When you read the pages on this site, you will realise that the basis of nearly all our work is standards - be they product standards or systems standards.  It is appropriate therefore, to devote one page to the topic. 

Standards may be grouped by various characteristics - type, subject matter, geographical application, etc.  We are accredited to them, evaluate our client’s products to them, and assesses our client’s systems to them. They may be legally mandated through European legislation – such as Standards for the testing and evaluation of marine equipment, voluntary – such as ISO 9001, or necessary – such as standards demanded by end users and ‘the market’. INSPEC works with National (eg USA - ANSI); Regional (eg Europe - EN); and International (eg ISO) standards. 

INSPEC as a group contributes to the development of standards within the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), through participation in the national level standards bodies of the countries in which we are accredited. Remaining European member states mirror this system.  Every member state of the European Union is represented on CEN, through its national standards body, as are the EFTA countries. 

CEN produces the ENs, which are then transposed into national standards by each national standards body, which makes them available for purchase.  For an EN to be recognised under the European PPE Regulation it must be a 'harmonised standard'.  In practice, this means that the EN has been assessed as satisfying a discrete list of Essential Health and Safety Requirements of the Regulation, followed by announcement of its harmonisation in the Official Journal of the EU.  Member states usually publish the harmonised European standards in their own language for the information of their manufacturers, Notified Bodies, laboratories, users, safety organisations etc. 

In the same way that national standards bodies are represented at CEN, they are also represented at the International Standards Organisation (ISO).  Likewise, ISO produces the international standard, but ISO members are not obliged to publish it.  The application of standards is normally voluntary.  States (countries) may implement legislation that makes the application of standards mandatory, but this topic is outside the scope of this page. 

For its work, INSPEC uses the English language version of any standard as the reference.  On other pages of this site you will see dozens of references to standards.  Clearly it is not the purpose of these pages to provide detailed information on those standards.  We can however direct you to some useful sources to enable you to research for yourself.


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