Difference between Standards & Regulations for PMP Exam

ISO Standards
ISO Standards

Clarity on the definition of a “standard” and a “regulation” can help you get questions right on the PMP exam conducted by PMI.

According to the PMBOK Guide 4th edition, the definition of a Standard and a Regulation is given below:

A Standard
is a “document established by consensus and approved by a recognized body that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results, aimed at achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context.”Standards & Regulations for PMP Exam

For example, the size of a computer disk, or a QWERTY keyboard, and the ISO standards are good examples.

A Regulation
is a government imposed requirement, which specifies product, process or service characteristics, including the applicable administrative provision, with which compliance is mandatory. Building codes are an example of regulations.

The problem often comes when standards become so overly used, that with a widespread use, they often take the form of a regulation.

For example, the power plugs in each country (whether you use 110Volts or 220 Volts), started as standards that have now become regulations in each country.

Some questions on regulations and standards, that can help you clarify and prepare for the PMP exam are given below:

Question: Which of the following statement related to Standards and Regulations is not correct?

A. Standard is a document approved by a recognized body – there can be multiple standards for one product.
B. Regulations are mandatory but Standards are not mandatory.
C. Standards after widespread adoption may become de facto regulations.
D. The influence of standards and regulations for a project is always known

Correct Answer: D

Question: You have a colleague who has 10 years of Project Management experience. But every time you talk with him you feel like he is confused with things those are quite similar but still different. One day while presenting a project plan you noticed that he is referring standard and regulation interchangeably. During the break you went to him and told that standard and regulation are not same because:

A. Once standard is used by many it becomes regulation
B. Once regulation is used by many it becomes standard
C. Standard is concerned with quality while regulation is only with law
D. Standard is optional but regulation is mandatory

Correct Answer: D

Once you build clarity on such subtle differences, you can tackle trick questions like this in the PMP exam easily.

Let me know if you have any questions. All the best in your PMP Exam Preparations.

Vinai Prakash, PMP

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