Guidelines for Implementing the United States National CAD Standard®

Implementing a standard has its difficulties. Often, getting started is the most difficult part of transitioning to a new CAD standard. We've prepared a few tips to help you through the process.

Your implementation approach will depend upon the unique characteristics of your workplace, and the time available to adopt the standard. The following strategies have worked for some, and are only offered as an example.


  • Minimize immediate costs and down-time
  • Receive benefits as soon as implementation process begins
  • Begin adoption process without having to "know it all"
  • Learn system at your own pace


  1. Obtain implementation support from upper management
  2. Purchase the NCS (latest version)
  3. Identify personnel to lead the effort
  4. Identify personnel to join the NCS Project Committee (suggestion: identify one person to represent each discipline)
  5. Establish training plan
  6. Develop step by step process—do the easy stuff first
  7. Identify "guinea-pig" for first project—usually smaller project
  8. Incorporate pieces of the NCS on the first project—add more format requirements on following projects

12-Step NCS Implementation Program

  1. Reorganize disciplines in drawing set (UDS Module 01)
  2. Adopt discipline designators/sheet numbering (UDS Module 01)
  3. Adopt sheet coordinate system/drawing identification (UDS Module 02)
  4. Adopt file naming (UDS Module 01)
  5. Adopt sheet title block format (UDS Module 03)
  6. Adopt schedule format (UDS Module 03)
  7. Adopt terms and abbreviations (UDS Module 05)
  8. Adopt CAD Layer Guidelines and Plotting Guidelines
  9. Adopt symbols (UDS Module 06)
  10. Adopt drafting conventions (UDS Module 04)
  11. Adopt code conventions (UDS Module 08)
  12. Adopt notations (UDS Module 07)