Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions about Referencing Documents in Specs & Standards are listed below.


Referencing Documents in Specs & Standards

Q: Can I reference canceled documents in an active specification or standard?
A: No. You must either find a suitable replacement document, reinstate the canceled document, or extract the pertinent requirements from the canceled document and include them directly in your specification or standard.

Q: Can I reference inactive for new design documents in an active specification or standard?
A: Generally no. Having an active document means that it will likely be used in new designs in the future, as well as major modification and upgrades. You would want that active document to reflect the latest technologies, which is why we promote performance specifications instead of detailed specifications. So every effort should be made to avoid referencing an inactive for new design document in an active document. There may be a rare scenario, however, where an active document will be used to support an obsolete piece of equipment described in an inactive for new design spec, and it is necessary to reference the inactive document for interface purposes. For example, there might be an active spec for spark plugs that describes plugs that will be used in future, current, and obsolete engines. It may be necessary to reference an inactive for new design engine spec to describe the interfaces found in obsolete engines that are still in use.

Q: Within the same family of specification sheets, is it possible for some to be designated as detail and others to be performance?
A: Generally, no. The decision whether to convert a family of specification sheets to performance specifications must be consistent across-the-board. In some cases, however, the number of specification sheets that must be converted to performance specifications may be very large, making it difficult to convert all of them at one time. In this situation, there may be a temporary blend of detail and performance specification sheets within the same document number series. This situation is acceptable as long as the goal is to convert all of them to performance specifications.

Q: Can a performance spec ever cite a detail spec as a requirement?
A: The citing of a detail spec as a requirement does not automatically mean that a spec is not performance, but it is a strong indicator. A perfomance spec may not cite any detail spec as a requirement if it demands a specific design solution but it may cite a detail spec if it relates to a physical or operational interface requirement. For example, it would be permissible to have a requirement in a performance engine specification that required the engine to operate with specific substances, such as a lubricating oil or fuel, which conform to detail specs. The requirement that the engine be able to operate on a specific type of fuel is an operational interface requirement and does not dictate the specific design of the engine. It would not, however, be permissible in a performance spec to require that the engine be made of certain materials or that the various engine components conform to detail specs, since such requirements would dictate specific design solutions instead of stating the performance expected.

Q: Is it possible for a general specification to be designated as performance and its associated spec sheets to be designated as detail?
A: No. Since a general specification must be used together with a specification sheet, the fact that the spec sheet is detail requires the general specification also to be designated as detail.