Many people often make the mistake of thinking that standardization is a process controlled by government organizations and authorities. In fact, all National Standards Institutions (in developed countries) are private, not-for-profit organizations. The private status is important as it ensures the independent and objective nature of the standardization institute. The primary goal of standardization is to serve business and facilitate its development as it leads to economic growth. Of course, safety for citizens is the top priority, but in our case it is irrelevant.
Standardization generally sets agreements between different stakeholders with varied interests. Having one common standard in many countries (so called harmonized standard) extends product market, increase competition and consequentially – quality.
It has been admitted by all industries and on high political levels that standardization is a powerful tool for stimulating innovations and market development. It is officially stated in strategy “Europe 2020” and EC calls for speeding up standardization in all sectors.
There are a few fundamental internationally recognized principles of standardization to be followed
- Involvement of all potential stakeholders
- Balance of interests
- Openness and transparency
Standards are developed within so called Technical Committees (TCs). Each TC consists of representatives of different groups of interests (stakeholders). Please read more about TC and Working Group (WG) here.