Annual Report 2021

The NBN is constantly evolving. We focus primarily on customer orientation. If we want to provide optimal service to our customers, we must continuously improve ourselves by working even better and more efficiently. Thus, in 2021 we continued down the path of
digital transformation. The development of a new application platform began. With extra attention to efficiency and user-friendliness for our customers. We also adapted some processes last year so that new standards are available more quickly. Moreover, the lead time from development to publication of Belgian standards was remarkably shortened.

This annual report provides an overview of the state of standardisation. Together with a number of achievements from 2021 that make companies stronger, smarter and more competitive, you will find a number of achievements that are of interest to our stakeholders.

Johan Haelterman
of the Executive Committee

Dominique Du Tré
ofthe Board of Directors
147,735 consultations
standards by commercial users
241,208 free consultations
of our standards collection by students, academics and teachers
565 companies
make use of myNBN
2,780Belgian experts
commit to standards development
152,810 unique website visitors
1,420 followers NBN Linkedin page
23,480 subscribers
NBN newsletter
3,340 NBN ISO Standards
in 2021
The NBN ensures that Belgian companies and stakeholders have easy access to the latest knowledge in various sectors. "Access to Knowledge" is our motto. In doing so, the NBN focuses on the following 4 pillars : Create, Use, Learn and Share.


Standards development from a to z

NBN is the platform for standards development in Belgium. Experts from industry, but also governments, academics and civil society actively collaborate on new standards in your sector. And with the help of NBN's sectoral operators, a smooth transfer of knowledge becomes possible.


More and more organisations are discovering that sustainable policies and profitable growth do go hand in hand. To shape their sustainability policies, organisations are increasingly drawing on the United Nations' 17 sustainable development goals - or Sustainable Development Goals. ISO standards are a useful tool for translating the goals into concrete action plans.

As a member of the ISO network, the NBN contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
More info on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals can be found in this brochure.

The number of ISO standards contributing to SDGs

Our standards collection:

Belgian Standards (NBN)
European Standards (EN)
International Standards (ISO)

Among other things, these Belgian standards were published in 2021:

NBN S 21-100-1:2021
Detection and Fire Alarm Systems - Part 1: Rules for Risk Analysis and Needs Assessment, Study and Design, Installation, Commissioning, Control, Use, Inspection and Maintenance

‍NBNEN 1990 ANB:2021
0 - Basis for Structural Design - National Annex

‍NBNR 03-001:2021
Driven Vehicles - Managing Intervention Risks

Standards committees launched in 2021

  • Underwater acoustics
  • Circular economy in the construction sector
  • Animal health
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Climate change
  • Water wells and borable heat exchangers
  • Environmental characterization
  • Industrial cyber and physical device control

Experts from diverse backgrounds

‍2,7 80 Belgian experts in 648 Belgian standards committees

... Active in standards projects from 14 sectors

(CEN Annual report 2021)


Access to standards

Through the online web platform myNBN, NBN customers can access their collection of knowledge documents. With myNBN, we take care of our customers' concerns: smooth purchase process, automatic updates, reporting, etc.

myNBN – your personalised and centralised standards collection
With myNBN, you can manage your standards collection online. Thanks to this handy platform, you can easily and quickly consult the latest and revised versions of NBN standards in various languages. myNBN lets you create a centralised standards collection tailored to your organisation. You can also download and print your standards at the click of a button, and much more.
myNBN videos
Customer-oriented work is important to the NBN. To answer the questions of our myNBN customers at any time, we now offer myNBN instructional videos. These are videos about the questions asked in the myNBN workshops in recent years. The videos are available in Dutch, French and English.


Getting started with standards and standardisation

The NBN now offers 2 types of training: the Master Track and e-learning. In 2021, the NBN elaborated the courses Master Track ISO 9001 and e-learning 'fundamentals of ISO 9001' in French. The NBN also offered the Master Track ISO 45001 and e-learning 'fundamentals of ISO 45001' in Dutch.

e-learning "Fundamentals of ISO 9001" FR

Expert training: 'Getting started as an NBN expert'

To support all Belgian experts in standards development, the NBN also offered an adapted training in 2020. Thus, these experts learned the main differences between Belgian, European and international standards, who develops the standards, how this is done and more. Even experienced experts benefited and discovered new perspectives.


A stimulating environment for knowledge sharing

Bringing professionalstogether to exchange knowledge and experiences: it is one of NBN's strengths. 2021 again did not make it easy, yet we are proud of some of the virtual alternatives at which NBN was present.

ACUMEN 2021 - Agoria

Agoria's largest knowledge, inspiration and networking event ACUMEN provided an overview of the very latest evolutions in human resources, general regulations, technical regulations and standardisation, innovation, sustainability, digital transformation, artificial intelligence and much more.... More than 100 sessions were organized during this 4-day event. You had the option to follow the event digitally or physically attend. As one of the main sponsors of this event, the NBN gave several presentations and also participated in the final debate. As many as 1837 different organisations participated. There were a total of 2314 registrations for the webinars.

Annual IBE-BIV seminar

The Belgian Institute for Lighting Science organized its annual seminar on Oct. 21, 2021. As a sponsor, the NBN gave a presentation on the impact of standards on the Belgian economy.

FireForum Awards 2021

Fireforum asbl organized the 6th edition of Fireforum Awards on November 18, 2021 with a gala dinner at the Africa Palace. More than 150 participants attended this event. This was another unique opportunity to reward the best projects that promote the fire safety of people and property.

Highlights 2021

New standards now available faster

Thanks to good cooperation with FPS Economy, it was possible to significantly shorten the lead time from development to publication of standards. The public research and publication of Belgian standards have been available on the NBN website since April, public research has been limited to 2 months and standards no longer need to be ratified by a Royal Decree. With a time saving of 6 months as a result.

Renewed IT architecture

Continued attention to improvement at NBN have led to an increased focus on cybersecurity and better alignment with customer needs. This also initiated the development of a new application platform with a focus on an efficient and user-friendly experience for our customers.

NBN in the governing bodies of ISO

From January 1, 2021, Johan Haelterman, chairman of the NBN Executive Committee, will sit on the ISO Council. In this way, NBN will make a concrete contribution to the advance of standardisation at the global level. In addition, Johan is an active member of both the Finance Committee and Nomination Committee of ISO.

Certification ISO 9001 and ISO 27001

Standards are also a crucial cornerstone for our own operation. NBN is certified for ISO 9001 (quality management) and ISO 27001 (information security). Thus, we continue to work on smooth service delivery and ensure that our information systems are properly secured.

Advanced automation

An intelligent software robot was commissioned in May. The robot processes about 75% of the national votes and communicates the Belgian position to CEN and ISO. The software robot also implements ISO standards and publishes NBN ISO standards. The robot is a great added value for the NBN: it increases efficiency, execution speed and saves a lot of time.

ASTM standards in the NBN offering

ASTM standards are now also part of the NBN offering. ASTM is an important U.S. organisation for the development of standards. These international standards add value to all organisations operating in the U.S. market.

Start-up of the Technical Office

Since September 28, 2021, the governance of the NBN has been strengthened by a Technical Bureau (TBT). This body provides technical advice to the Board of Directors of the NBN on specific issues related to the Belgian standardisation process or the work program.Moreover, the TBT allows even better preparation of the coordination meetings of the European standardisation (CEN BT) by involving a number of stakeholders more closely in decision-making.