NBN is responsible for developing and selling standards in Belgium. In addition, NBN also organizes training courses on the use of management standards. NBN represents the interests of all Belgian parties participating in standards development at the Belgian, European and international levels.
While texts drafted by the government (regulations) are compulsorily applicable, standards are voluntarily applicable. Thus, they do not have any binding character. Standards reflect best practices around a product, service, method or process. They are developed by consensus among the parties involved. Companies and organizations use standards to address their customers' quality and safety requirements. Regulations - a regulation, contract or specification - may refer to a standard. In that case, the standard is mandatory.
Standardization is the process from development to publication of a standard. Stakeholders agree on the specifics of a product, service or process. Standardization takes place in committees with representatives of all stakeholders. To arrive at a standard, they must reach consensus. All participants have an equal vote.
Openness - Transparency - Consensus
Standardization is a process open to all parties involved in the domain in which the standard in question is being developed. Transparency is crucial because each party participating in the development of standards has access to the Belgian, European and/or international working documents, depending on the standardization project in question. The decision-making process underlying standardization is consensus. All participants try to reach a compromise together. This compromise is the consensus on the content of the future standard.
The Belgian standardization system is decentralized: NBN shares responsibilities sectoral operators. NBN and the sectoral operators manage the Belgian standards committees that work around standards at the European and international level. The Belgian committees are composed of experts from different fields. Their role is to provide advice based on their expertise and knowledge in the development or revision of standards, so that the standards are created correctly.At the international level, NBN defends Belgian interests as a member of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the International organisation for Standardization (ISO).
The sectoral operators ensure the administrative and technical follow-up of one or more standardization committees. They are each responsible for a particular domain. Sector operators are recognized by the Board of Directors of the Bureau of Standards (NBN). They act in the name and on behalf of NBN for certain Technical Committees (TCs).
Participating in standards development offers many advantages:
You are the first to know about future developments and trends. This strengthens the competitive position of your organisation.
You exert influence during the standards development process. As a result, you protect the investments your organisation makes in products and in research and development. Thanks to their influence, social actors can highlight environmental or consumer protection.
You build a network. Standards committees are an excellent way to make new contacts and exchange ideas.
You build and exchange knowledge. Participants in standardization committees are international experts who possess a lot of substantive knowledge. By working with them, you gain a lot of first-hand knowledge.
Experts are experts within a particular domain of standardization. They co-write standards drafts, share their knowledge and develop standards in standardization committees. Companies, governments and societal players can delegate experts to represent their interests. Experts usually have specific expertise, making them valuable contributors to the content of the standard.
When you register as an expert with NBN, you get personal access to the online platform https://isolutions.iso.org/portal/.
There you will find all the working documents of the committees for which you are registered.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 02 738 01 11. We will be happy to help you.
Do you have questions about the ISOlutions platform? Please contact us.
Voting and NBN e-balloting are done through the online platform https://isolutions.iso.org/portal/.
Standardization works in Belgium in a very decentralized way. NBN entrusts certain standardization activities to other sectoral operators. They deal with standardization activities in the sector assigned to them. You can find all standardization committees and the responsible sectoral operators in the scheme of standardization programs on our website. Is NBN the sectoral operator? Then you can contact email@example.com by mail or by phone on 02 738 01 11. If it concerns another sectoral operator, please contact that sectoral operator.
As an expert, you actively participate in a Belgian committee. This way, you are permanently involved in the development of the standard. You are not an expert but still want to give feedback? That is possible during the public consultations. On the NBN website you will find the Public Enquiry Portal where you can consult all Belgian and European standards projects (prNBN and prEN). Everyone is welcome to express their views and comments there.
A European/international standard is developed by a European/international technical committee (CEN/TC ... / ISO/TC ...). The members of such a committee are standardization bodies such as the Belgian NBN. They create a mirror commission at the national level (NBN/E... / NBN/I...) to which any interested party can subscribe.
The members of this national committee (mirror committee) get access to all working documents of the CEN/ISO technical committees and can vote on them. NBN experts vote via the portals NBN eCommittees and NBN eBalloting.
Each expert stays informed of all developments and automatically receives an e-mail when the platform contains a new document. The platforms of CEN/ISO and of NBN are automatically synchronized.
NBN does have access to the CEN/ISO platform, where it can vote for Belgium at the level of the CEN/ISO technical committees. The experts can register via NBN for meetings of CEN/TC and ISO/TC.
The SME portfolio supports SMEs (financially) in the purchase of services that improve the quality of the company. Specifically, these are open or in-house from the NBN or services such as, for example, the ISO 14001 master track or Fundamentals training. The SME portfolio aims to be accessible to as many SMEs as possible. Would you like to take advantage of this concession? Apply for your grant here and save up to 30% on the registration fee. The accreditation number of the NBN is DV.O217913
Would you like a guide to carry out your application? Then click here to download a roadmap.
