E H Strevens devised the original set of Standards, which provided individuals with an unending challenge thereby providing motivation for continuous competition within the sport. The Standards, which were either times for set distances, or distances for set times begin at the age of 40 and became more generous with each passing year. Standards for women were similar to those for men but with adjustments to reflect physiological differences.
In 2011, a sub-committee was convened to review the standards and based on analysis of over 26000 performances by veterans over the preceding three years proposed a change to offer a more accurate set of standards that reflected actual performances of veterans in events. These new standards tables were adopted by the Association in January 2012.
At the end fo the season, the subcommitee reviewed the way the standards had been working and the analysis demonstrated that the standards were achieving the intended level playing field albeit they did appear to have introduced a very small benefit to the younger riders. It was also acknowledged that the new Standards made it more difficult for individuals to claim improvements in their performance based on the new Standards as the increase in their Standard time each year would keep pace with their decline in performance over the years.
To address the first issue, the Association's Annual General Meeting held in February 2013, agreed to introduce a small adjustment to the standards that addressed the small benefit and restore a level playing field.
At the same meeting a proposal from the North Lancs and Lakes Group was accepted that introduced a new method of recognising individual performances thereby reintroducing the challenge for individuals. This introduced the new Performance Awards which replaced Standards Medals for the 2013 season.
However, at the 2014 Annual General Meeting the Performance Awards were withdrawn and replaced by Standard Awards based, once again, on the Standards Tables. More details of the Standard Awards can be found in A Guide to Standard Awards.