Representing SMEs in standardisation
Work in Technical Committees
A Technical Committee (TC) is a group responsible for development and drafting of standards which are then ratified by European Standards Organisations.
All stakeholders interested in the draft standard are entitled to participate, but only representatives of national standardisation bodies have the right to vote in the Technical Committee.
Committees comprise experts who are familiar with the area being studied. Members provide inputs and feedback based on their professional knowledge and experience.
With the aim of representing SME interests in standardisation NORMAPME participates in European and International TCs. Therefore we recruit experts for different subjects and we create ad hoc working groups to provide each one of them with technical knowledge and feedback.
An evaluation of the fitness for SMEs of a hundred ongoing CEN Technical Committees assessed to be relevant to SMEs and of 150 related standards (draft or final) can be found HERE
An evaluation of the fitness for SMEs of a fifty ongoing CENELEC Technical Committees assessed to be relevant to SMEs and of 97 related standards (draft or final) can be found HERE
Selection of Technical Committees (TCs)
Currently monitored TCs' selection
NORMAPME currently has experts appointed in some 50 technical committees or working groups at different standards setting organisations, including CEN, CENELEC, ETSI and ISO.
The selection of TCs is periodically reviewed by the NORMAPME secretariat. This periodic evaluation guarantees the actual relevance for SMEs of the pool of TCs in which NORMAPME experts are appointed.
The criteria considered in the review of the TCs' selection are the following:
- Expression of interest by one or more SME associations;
- Number of SMEs: this criterion takes into account the size of a given sector and the share of SMEs present in that sector;
- Importance for SMEs: this criterion takes into account the type of standards, eg national/ European / International, harmonized / non harmonized, and their possible use within legislation or public procurement;
- Impact on SMEs: this criterion is based on estimations of the costs and resources for the implementation of the standards in SMEs; this is according to the use the companies make of the standards depending on whether they are manufacturers, installers, maintainers, consultants etc;
- Number of standards under development: this criterion gives an indication on the level of activity of the TC
New selected TCs
Subject to the availability of resources, the pool of selected TCs is occasionally increased.
The selection of new TCs, where NORMAPME is to appoint experts, is done according to the following methodology:
- A public consultation is launched to identify the TCs/WGs of most SME relevance. The consultation is organised by sending circulars to interested stakeholders across Europe, namely SME associations, by publication on the website.
- The pre-selected TCs/WGs are analysed to evaluate the SME representation at National and at European or International level. NORMAPME asks all European NSOs and ESOs/ISO to provide the attendance lists of the mirror committees and committees. The attendance lists are analysed to assess whether and to what extent SME are already represented.
- The pre-selected TCs/WGs are analysed according to the above mentioned criteria (Interest of SME associations, Number of SMEs, Importance for SMEs, Impact on SMEs and Number of standards under development)
- A short list of selected new TCs/WGs is published and a public call for experts is launched.
Work on Policy Level
Apart from the regular representation of small business in the standardisation process, NORMAPME sometimes has to intervene beyond the forum of the Working Groups and postulate some changes in the functioning of the standardisation bodies or Technical Committees. These situations usually emerge as a result of some procedural flaws or inadequate adaptation of standardisation system to the needs of SMEs.