International Electrotechnical Commission
IEC 61355 - Collection of standardized and established document kinds

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General description
Document kinds by:
Application area
Activity area
Presentation form
Identity number
Status level
Under development

General description Structure of the database [top]

IEC 61355 DB contains a collection of definitions of document kinds used in electrotechnology and related fields. The data base is open for integration of document kinds from all technical areas upon request.

The concept of “document kind” is defined as type of document defined with respect to its specified content of information and form of presentation.

Each definition has an identifier (document kind identity number), a name, a status level, a DCC code, a description and a set of optional attributes. These are described as follows:

 Identity numberidentifier of the form "Dnnnnn" where n is an integer from 0 to 9
The numbers are sequential and carry no semantic meaning.
DCCclassification of the document in accordance with IEC 61355-1

The following codes are not defined in IEC 61355-1, but used in the database for the creation of views. These shall not be applied as DCC codes in other contexts:
      -- (Not categorized)
      -E Elementary document kind
      -Z Generic document kind
An elementary document kind is homogeneous with respect to the used form of presentation (see below).

A generic document kind is a kind of document that can be used in its generic form or be specialized, by a suitable specializing addition.
Status levelstatus of the document kind in relation to the adoption workflow of standardized document kinds

When there is a standardized description available in an international standard and this is validated by the Validation Team, the status is set to "Standard". If the document kind is later replaced by another, or if it is deemed technically obsolete, its status becomes "Obsolete - for information only". It remains in the data base for information and reference purposes. Other status levels are applied during the standardization procedure, such as "Proposed", "Draft" and "Rejected"
Namethe name of the document kind
Alternative namessynonymous, "almost synonymous" and possibly branch specific names, etc. under which the document kind might also be known
Content of information:
   /Descriptionshort description of the kind of information to be provided by the document kind, taken over or derived from the document presented as “source reference”
   /Mandatory content of informationmandatory content of information according to the applicable standard for the document kind
   /Optional content of informationoptional content of information according to the applicable standard for the document kind
Released ondate at which the definition of the document kind was released (status level set to “Standard”) in the database for public use
Obsolete fromdate at which the status level of the document kind was set to "Obsolete - for information only"
Replacesidentity number of the document kind (with its name within parenthesis) replaced by the present one
Replaced byidentity number of the document kind (with its name within parenthesis) replacing the present one
Application noteslinks to common descriptive notes with additional relevant information, normally shared among several document kinds
Remarksadditional remarks, mostly commenting particulars of the described document kind, but sometimes also providing application hints
Document kind restrictionspossible restrictions with regard to the application of the document kind
Appliesidentity numbers of document kinds (with their names within parenthesis) on which the present document kind is based
Applied inidentity numbers of document kinds (with their name within parenthesis) where the present one is being used as a basis
Application areatechnical application area (as defined in IEC 61355-1) in which the document kind is foreseen to be applied
Activity areaprimarily life cycle based classification of the document kind
Form of presentationform of presentation as defined in IEC 61355-1.
In addition to these are the following forms used in the database:
    A audio form
    V video form
    Z composite form
Keywordslisting of keywords to facilitate retrieval

The keywords may include terms that are not recommended but are supposed to be used for searching
Source referencereference numbers to publicly available documents, (preferably international standards) used as source for the description of the document kind
Normative references [top]

The following documents are referenced in the database and indispensable for the application of the document kinds to which these references apply. For dated references, only the edition cited applies. For undated references, the latest edition of the referenced document (including any amendments) applies.

 IEC 60848GRAFCET specification language for sequential function charts
IEC 61082-1Preparation of documents used in electrotechnology – Part 1: Rules
IEC 61175Industrial systems, installations and equipment and industrial products – Designation of signals
IEC 61355-1Classification and designation of documents for plants, systems and equipment – Part 1: Rules and classification tables
IEC 61506Industrial-process measurement and control – Documentation of application software
IEC 62023Structuring of technical information and documentation
IEC 62027Preparation of parts lists
IEC 62079Preparation of instructions – Structuring, content and presentation
IEC 81346-1Industrial systems, installations and equipment and industrial products – Structuring principles and reference designations – Part 1: Basic rules
IEC/PAS 61906Procedure for the declaration of materials in products of the electrotechnical and electronic industry
ISO 10209-1Technical product documentation – Vocabulary – Part 1: Terms relating to technical drawings: general and types of drawings
ISO 10209-4Technical product documentation – Vocabulary – Part 4: Terms relating to construction documentation
ISO 10628Flow diagrams for process plants – General rules
ISO 15489-1Information and documentation -- Records management – Part 1: General
ISO 15519-1Specification for diagrams for process industry – Part 1: General rules
ISO 19011Guidelines for quality and/or environmental management systems auditing
ISO 9000Quality management systems – Fundamentals and vocabulary
ISO/IEC 17000Conformity assessment – Vocabulary and general principles
ISO/IEC 17050-1Conformity assessment – Supplier's declaration of conformity – Part 1: General requirements

Application of existing document kinds [top]

The document kinds are intended for use in documentation of different kinds of products, systems and installations and at different levels of detail of the provided information.

