Software Reliability Standards & Guidelines


There are many standards and guidelines addressing various aspects of software reliability and the closely-related areas of software safety and software security. This site (as of today) only includes annotated descriptions of the SAE G-11 RMSL Software Committee reliability standard and associated implementation guide. In the future, annotated descriptions of key standards and guidelines will also be included, as appropriate. In those cases where these standards are publicly available (e.g., military standards), these documents have been included here. In all other cases, a link to the appropriate site where these documents can be obtained has been provided. explicitly thanks the U.S. DoD and the UK MoD for making their standards publicly available.


Organization: Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)

Address: 400 Commonwealth Drive Warrendale PA 15096-0001 USA
Phone: (+1-877) 606-7323
Fax: (+1-724) 776-5760

  • SAE Aerospace Information Report AIR5022, "Reliability and Safety Process Integration," Society of Automotive Engineers, July 1996.
  • SAE Aerospace Recommended Practice ARP 5580, "Recommended Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) Practices for Non-Automobile Applications," Society of Automotive Engineers, July 2001.
  • SAE J Standard 1739, " Potential Failure Mode and Effects Analysis in Design (Design FMEA) and Potential Failure Mode and Effects Analysis in Manufacturing and Assembly Processes (Process FMEA) and Effects Analysis for Machinery (Machinery FMEA)," Society of Automotive Engineers, August 2002.
  • SAE JA Standard 1000, "Reliability Program Standard," Society of Automotive Engineers, 1998.
  • SAE JA Guideline1000-1, "Reliability Program Implementation Guide," Society of Automotive Engineers, 2000.
  • SAE Surface Vehicle/Aerospace (JA) Standard 1002, "Software Reliability Program Standard," Society of Automotive Engineers, 1998. {Reaffirmed November 2003}

    Overview: This standard defines a simple and flexible framework for the performance-based management of a software reliability program. The principal mechanisms are termed the "Software Reliability Plan" and the "Software Reliability Case." The Plan and Case are general purpose management tools that are suitable for use in many fields of system engineering and will be observed throughout SAE Reliability, Maintainability, Supportability, and Logistics program standards.
    The Plan and Case in combination provide a means of tracking progress, performance achievement, and sustainment of a reliability goal. The Plan and Case support the philosophy of early fault removal and continued fault prevention throughout the software life-cycle. The Plan provides a forward view of intended reliability processes, activities, and performance requirements while the Case provides evidence of software product reliability achievement as documented by quantitative and qualitative performance measures.

  • SAE Surface Vehicle/Aerospace (JA) Standard 1003, "Software Reliability Program Implementation Guide", Society of Automotive Engineers, Janaury 2004.

    Overview: This document defines practices for the implementation of a reliability program for software within an overall systems engineering framework. Guidelines for implementation of a Software Reliability Plan and associated Software Reliability Case are presented. Practices are described for establishing a software reliability program through selection of life cycle activities tailored for the application. Numerous analysis, design, and verification methods and techniques that might be selected to achieve the life cycle activities are summarized and references provided. Guidelines for tailoring a software reliability program include safety and security concerns, integration of Off-The-Shelf software, and collection of appropriate data. The guidelines are applicable to all projects incorporating software, particularly high consequence systems where software reliability is critical. Stakeholders include end-users as well as organizations that acquire, develop or provide post-delivery operation of or support for software.


A world-wide search capability for reliability standards and standards developing organizations is available from:
IIT Research Institute / Reliability Analysis Center
201 Mill Street, Rome, NY 13440-6916

Organization: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)

Address: 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Suite 500, Reston, VA 20191-4344, USA

  • ANSI/AIAA R 013 1992, "AIAA Recommended Practice for Software Reliability," February 1993.

Organization: British Standards Institute (BSI)

Address: Linford Wood Milton Keyes, MK14 6LE UK

  • BS 5760, "Reliability of Systems, Equipment and Components," Part 8: "Guide to Assessment of Reliability of Systems Containing Software," British Standards Institute, Draft for Approval for Publication, July 7, 1997.

Organization: US Department of Defense (DoD)

Chief, Bibliographic Systems
U.S. Government Printing Office
Sales Management Division (SSMB)
Washington, DC 20402, USA.

  • MIL-STD-882D, " Department of Defense Standard Practice for System Safety," Department of Defense, February 10, 2000.

Organization: International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)

Address: 1327 Jones Dr. , Ann Arbor, MI, 48105, USA

  • ISO/IEC 61508, Edition 1.0: "Functional safety - Safety instrumented systems for the process industry sector - Part 1: Framework, definitions, system, hardware and software requirements," Multi-part standard, International Electrotechnical Commission, 1998.
  • ISO/IEC 61511-1, Edition 1.0: "Functional safety of electrical/electronic/programmable electronic safety-related systems," International Electrotechnical Commission, 2003.
  • ISO/IEC 61713, Edition 1.0: "Software dependability through the software life-cycle processes - Application guide," International Electrotechnical Commission, June 30, 2000.
  • ISO/IEC 61719 (Draft): "Guide to measures to be used for the quantitative dependability assessment of software," ISO/IEC/TC56/SC7/WG10/N111, Draft February 11, 2000.

