A list of standard reference frequency values (LoF) of quantum transitions from the microwave to the optical regime has been recommended by the International Committee for Weights and Measures (Comité international des poids et mesures, CIPM) for use in basic research, technology, and for the metrology of time, frequency and length. The CIPM LoF contains entries that are recommended as secondary representations of the second in the International System of Units, and entries that can be used to serve as realizations of the definition of the metre. The historical perspective that led to the CIPM LoF is outlined. Procedures have been developed for updating existing, and validating new, entries into the CIPM LoF. The CIPM LoF might serve as an entry for a future redefinition of the second by an optical transition.