Technical Reports contain collected data of a kind different from that normally published as an International Standard, for example data obtained from a survey carried out among national committees, data of work in other international organizations or data on "the state of the art" in relation to standards of national committees on a particular subject.
An interpretation sheet provides a quick formal explanation to an urgent request by a user of a standard (testing laboratory, certification body, manufacturer, etc.). The request may come directly or via an IEC conformity assessment scheme.
A Publicly Available Specification is a publication responding to an urgent market need, representing either: a consensus in an organization (e.g. manufacturers or commercial associations, industrial consortia, user group and professional and scientific societies) external to the IEC or a consensus of experts within a working group.
Technical Specifications are often published when the subject under question is still under development or when insufficient consensus for approval of an International Standard is available. Technical Specifications approach International Standards in terms of detail and completeness, but have not yet passed through all approval stages either because consensus has not been reached or because standardization is seen to be premature.
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 the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context.