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General standards development process

How are standards developed in general?

Different kinds of standards can have slightly different processes. Also, some organizations can have particularities in the denomination of the stages.

However, standards always follow the general process below.


Click on each of the steps for more details:

  • Standard (ISO, IEC, EN, DIN, AFNOR, etc)"
    Standards are the results of work at national, European or international level. They are drawn up according to set rules of procedure, by the relevant Technical Committee. The maximum time allowed to their development is 3 years. They are approved by balloting of all the national members. Their revision shall be considered every 5 years.
  • Technical Specification (TS)
    A TS is a standardization deliverable which provides specifications in experimental circumstances and/or evolving technologies. Those documents are developed by a TC, with a maximum development time of 21 months. They are approved by balloting of all the national members. They shall be reviewed after a maximum of 6 years to be upgraded to standards or deleted.
  • Technical Report (TR)
    A TR is an informative document recording some knowledge that can be interesting for the users (e.g. data obtained from a survey or from an informative report, or information of the perceived “state of the art”). It is elaborated in a TC. It is approved by balloting of all the national members. Their time of elaboration is free and has no set requirements for revision.
  • CEN CENELEC Workshop Agreement (CWA)
    CWA is a standardization deliverable that is developed and approved in a CEN CENELEC Workshop, an ad hoc working group not linked to any TC, which is open to the direct participation of anyone. A CWA is fast and flexible to develop, and is a first step to a future standard, especially recommended for new knowledge and results of R&I activities. The average timeframe for the delivery of a CWA is 6-12 months. It shall be revised after a maximum of 6 years to evaluate its upgrade to standard or deletion.

Go to the next chapter:

B.2.2 "Fast track" standardization

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