Standards help and support governments in drafting their laws and regulations.

The FPS Economy, BEC (Belgian Electrotechnical Committee) and NBN summarised all guidelines in a handy guide 'Referring to Standards in Technical Regulations'.
Download the guide
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Make standards work for you in government regulations

As a policy maker, you often spend a long time determining technical requirements for new or updated regulations. This can be done more efficiently! Use standards to integrate specific technical requirements into regulatory texts. This will save you time and increase support for your legislation.

By referring to a standard in legislation, you make its application mandatory. This can be done, for example, to better protect consumers or employees. You can also make standards enforceable by referring to them in contracts or in the context of certification.

What are standards?

Standards are best practices. They describe the best way to do something. Like making a product, providing a service or managing a process. Think about the paper size A4, the 4G network, or agreements around fire safety.

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What benefits do standards offer governments?

Using standards makes the work of policy officers in a government department much easier. Instead of working out technical regulations yourselves, you use existing regulations: standards. This offers many advantages:

How do you correctly refer to standards in regulatory texts?

There are several ways to refer to a standard in regulations. First, ask yourself these questions:

  • What checks do you perform to ensure that the standard is appropriate and meets regulatory needs?
  • Is the application of the standard mandatory or does it remain voluntary?
  • Are you referring to the standard as a whole or to selected parts of it?
  • How do you track standards development to evaluate whether the revised standard still meets policy objectives? And to update regulations if necessary?
  • How do you follow up on standards development to be aware of the existence of additional standards in the same domain and refer to them if necessary?

Getting started on standards for governments

To help you, we have summarised all the guidelines for incorporating standards into technical regulations in a handy guide: 'Referencing to Standards in Technical Regulations. Discover the benefits!'

Thank you for your interest in our guide, 'Referring to Standards in Technical Regulations. Discover the benefits!"

You will receive it at your email address and you can also download it immediately below.
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Participate in standards development yourself

Are you an expert in a particular area of standardisation? And would you like to contribute to the development of new standards? Then register now as an expert on a standards committee.
Read more about standards development