The entry "Application area" indicates for which kind(s) of application areas a document kind mainly is intended and serves as a means for searching.

The “Application areas” given below are the same as “Technical areas” dealt with in IEC 61355-1. The letter codes presented refer to the designation of “Technical areas” and may be used as prefix to the DCC for document designation purposes. Basically any two-letter DCC may be combined with any technical area designation. A document kind from the application area “management” may, for example, be assigned to the technical area “overall management” if used in cross-technical area situations. In other cases it may be assigned to “electrical engineering” if only management within this technical area is addressed.

The defined application areas are:

(overall) management
(overall) technology
construction engineering
electrical engineering
mechanical engineering
process engineering

The entry "Activity area" indicates for which kind(s) of activities a document kind is primarily intended. The defined activity areas are:

Basic document kinds
Generic document kinds
Documentation general
Communication and correspondence
News and publishing
Marketing and promotion
Management planning and scheduling
Management organization
Regulations and standards
Management process and workflow
Environment and safety
Sales and contract
Properties of products and services
Requirements and dimensioning
Topology and location layout
Connections and network
Manufacturing and production
Delivery and shipping
Implementation and commissioning
Operation and use
Maintenance service and support
Education and training
Employees and human resources
Economy and finance
Tools and utilities for an organization

Rules for the application of the document kinds are generally contained in IEC 61355-1. The following paragraphs contain a few of the basic application rules from this standard. For further guidance on the use of document kinds/preparation of diagrams, please refer to IEC 61355-1.

Naming conventions of document kinds and documents [top]

The following rules are provided in IEC 61355-1. The name associated to a document kind should characterize the information provided in a document. For this purpose the following should be considered:

  • the kind of information contained;
  • the purpose (if there is a clear purpose identified for the document kind);
  • the form of presentation.


 connection diagramkind of information: information on connections
purpose: not specified (many purposes possible)
form of presentation: diagram
maintenance instructionkind of information: instruction on activities
purpose: for maintenance activities
form of presentation: not specified (different forms are possible)
requirement specificationkind of information: specification on requirements on an object
purpose: not specified but implicitly there
form of presentation: not specified (different forms are possible)

The naming of document kinds according to the “kind of information” and “form of presentation” is preferred whenever possible (see first example). This is in most cases possible for documents that use a single kind of presentation and for which the content of information can be expressed by a single term.

The object to which the document is related should not be part of the document kind name (a deprecated name is for example: motor connection table). The name of the object should be specified by the title of the document, for example:

Document kind name:Connection table
Document title:Motor drive of belt 1

Document kind name and document title should be kept separated but may both be presented close together for example in the title block of a document according to ISO 7200.

In document management systems the document kind name and the title should be two separate metadata. For further information, please refer to IEC 82045-1 and -2.

The database contains one group of document kinds called “Elementary document kinds”, marked with an X in the beginning of the name, and another called “Generic document kinds”, marked with XXX in the beginning of the name.

An elementary document kind has a homogeneous form of presentation (e.g diagram, table). It corresponds to the “form of presentation” mentioned above.

A generic document kind is a kind of document (e.g. Report, Description, Specification) that can be used in its generic form or be specialised (e.g Transport instruction, Requirement specification), by a suitable specialising addition.

How to process requests for introduction in the database of new document kinds [top]

If there is a need for a document kind that cannot be satisfied with the already existing set of document kinds or by application of the naming conventions for these document kinds it might be necessary to introduce an additional one.

In such a case the appropriate procedure is to describe the need to your National Committee of IEC. The description should preferably be accompanied with a proposal, including the description and appropriate references to applicable international standards, as well as other textual descriptions. Use the information in the database as a model.

Your National Committee will then, after possible discussion and consultation, forward the proposal to the relevant Technical Committee in IEC: TC3 Information structures, documentation and document kinds. The document kind will be initially entered into the database with the status: "Proposed".

The proposal will then be quickly reviewed and evaluated by a Validation Team composed of representatives from the different National Committees, leading to a decision whether or not the proposal should be the subject for further work, and if the "normal" or an "extended" procedure should be used.

In case of a negative decision the status of the proposed work will be changed to "Rejected" and the reason will be explained.

In the case of a positive decision the proposal will be given the appropriate technical form, and the status changed to "Draft". The proposal will then be subject to formal vote by the Validation Team and if accepted, the status will be changed to "Standard".

With this fully electronic procedure the processing time from the moment that the Technical Committee gets the proposal until the possible release should be less than 20 weeks in the case of the "normal" procedure.

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