Adopting generally accepted standards into a metadata system has the potential to yield many benefits. An organization gains immediate access to expertise shared by the standards' publishers rather than waiting for staff to develop comparable levels of expertise through training or trial-and-error. Staff can quickly assimilate existing standards and the expertise they reflect although, admittedly, not always with the developer's depth of understanding. Similarly, incorporating existing standards decreases the time needed to develop a new system. Rather than starting from scratch, standards can help frame a development project and provide a template for a starting point. Finally, using accepted standards improves the comparability of an organization's data with external systems and partners within the field of elementary/ secondary education; within a single governmental unit such as a state or county; or even with specific institutions that commonly exchange data with the organization, such as colleges and universities. See appendix C for more information about metadata standards and metadata registries.