Working together for the involvement of SMEs in European Standardisation
Adequate SME participation is essential to the European standardisation process, yet very often insufficient. It is very important to get all stakeholders involved in strengthening and promoting the links between SMEs and standardisation. Therefore CEN (European Committee for Standardisation), CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation), the National Standards Bodies of Austria (ASI), Germany (DIN), the Netherlands (NEN) and NORMAPME jointly started the SME Standardisation Toolkit (SMEST2) project. SMEST 2 aims at helping national standards organisations (NSOs) to promote the involvement of SMEs and SME associations in terms of awareness of standardisation, information on standardisation and participation in standardisation.
The SMEST2 project is financed by the European Commission. It complements the specific actions undertaken by NSOs to implement the findings of the SME Access Study at European level, by offering guidance and practical support. More specifically, it aims at providing an effective and broadly supported dynamic website. On this website, knowledge, information, best practices and experiences can be shared. An important part of the second project is an improved version of the SME Standardisation Toolkit, developed during SMEST1.
Detailed information on the SMEST 2 project and the interactive website, with the improved SME Standardisation Toolkit, is available via the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre web portal currently www.smest.eu.
Part of NORMAPME's involvement was to provide the:
10 Recommendations for Business Associations
How to include SMEs in standardisation?
Standards bodies can adapt their ways of working to make sure that the needs of SMEs are systematically taken into account during the standardisation process and thereby ensure that standards are widely accepted by all stakeholders, including SMEs.
Business associations can convey the needs of SMEs towards standards organisations and help them to make their activities and services more accessible for SMEs. These associations can effectively explain the importance of standards and the reasons to participate in the standards making process to their members as well as giving advice on standardisation issues. Business associations in this context are all membership-based organizations that serve and represent private companies, including (but not necessarily limited to) SMEs.
The most important recommendations to be given to business associations are
- Establish good contacts and communication with your Standard Institutes
- Create forums for regular dialogue with your Standards Institute
- Ensure that the needs and wishes of your SMEs are taken into account in standardisation
- Provide advice and expertise and coordinate the collection and sharing of information -> appoint a technical adviser in your association!
- Help making standards available in the language of your country
- Organise trainings
- Produce practical guides about how to use or implement standards
- Develop online tools that make information about standards accessible
- Help with the creation of bundles of standards appropriate for different professions.
For your promotional activities of this message, you may also download for free (see below for different languages) a brochure “Including SMEs in standardization”, published May 2012. It provides 10 recommendations on how business associations and standards organizations can help to raise awareness among SMEs about standards, provide them with relevant information, and promote their participation in standardisation.
This brochure is the result of a survey undertaken by NORMAPME and CEN and CENELEC end of 2011 on identifying and analyzing/evaluating the current working ways between business associations and standards institutes.
Best practices examples on ways and services how to best serve SMEs in standardisation from all European Union and European Economic Area countries can be accessed via www.smest.eu. There you can find a SME Standardisation Toolkit with Existing Models to use . Also a submission tool for best practices in your country is provided.
Please think of best practises accessible by web link in your country and submit them to the website www.smest.eu -> Model submission. The more examples are provided European wide, the better the tool and the promotional effect for SMEs in standardisation!
At this stage, workshops are being held in countries all over Europe.
|The Netherlands||24-25 May 2012|
|Italy||27-28 September 2012|
|Luxemborg||10-11 October 2012|
|Ireland||18-19 October 2012|
|Austria||7-8 November 2012|
|France||12-13 November 2012|
|Greece||22-23 November 2012|
|Iceland||6-7 December 2012|
|Spain||24-25 January 2013|
|Croatia||7-8 February 2013|
|Denmark||21-22 February 2013|
|Germany||21-22 March 2013|
|Norway||TBC - Early 2013|
More details on these workshops available on the SMEST events webpage.
For more information, please contact Ms Vanessa Pereira: firstname.lastname@example.org