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What is contained in a Spec?

The following information is usually contained in the spec. Outlined below is some general information applicable to most specs.

Section 1:

Scope – The statement of the scope shall repeat the item name and its modifiers and consist of a clear, concise abstract of the coverage of the specification and may include, whenever necessary, information as to the use of the item other than specific detailed applications covered under ” Intended Use”. This brief statement shall be the beginning paragraph in section 1 of the six section specification. As applicable, reference may be made to information contained in section 6. The scope shall not contain requirements. Figures shall not be included in the scope.

This section shall include the following in the order listed, as applicable:

A. Scope B. Classification

Section 2:

Applicable Documents – Section 2 shall list only those documents referenced in sections 3 and 4 of the specification that are needed to meet requirements or provide useful information for meeting requirements. If a document is only cited as an example or for background information, it does not have to be listed in section 2. Figures bound integrally with the specification shall not be listed in section 2 unless they are reduced-size copies of drawings provided in the specification for information only. Use of the full-size drawings is normally required with the specification.

This section shall include the following in the order listed, as applicable:

  1. Required general paragraph
  2. Correct document number and titles
  3. Documents referenced in sections 3, 4, and 5
  4. Sources for documents
  5. Order of precedence

Section 3:

Requirements – Section 3 of the specification shall state the necessary requirements for the product for which the specification is prepared. Figure 1 lists some possible requirements for performance specifications and detail specifications: General principles – the following general principles shall govern requirements for performance and detail specifications:

  1. Requirements shall represent the actual essential needs of the government – ( Mil-Spec.)
  2. Requirements shall be described in a manner to encourage competition
  3. Requirements shall be clear and provide a definite basis for rejection or firm criteria for acceptance

based on testing or examination.

This section shall include the following in the order listed, as applicable:

  1. Paragraph on associated specifications, MS sheets, or specification sheets
  2. Qualification
  3. First article
  4. Standard sample
  5. Materials
  6. Environmental considerations
  7. Recycled, reclaimed, recovered material
  8. Design
  9. Construction
  10. Hardware
  11. Reliability
  12. Maintainability
  13. Transportability
  14. Performance characteristics
  15. Energy efficiency
  16. Human factors
  17. Safety
  18. Chemical and physical properties
  19. Electromagnetic interference suppression
  20. Dimensions
  21. Weight
  22. Color
  23. Finish
  24. Identification plate
  25. Anti-counterfeiting
  26. Government-furnished property
  27. Government-loaned property
  28. Workmanship
  29. Requirements covered examinations and tests in section 4

Section 4

Verification – Section 4 shall include all inspections to be performed to determine that the item to be offered for acceptance conforms to the requirements in section 3 of the specification. This section shall not include quality requirements that belong in the contract, such as responsibility for inspection, establishment of quality or inspection program requirements, warranties, instructions for nonconforming items, and contractor liability for nonconformance.

This section shall include the following in the order listed, as applicable:

A. Classification of inspections

B. Inspection conditions

C. Qualification inspection

D. First article inspection

E. Conformance inspection

F. Examinations and tests for verifying requirements in section 3

Section 5

Packaging – For product acquisition purposes, the packaging requirements shall be as specified in the contract or order.

Section 6

Notes – Section 6 is not contractually binding. It shall only contain information of a general or explanatory nature, and no requirements shall appear therein. It shall contain information designed to assist in determining the applicability of the specification a and the selection of appropriate type, grade, or class of the commodity, additional supersession data, changes in product designation such as grades or class, standard sample ( if required ), and other information deemed appropriate.

This section shall include the following in the order listed, as applicable:

A. Parenthetical note B. Intended use
C. Acquisition requirements D. Associated DID’s
E. Technical manuals F. Qualification note
G. Standard sample information H. Definitions
I. Supersession information J. Substitutability information
K. Cross reference of classification L. Government-furnished property
M. Government-loaned property N. Patent notice
O. Part or identifying number P. Subject term ( key word ) listing
Q. International standardization agreements R. Identification of changes


Concluding Materials

  1. Preparing activity, custodians, review activities, Industry associations, and agent
  2. Project number
  3. DD form 1426, Standardization Document Improvement Proposal