, rules guidelines or characteristics for activities. They are founded on usability, verifiability and commonality.
Lead times for standards vary from a matter of months to several years. British Standards are usually developed within 12–15 months, while international standards take around 3 years. Commissioned standards such as PAS and PS can be developed within months to meet customer requirements.