• Information on standards
  • What is a standard?

What is a standard?

Standards are voluntary regulations developed by experts for almost every area of modern commercial and everyday life. You encounter standards every day – usually quite unnoticed. Even before you arrive at work in the morning, numerous standards have already made your life safer and more comfortable. These «invisible helpers» ensure the smooth interaction of various products, processes and services, and assist and accompany you through your everyday life.

Have you noticed where you have already met standards this morning?

SN EN 13248

Cookware – Coffee makers for domestic use with an independent heat source – Definitions, requirements and test methods

SN EN ISO 20127

Dentistry – Powered toothbrushes – General requirements and test methods

SN EN 50242

Electric dishwashers for household use – Methods for measuring the performance

SN EN 15437-2

Railway applications – Axlebox condition monitoring – Interface and design requirements

SN 74010

Numbering system and track structure of bank cards

ISO 12812-1

Core banking – Mobile financial services – Part 1: General framework

SN EN 590

Automotive fuels – Diesel – Requirements and test methods

The term standard according to SN EN 45020

Even the term standard itself is defined in a European standard ( EN): in SN EN 45020 «Standardization and related activities – General vocabulary».
A standard is a document drafted by consensus and approved by an acknowledged institution. It specifies rules, guidelines or properties for general or recurrent use, pertaining to activities or products thereof. Its ultimate goal is to achieve the highest possible degree of order in a specific context.

This means that a standard:

  • is not the work of an individual interest group which only pursues its own goal, but is always defined in agreement (consensus principle) with all interested parties (manufacturers, scientists, users, consumers, NGOs, government offices, etc.) – including critical stakeholders;
  • is considered by a majority of representative experts at the time of publication as representing the state of the art, based on the corresponding verified findings from science and technology, and experience;
  • is confirmed by a recognized (neutral) institution which is positioned above the interests of the individual.

Standards as the global language of technology

Currently around 26,000 standards make up the Swiss set of standards. Of these, only about 1000 are purely Swiss standards, the other approximately 25,000 are European (labelling: EN) or international standards (labelling: ISO) which have been included in the Swiss set of standards. These figures clearly show how far globalization has advanced and that today we are dealing with global supply chains and markets.
The Swiss set of standards are published by the SNV.

Find out more about standards

What do standards regulate?

Standards regulate a wide range of tangible and intangible items, such as products, processes, measuring methods, procedures and services, and are used in almost all sectors and specialist areas.

What are the benefits of standards?

Switzerland is an exporting country. The ability to systematically translate new findings and ideas into products, processes and services is decisive for the competitiveness of the Swiss economy.

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