According to Statistics Canada's Policy on standards, a standard must include a statement regarding the degree to which its application is compulsory. The different degrees are:
A standard that has been approved by the Policy Committee, and the application of which is therefore mandatory, unless an exemption has been explicitly obtained under the terms of this policy.
A standard that has been recognized by the Methods and Standards Committee as a recommended standard, with or without a trial period of a specified duration, after which it may be declared as a departmental standard.
A standard adopted by a statistical program, and which is registered with Standards Division, to ensure consistency in a series over time periods.
Source(s): Statistics Canada "Policy on standards", Section 1: Guidelines for the development and documentation of standards, C. Guidelines. (accessed: January 9, 2017).