Standards

Underwriters Laboratories is a standards-setting organization, combining extensive safety research, scientific expertise and input from stakeholders to advance safety science that leads to safe living and working environments. Underwriters Laboratories develops and publishes consensus standards that guide the safety, performance and sustainability of new and evolving technologies and services to deliver solutions for industries from household appliances to smoke alarms to batteries to environment to cybersecurity to building materials.

Delivering Standards for Safety, Performance, and Sustainability

Safety standards are documents that outline the process through which a product or service is tested and evaluated to confirm its compliance with requirements that help mitigate risk, injury or hazards. Since publishing its first standard in 1903, Underwriters Laboratories has developed more than 1,700 UL and ULC standards. In extending its global public safety mission, Standards partners with national and regional standards bodies in countries around the world to build a safer, more sustainable world.

UL is widely known for its work to develop a wide variety of standards to measure and validate the performance, environmental health and sustainability of products, as well as testing of systems and services.

Additionally, Underwriters Laboratories is active in regional and international standards development. UL standards are harmonized with other regional standards in Canada and Mexico and are introduced in the international community. UL promotes global standards development through its participation in other organizations and committees, by adopting standards developed by other international standards bodies and by advancing UL standards for international use. 

UL's focus on standards development advances the UL mission by simultaneously addressing the needs of diverse stakeholders while providing a standardized framework for ensuring safety, driving widespread adoption and facilitating trade. With over 125 years of experience and the development of more than 1,700 standards, UL continues to break new ground in its mission to help create a safer, more sustainable world.

Accredited Standards Developers in Canada and the U.S. 

Underwriters Laboratories is proud to be an accredited standards developer in Canada and the U.S. under the designations ULC Standards and UL Standards. This means that UL is able to develop standards to advance safety, performance and sustainability to meet stakeholder needs and bridge standards development gaps across much of North America. 

In the U.S., UL Standards is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). In Canada, ULC Standards and UL Standards are each accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) as a nationally recognized standards development organization (SDO) to develop National Standards of Canada (NSCs).

In Canada and the U.S., UL standards developers represent the very best in scientific methodology and testing expertise combined with invaluable input from experts and stakeholders — from industry to academia, regulatory to retail, manufacturers to end-users — via a recognized, consensus-based standards development process. This enables regulators, businesses and consumers to feel confident about the products and services they regulate, use and purchase.

Standards Development: Our Stakeholders

Stakeholders are essential to the development of UL standards through their service on ULC Technical Committees and UL Standards Technical Panels (STPs). These diverse stakeholders include manufacturers, retailors, consumers, trade associations, regulators and other authorities along with other varied and vested interests. This participation enables diverse interests to provide input, review proposals and meet to discuss issues — all facilitated by UL's non-voting standards development organization. 

UL implements and facilitates the accredited standards programs in Canada and the US, and is supported by more than 400 distinct technical panels and committees. In meeting the core elements of consensus standards development, anyone can apply to participate in UL standards committees. There is no cost to participate, and each panel is comprised of a balance of interests. 

Public participation in UL standards development as UL Standards and ULC Standards is accessible at no cost via UL’s online Collaborative Standards Development System