# Understanding Standard Choices

Civic Platform uses Standard Choices to configure system switches, define values in a shared drop-down list, or configure EMSE Master Scripts.

Standard Choices comprise a Standard Choice name, such as CONTACT_TYPE, along with Standard Choice Values and Value Descriptions. You specify Standard Choice Values and Value Descriptions to configure the operations associated with the named Standard Choice.

Civic Platform provides many different Standard Choices that you can invoke and configure to produce the desired effect. Standard Choices Reference documents the most common Standard Choices. You can define your own Standard Choices for shared drop-down lists and EMSE scripts.