Of course, it is possible to upgrade immediately in several areas. If you want to follow two or more master tracks at the same time (e.g. ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001) we will work out a personalized track for you. Moreover, it is financially more advantageous to follow multiple master tracks at the same time! Do you wish to follow multiple master tracks? Then contact Yens Van Overloop and he will provide you with a customized track.
NBN offers in-company training from 5 participants and up. In these trainings, the wishes of your organisation are central. Through an intake interview, we tailor the goal and content of the session to the specific needs of your organization.
In-company training offers four clear advantages:
Tailor-made: the training is an answer to the specific needs of your organisation. So that employees can apply the new knowledge immediately after the training.
Higherinvolvement: because we use exercises and practical examples from your organisation or sector, employees are more involved in the training.
Cost savings: the cost per participant is lower than for individual training courses. You receive up to 30% discount compared to the normal price.
Flexibility: your organisation chooses the location, time and language of the training (Dutch, French). Do you wish to organize an internal training? Contact Yens Van Overloop for a customized quote.
To achieve an optimal learning experience, NBN thoroughly prepares your in-company training. Through an intake interview, we mutually agree on the goal and content of the session. The trainers personalize their program based on the challenges and concrete needs.
If, for example, you want to introduce all employees within your organisation to quality management, we can create a customized e-learning for you. Through an intake interview we agree on how we can adapt our e-learning to the needs of your organisation. Think for example of videos from your organisation, exercises based on the ins and outs of your Organisation, practical examples tailored to your business context,...Do you want a personalized fundamentals training? Contact Yens Van Overloop for more information.
Payment is not required online. We will send you an email confirming your enrollment shortly after you register. A few weeks before the training you will receive an email with the practical details.
Up to 1 month before the training you can easily cancel or postpone your registration. An email with the details to firstname.lastname@example.org suffices. Of course, we understand that sometimes your schedule changes last minute. However, if you cancel later than 1 month before the training, we will be forced to charge the full amount. Perhaps a colleague can take your place? More details can be found in the general terms and conditions.
NBN trainings are not eligible for paid educational leave. You do receive a certificate of attendance after all of our courses so that you can prove your attendance. If you pass a foundation training or a master track, you will also receive the certificate 'certified associate' or 'certified master'!
This allows you to highlight your expertise! This can be interesting to demonstrate that:
- you have expertise as an internal auditor of management systems;
- you meet certain training requirements imposed in the automotive, aviation, medical device or food sector;
- you have completed the 30h training required to work as an environmental coordinator;
- you have completed additional training as a prevention advisor;
NBN is approved by the FPS WASO as organisation to organize in-service training for prevention consultants . Both our ISO 45001 Master Track and our ISO 45001 foundation training are included in the 'well-being at work' calendar. To substantiate the in-service training, 'ISO 45001 Certified Master' or 'ISO45001 Certified Associate' certificates are sufficient.
- ISO 45001 Fundamentals counts as 1 day (8h)
- ISO 45001 Master Track counts as 4 days (32h)
For environmental coordinators , our courses on ISO 14001 count as annual in-service training as mentioned in article 41 of the VLAREL and in article 184.108.40.206.2, §2, 1°, d) of Title II of the VLAREM. Upon completion of the training you will receive a certificate for the number of hours listed below:
- ISO 14001: Fundamentals counts as 1 day (8h)
- ISO 14001: Mastertrack counts as 4 days (32h)
NBN is not responsible for certification. You can find clear information about management standards and certification on the ISO website:
In principle, a standard is never drawn up with certification as a goal (see the explanation around certification at ISO). Actually, the application of a standard is voluntary but legal and/or contractual requirements may make the application of a standard mandatory. Certification is rather a marketing or sales tool: certificates are a commercial asset for any company. Do you want to develop certification activities? Then you need to be certified to do so. The Belgian government agency responsible for accrediting certification bodies is BELAC. You can contact them with all your questions about certification. A certification body will certainly comply with one or more ISO/IEC conformity assessment standards(CASCO standards).
A organisation that wants to develop certification activities must be accredited to do so. In Belgium, this is done through the government body BELAC. BELAC 's website compiles all information about accredited institutions. Today you can find the following types of institutions that evaluate conformity:
- Testing laboratories (TEST)
- Certification bodies of environmental management systems (EMS)
- Certification bodies of persons (PERS)
- Certification bodies of products (PROD)
- Certification bodies of quality systems (QMS)
- Calibration laboratories (CAL)Inspection bodies (INSP)
- Medical laboratories (MED)
- Environmental verifiers (EMAS)
- Organizers of proficiency testing (PT)
- Producers of reference materials (RM)
- Validation and verification bodies (GHG)
On the ISO website you will find useful information on certification (in English). A distinction is made between those standards for which certification is applicable and those for which it is not.
We compiled the most frequently asked questions in these videos.