• Information on standards
  • Who writes the standards?

Who writes the standards?

Recognized standards are the result of voluntary national, European and international standardization activities, and are developed by interested parties in a process of self-organization using the bottom-up approach. This approach originates from the idea that the groups involved will themselves know best which standards are needed and effective in their own sector. Because standardization is done on a voluntary basis, it strengthens economic and social self-regulation and market acceptance.

The standardization process at a glance

1. Development

If an application for standards is submitted, interested specialists organize themselves in a working group and develop a draft standard.

2. Public survey

The draft standard is submitted to the public for comments. Comments received are evaluated in the working group.

3. Publication

If there is consensus in the working group on the final draft standard, it is then published as a standard.

4. Review

Every three to five years, the standard is reviewed to ensure that it is up to date and either confirmed, revised or withdrawn.


The SNV – recognized and neutral

In Switzerland, the SNV organizes the standardization work and represents Swiss interests in European and international standardization. Recognized standards are developed and published by standards committees of the following organizations:

  • Swiss standardization organizations: SNV, CES, asut
  • European standardization organizations: CEN, CENELEC, ETSI
  • International standardization organizations: ISO, IEC, ITU (via OFCOM)

Recognized standards are developed in accordance with established principles and rules of procedure. Thanks to the proven procedures, standardization has a high degree of legitimacy and has no adverse effect on competition law.

Bottom-up approach – users write for users

Standards are not developed by the legislator, a government authority or a national regulator, but by the interested parties themselves. All parties interested in the specific topic can get involved with the professional work within the standard committees and contribute their expertise. In order to ensure that the market accepts the standards developed, the SNV aims at as wide a participation in the standardization process as possible, and strives to involve as many stakeholders as possible in the standardization process, for example:

  • Manufacturers and producers
  • Traders
  • Universities, research and scientific institutes
  • Associations
  • NGOs
  • Government authorities and offices
  • Consumers

In the following YouTube video we show you the different ISO deliverables, their uses and how to develop them.

State of the art

At least every five years, the technical content of a standard is reviewed to ensure that it is up to date. The monitoring of every Swiss standard is carried out by the SNV, which triggers the review process. If a standard no longer corresponds to the current state of the art, its content is revised or the outdated standard is withdrawn. This ensures that the standards are regularly updated in line with technical progress. This review is also important for the Swiss legislator because many laws refer to standards when regulating technical matters.

Your opinion is in demand

Every standard is submitted to the professional public for comment before it is finally adopted. In this phase of the public survey, the draft standard is published outside the competent standards committee for the first time, and is also available to specialists who are not members of a recognized standardization organization.
A current overview of the draft standards for comment can be found on the draft standard portal of the Swiss information center for technical rules (SWITEC draft standard portal).

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