Developing standards

Developing standards

What is standardisation?

Standardisation is the process of creating a standard. The stakeholders agree on the specific characteristics of a product, service or process. Standardisation takes place in committees with representatives of all stakeholders, on the basis of consensus, with all participants having an equal say.


What are the principles of standardisation ?

Openness -  Transparency - Consensus 

Standardisation is a process open to any stakeholder who has a vested interest in the field where the standard is developed. Transparency is required since any stakeholder participating in the development of standards has access to Belgian, European and/or international working documents, depending on the standardisation project. The decision-making process underlying standardisation is consensus. Each stakeholder around the table tries to reach a compromise with the other participants. This compromise is what constitutes the consensus on the content of the future standard. 

How is standardisation organised in Belgium and in the world ?

The Belgian standardisation system is decentralised: NBN shares its responsibilities with its sector operators. NBN and its sector operators manage Belgian standardisation committees that develop standards at European and international levels. The Belgian committees are composed of experts in various fields. Their role is to share their expertise and knowledge to advise and assist in the development or revision of standards and ensure that they are well- founded.

At an international level, NBN defends Belgian interests as a member of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the International Organization  for Standardization (ISO).


Why should I take part in the development of standards?

Participation in the development of standards offers your organisation various advantages: 

  • Gaining first-hand knowledge of  future technological developments and trends gives your company a competitive edge.
  • Being able to influence the standardisation process allows a company to protect its investments in products and in research & development. Societal actors, for their part, can ensure that consumer or environmental protection is taken into account.
  • Building a network: standardisation committees are the ideal meeting place to forge new contacts and exchange ideas.
  • Developing and sharing knowledge: participants in  standardisation committees are knowledgeable international experts. By taking part in a committee,  you  can acquire3 significant first-hand knowledge.

Who do I contact if I want to contribute to the development of a standard?

Send us an email at or call us at +32 2 738 01 11. We would be happy to assist you.



What is an expert?

Experts are specialised in a particular field of standardisation. They participate in the drafting of standards, share their knowledge and develop standards within a standardisation committee. Companies, public authorities and societal actors can delegate experts who then represent the interests of Belgian stakeholders. Experts usually have particular expertise that allows them to contribute to the content of the standard.


How can I register as an expert ?

Go to the web page 'Become an expert' to register easily and quickly as an NBN expert. If you have any other questions, send us an email at or call us at +32 2 738 01 11. 

How can I participate as an expert in the development of a European or international standard?

A European/international standard is developed by a European/international technical committee (CEN/TC… /ISO/TC…). The members of a CEN/TC / ISO/TC are the standardisation bodies, NBN for Belgium.These standardisation bodies create a national mirror committee (NBN/E ... / NBN/I...) which is open to all stakeholders. This mirror committee reflects the work of the original CEN/TC / ISO/TC. 

Members of the national (mirror) committee receive all CEN/TC / ISO/TC working documents and can vote on all inquiries. For NBN experts, this done via our NBN eCommittees and NBN eBalloting portals. Consequently, a member does not have access to the actual CEN/TC / ISO/TC server. 

Experts don’t miss any information and always receive an e-mail notification whenever a new document is uploaded to the platform. Synchronisation between the CEN/ISO platform and the NBN platform is automatic. 

As for NBN, it does have access to the CEN/ISO platform. Indeed, NBN holds the vote for Belgium at the CEN/TC / ISO/TC level. Experts vote via the NBN eBalloting portal and can also register for CEN/TC / ISO/TC meetings via NBN. 

How do I find out who manages a standardisation committee and whom to contact to join it as an expert?

In Belgium, standardisation is a very decentralised process. NBN has entrusted some of these standardisation activities to various sector operators who are therefore in charge of standardisation activities in the sector assigned to them.

You will find all the standardisation committees and their corresponding sector operators in the standardisation scheme on our website. 

If NBN is the sector operator, you can email or call +32 2 738 01 11. If another sector operator is concerned, please contact them directly. 

What are sector operators ?

Sector operators are responsible for the administrative and technical monitoring of one or more standardisation committees within a specific field. Sector operators  are approved by the board of directors of NBN (Bureau for Standardisation). They act in the name and on behalf of the Bureau for Standardisation in the case of certain technical committees (TCs).

How can I access ISO and/ or CEN working documents ?

When you register as an expert with NBN, you receive personal access to the online platform, where you can find the working documents of the different committees to which you are registered. 

How can I connect to ISOlutions ?

For questions concerning the ISOlutions portal, please contact us.

How can I vote ?

Access to voting and NBN eballoting is via the online platform

Is it possible to comment on a draft standard?

If you are taking an active part as an expert in a Belgian committee, you are constantly involved in the standard development process. If you are not an expert, comments can also be submitted during the public inquiry on a draft standard. Draft Belgian (prNBN) and European (prEN) standards can be viewed on NBN’ s Public Inquiry Portal. anyone can submit comments there.