The sampling schemes defined in ISO 2859-5:2005 are applicable, but not limited, to the inspection of: end items, components and raw materials, operations, materials in process, supplies in storage, maintenance operations, data or records, and administrative procedures.
These schemes are designed to be applied to a continuing series of lots, that is, a series long enough to permit the described switching rules to be applied. These switching rules provide: a) enhanced protection to the consumer (by means of tightened sampling inspection criteria or discontinuation of sampling inspection) should deterioration in quality occur; and b) an incentive, at the discretion of the responsible authority, to reduce inspection costs (by means of reduced sampling inspection criteria) should consistently good quality be demonstrated over time.
The individual sampling plans are not designed to be applicable outside of the schemes in which they are presented. If lots are produced in isolation or in a series too short for ISO 2859-5:2005 to apply, the user is advised to consult ISO 2859-2 for appropriate sampling plans.