The life span of BS 308 was 73 years and five revisions were made. The first in December 1943, followed by others in 1953, 1964, 1972 and 1985. The 1972 revision was a major one, with the introduction of three separate parts replacing the single document:

The fifth (1985) revision replaced the Imperial standard with a Metric edition. BS 308 was finally withdrawn and replaced by BS 8888 in 2000. The revisions were necessary to keep abreast of technological innovations.

As manufactured products became more sophisticated and complex, the progress and development of manufacturing and verification techniques accelerated. Advances in the electronics industry ensured more applications in manufacturing with a very high degree of sophistication. Much progress was also made since that single paragraph in the original 1927 version relating to tolerancing, together with the four paragraphs and the two examples covering dimensioning. Geometrical tolerancing was not referred to at all in early versions. The subject gained prominence during the 1960s, especially when it was realized that a symbolic characterization would assist in the understanding of the subject by users and replace the use of lengthy notes relating to geometric controls.

This activity was addressed by the major revision in 1972 with the publication of Part 3, devoted entirely to the dimensioning of geometric tolerancing.

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