British and International Standards

Why do we need Standards?

If you perform any form of chemical analysis, it is essential that your results are trusted by your colleagues, peers and customers. For your data to be trustworthy, your analysis must be performed in a reproducible, controlled manner on equipment that properly calibrated using a traceable, reliable method. If you pay for analysis you need to know that you can trust the results. This is why we need International Standards. They prescribe the methods required if reproducible data are to be obtained.

In surface analysis, it is clear from the literature that a great many analyses are ‘bad’. These bad analyses are then referenced and repeated by other analysts. These problems have become worse in recent years as instruments have become more automated and users are not necessarily experts. The reputation of our techniques is now beginning to suffer and this will lead to the trust in your data suffering.

We need Standards to inform the non-expert how the analysis should be conducted and these Standards must be recognised internationally

How are Standards in Surface Chemical Analysis Developed?

These Standards are produced in a technical committee (TC201) within ISO (International Organization for Standardization). The members of the committee represent their local Standards organisation, the UK delegates represent BSI (British Standards Institute). Members of the committees are experts in some aspect of surface analysis. We have more than 20 active members working on the BSI Committee (CII/60). Most of these are (or have been) members of UKSAF and three of them (Alex Shard, David Scurr, David Sykes and David Morgan) are also members of the UKSAF Organising Committee. Standards developed under ISO are adopted by BSI.

What Individual Committee Members Do

Some committee members volunteer to lead a project, they are responsible for delivering the full text for a new or revised standard.

The standard goes through a several of stages before it is eventually published, a process that usually takes a number of years. At each stage there is a review process. This involves other experts on the committee and allows each expert to influence the content of the standard and point out errors. Members of the committee are only asked to comment and vote on draft Standards that are compatible with their own areas of expertise.

There are two CII/60 meetings per year and one meeting of TC201. Attendance at these meetings is not compulsory but is encouraged.

Alternative to Joining the Committees

At two stages of a document’s progression through the system, it is open for public comment. This is an opportunity for interested parties to review the draft standard and possibly influence its content. To take part in this you would have to register with BSI but you would not have to become a committee member.

The table below lists the currently active projects in TC201 and indicates those that are open for public comment. For more details on these and all the published standards click on the ‘Standards’ link below.

You will not be notified when documents are available to you for comment unless you are a committee member.

What Should You Do?

If you would like to join the committee, click on the  ‘Joining BSI CII/60’ tab below. If you don’t wish to join, you can still comment on ISO stndards which are open for public comment.  All surface analysis related standards which are available for comments can be seen on the appropraite tab below.

The members of BSI CII/60 would like to thank UKSAF for allowing us to display this page on this site and for being generous sponsors of BSI CII/60.

ISO Documents

Reference Title Dates Available
BS ISO 18118 Auger electron spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy — Guide to the use of experimentally determined relative sensitivity factors for the quantitative analysis of homogeneous materials 2023/03/17- 2023/05/10


A full list of standards (published, withdrawn and in progress) may be found here.