Frequently Asked Questions: IPC Standards

What is an IPC Standard? 
An IPC standard is a set of rules, criteria, guidelines and characteristics for procedures, products, and processes developed by electronics industry experts in their fields.  Standards allow manufacturers, customers, and suppliers to understand one another more clearly.  Standards allow manufacturers greater efficiencies when they set up their processes to meet industry standards, allowing them to offer their customers quality products at a reasonable price.  IPC publishes standards for many steps of the printed circuit manufacturing and assembly processes, from design to final acceptance. To purchase a standard visit IPC Online Store and to see all the standards currently used by industry download the IPC Standards Tree.

Why are standards required?
Standards are required to assure uniformity and consistency throughout all facets of a products life cycle from:  design, supply, manufacturing and final assembly. Compliance to standards results in universal product acceptance and quality of products developed.

Who develops IPC standards? 
A technical committee comprised of volunteers who are experts in the subject matter of interest develops IPC standards. These members represent a broad cross section of the electronics industry reflecting the various elements of the supply chain: designers, suppliers, and manufacturers. Each of these committees have their own subcommittee. The committee and subcommittee list can be found at .

What is the review cycle on existing standards? 
Most standards are on a three-year cycle.

Why do we charge for standards?
IPC spends hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to support IPC’s volunteers in the standards and publications development process.  There are many rounds of drafts sent out for evaluation and the committees spend hundreds of hours in review and development.  IPC’s staff attends and participates in committee activities, typesets and circulates document drafts, and follows all necessary procedures to qualify for ANSI approval.

IPC’s membership dues have been kept low to allow as many companies as possible to participate.  Therefore, the standards and publications revenue is necessary to complement dues revenue.

Why does IPC increase its pricing on standards?
Just as there are rising costs in the economy, IPC sees rising costs for its standards. - There are costs associated with the process of producing any standard. There are costs to maintaining and delivering standards to the industry. IPC continues to deliver new standards to the market and funds are generated from sales of IPC standards. IPC continually reviews pricing for standards and strives to minimize price increases.

How do I find information on IPC documents under development?
IPC provides a status of standardization that shows the status of IPC documents under development.  To ensure due process, all IPC standards are circulated among IPC member companies for their review. If you would like to obtain a copy of a particular draft, please contact the IPC technical staff at Once published, the documents are available from the IPC Online Store

What are IPC’s most common standards? 
All IPC standards are equally important. IPC does provide a simplified standards tree which shows many of the most standards used in the industry.

What is a red line document?  
A redline document is a document that shows all tracked changes that were captured during the revision process. With a redline version, you can quickly spot sections that have been changed and tell specifically what has been changed from the previous edition, saving time and confusion.

Why would I need a red line document?
The red line document helps a user see the significant changes from a previous revision.

What is a document amendment? 
Amendments are documents that show revisions to the main document. Amendments are only published within the life cycle of the main document from one revision to the next revision.

What is a document addendum? 
An addendum is a document for a specific industry that requires special specifications that are not met in the base document.  An addendum cannot stand on its own merit as a standard and requires the base document, when addressing specific topics for a given industry.

What is a Free Member document? 
A free member document is a benefit for IPC member companies which provides them with one free copy of a new or revised standard when they are released to the public for sale. Amendments, addendums and translations do not qualify as Free Member documents.  Free member documents are DRM protected and are not allowed for print or screenshot.  See Free Member Document FAQ.

Which standards/documents have related training and certification programs?
Currently the following standards have related training and certification programs:

Do the IPC standards have an ECCN number or Schedule B number? 
Our products fall under the EAR99 (NLR) designation and are ITAR exempt. We do not, therefore, have an ECCN #. Our Schedule B # is 4911.10.0050 for the standards documents.

Are IPC standards documents already export rated? 
Our products fall under the EAR99 (NLR) designation and are ITAR exempt. We do not, therefore, have an ECCN #. Our Schedule B # is 4911.10.0050 for the standards documents.

Does IPC offer any documents that deal with nickel plated terminals?
IPC has standards that address soldering to plated terminals, however at this time, we do not have standards about the actual plating process to get the terminals plated with nickel. - For additional information please contact IPC Technical team via email

Why can’t I see the downloadable document that I purchased? 
Please contact the IPC Member Support team via email or by phone +1 847 615 7100 with transaction number associated with the order and we will be glad to research your inquiry. 

Site/Global License
As of October 2017, IPC is no longer offers site and global license for IPC standards.  We are offering a new product called MDL (Multi Device License).  This product is sold in blocks of 25 user devices.  For more information on this product, visit IPC Digital Rights management (DRM) Multi Device Document FAQ.

Are there any restrictions on using images from IPC standards?
Images found in IPC standards are copyright protected and require the user to make a request in writing for permission to use the images. Customers need to submit a request to  The request should include Name of the standard, identify specific images by number and page number. Depending on the quantity of images there may be a charge for use of the images. The customer will comply with the legal requirements of use once permission is granted by IPC.