"Participating in the development of standards enables us to network and gather information. We can learn what the standards will be for our customers and it gives us a commercial advantage in developing products to meet them."
says Lennart Jansson, Managing Director of Firefly,
developer of commercial fire safety equipment with 50 employees, based in Örebro, Sweden.
Being involved in the standardization process is vital. It is an opportunity to influence the content of standards so that it reflects the business needs. It is also a chance for your company or organisation to receive information on the issue from your peers and to establish contacts with interested parties in a unique forum where you can network with your customers, the business community, consumers, users, government and regulators.
Participating in standardization means gaining detailed advance knowledge of standards and so anticipate requirements and trends. You will get recognition for leading in your field and use your status as a marketing tool. Finally standardize your products and services and foster lighter touch regulation for your business.
How to proceed?
In general anyone – industry, SMEs, individuals – who is interested in developing a standard can do so, provided the correct channels are used.
You can get involved in the standardization process at either national, European, or international level.
At a national level
Through National Standardization Bodies (NSBs)
All European countries have a National Standardization Body that is either a Member or an Affiliate of CEN.
Each NSB seeks to bring together all national stakeholders with significant interest in particular projects. Representations are from multiple spheres: industry, SMEs, consumer organisations, professional institutions, certification, testing and inspection bodies, environmentalists, public authorities, enforcement bodies, national notified bodies, trade associations, trade unions, educational establishments, research organizations, etc. Their primary task is to represent the national position in the European standardization process. The NSB ensures real consensus building at national level and thus enables a wide measure of consultation and support in standards work.
NSBs are responsible for appointing experts to participate in standardization work done at European and international levels. With specialist knowledge in a particular area, you may be appointed to become part of the national delegation sent by your NSB to sit on a Technical Committee, tasked with preparing CEN deliverables.
It is the role of the NSB to participate in European standardization work and it is their obligation to implement European Standards at national level and withdraw any conflicting national standards. This ensures a truly Single Market. The aim is to have one standard in 33 countries – thus one European Standard replaces 33 National Standards.
Through national trade federations
Another way you can participate in the standardization process is to become a member of a national trade federation. National trade federations provide a number of services to their members, advancing and protecting their member's interests and supporting their members in various areas of their business.
These national trade federations, which in general are a member of NSBs, will echo your views at national level and then take them back to the European and international standardization process.
At a European level
Through European trade federations
You can join a European trade federation or association. Some European trade federations are an Associate Member of CEN. These are broad-based European organizations, representing particular sectors of industry as well as consumers, environmentalists and workers.
European federations – trade or professional organizations and associations – are important stakeholders in the European standardization process. Within their pan-European scope, many such European federations have been instrumental in programming and drafting standards work. Their members contribute to the drafting of European Standards and other documents, either through experts participating directly in European working groups, or through national delegations. Federations granted liaison status have the right to send participants to specific Technical Committees of interest to them. These participants can participate fully, including through technical contributions but without voting rights given to the national delegations.
Through the CEN–CENELEC Management Centre
The Innovation Department in the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre (CCMC) is at your service should you need further guidance. Please find out what services the Management Centre is offering.
At an international level
Through the close relationship between CEN and the International Standards Organization (ISO) you can easily access the international market as all CEN members are a member of ISO as well. It is through these relationships that your interests are also ensured at international level.