Organization: IEEE Computer Society

Address: Publications Office
10662 Los Vaqueros Circle
P. O. Box 3014
Los Alamitos, CA 90720-1264 USA

  • IEEE/EIA Std 12207.0-1996, "Software life cycle processes," IEEE Computer Society, March 1998.
  • IEEE/EIA Std 12207.1-1997, "Software life cycle processes - Life cycle data," IEEE Computer Society, April 1998.
  • IEEE/EIA Std 12207.2-1997, "Software life cycle processes - Implementation considerations," IEEE Computer Society, April 1998.
  • IEEE Std-610.12-1990, "IEEE Standard Glossary of Software Engineering Terminology," IEEE Computer Society, September 1990.
  • IEEE Std-982.1-1988, "IEEE Standard Dictionary of Measures to Produce Reliable Software," IEEE Computer Society, June 1988.
  • IEEE Std-982.2-1988, "IEEE Guide for the use of Standard Dictionary of Measures to Produce Reliable Software," IEEE Computer Society, September 1988.
  • IEEE Std-1028-1994, "IEEE Standard for Software Reviews," IEEE Computer Society, December 1997.
  • IEEE Std-1220-1998, "IEEE Standard for Application and Management of the Systems Engineering Process," IEEE Computer Society, December 1998.
  • IEEE Std-1228-1994,"IEEE Standard for Software Safety Plans," IEEE Computer Society, March 1994.
  • IEEE Std-1413-1998,"IEEE Standard Methodology for Reliability Prediction and Assessment for Electronic Systems and Equipment," IEEE Reliability Society, December 1998.

Organization: International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

Address: 1, rue de Varembé, Case postale 56 - CH-1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland
Phone: (+41) 22-749-01-11
Fax: (+41) 22-733-34-30

ISO documents can be also obtained from:

Europe: ILI, Index House, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 7EU, UK
USA: ILI, 610 Winters Avenue, Paramus, NJ 07652, USA
Germany: ILI, Dietlindenstraße 15, D-80802, Munich, Deutschland
Italy: ILI, Via Guido D'Arezzo, 4 - 20145 Milano
France: ILI, 25 rue de Ponthieu, 75008 Paris, France

  • ISO/IEC 12207, "Software Life Cycle Processes," August 1, 1995.
  • ISO/IEC 15288, "Systems Engineering - System Life Cycle Processes," Edition 1, November 8, 2002.
  • ISO/IEC 15504:1998: "Software Process Improvement Capability Determination (SPICE) - Software Process Assessment," ISO/IEC/JTC1/SC7/WG10/N111, ISO 1998.

Motor Industry Software Reliability Association (MISRA)

Address: Electrical Group, MIRA Ltd, Watling Street, Nuneaton, Warwickshire CV10 0TU, United Kingdom

  • ISO/TR 15497, "Development Guidelines for Vehicle Based Software, the Motor Industry," Motor Industry Software Reliability Association, ISBN 0 9524156 0 7, November 1994.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Directorate of Standardization, Stan 2, Kentigern House, 65 Brown Street, GLASGOW G2 8EX, United Kingdom

  • ARMP-1, Edition 3, "NATO Requirements for Reliability and Maintainability," June 2002.
  • ARMP-4, Edition 2, "Guidance on Writing NATO R&M Requirements Documents," October 2001.
  • ARMP-6, Edition 1, "Monitoring and Managing In-Service R&M," December 1988.
  • ARMP-7, Edition 1, " NATO R&M Terminology Applicable to ARMPs," July 2001.
  • [NATO96] NATO (Draft), "COTS Software Acquisition Guidelines and COTS Policy Issues - 1st Revision," NATO Communications and Information Systems Agency, January 12, 1996.
  • [NATO97] NATO (Draft), "NATO Guidelines for the Integration of Off-The-Shelf Software," Working Paper AC/322(SC/5)WP/4, NATO C3 Board Information Systems Sub-Committee, June 30, 1997.

Organization: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

  • NASA-STD-8719.13A, "Software Safety NASA Technical Standard", NASA, September 1997

Organization: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Address: 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 3460, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-3460, USA

  • NIST 800-14, "Generally Accepted Principles and Practices for Securing Information Technology Systems," National Institute for Standards and Technology, 1996.
  • NIST 800-26, "Security Self-Assessment Guide for Information Technology Systems," National Institute for Standards and Technology, 2001.
  • NIST 800-27, "Engineering Principles for Information Technology Security (A Baseline for Achieving Security)," National Institute for Standards and Technology, 2001.
  • NUREG/CR-6421, "A Proposed Acceptance Process for Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) Software in Reactor Applications," Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, US Regulatory Commission, March 1996.

RTCA, Inc.

Address: 1828 L Street, NW, Suite 805, Washington, DC 20036, USA

  • RCTA/DO-178B/ED-12B, "Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment," Federal Aviation Administration software standard, RTCA Inc., December 1992.
  • RCTA/DO-248, Final Report for Clarification of DO-178B, " Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment," Prepared by SC-190, October 12, 2001.

Software Engineering Institute

Address: Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890, USA

  • CMMI-SE/SW-Continuous, V1.02, "CMMI for Systems Engineering/Software Engineering, Version 1.02, Continuous Representation," CMU/SEI-2000-TR-019, November 2000.
  • CMMI-SE/SW-Staged, V1.02, "CMMI for Systems Engineering/Software Engineering, Version 1.02, Staged Representation," CMU/SEI-2000-TR-018, November 2000.

Organization: UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) - Directorate of Standardization

Address: Kentigern House, 65 Brown Street, Glasgow G2 8EX, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)141-224-2531/2
Fax: +44 (0)141-224-2503

  • Defence Standard 00-42 (PART 2)/Issue 1, "Reliability And Maintainability Assurance Guides, Part 2: Software," United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, September 1997. (PDF, 230 kB)
  • Defence Standard 00-55 Issue 2, "Requirements for Safety Related Software in Defence Equipment", United Kingdom Ministry of Defence.
  • DEF STAN 00-60 "Integrated Logistic Support" - Part 3/Issue 3: "Guidance for Application Software Support" (September 2004) File: (PDF, 258 kB)

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Last updated:
26th December 2007
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