SME Safety welcomes the publication by ISO of a Guide on how to write SME-friendly standards

April 06, 2016

SME Safety welcomes the adoption by ISO, the international standardisation organization, of the 'Guide for writing standards taking into account the needs of SMEs' This new publication (ISO/IEC Guide 17:2016) is based on a document that was developed at European level and by CEN and CENELEC in 2010 (CEN/CLC Guide 17) with the support of European organisations representing the interests of SMEs.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) have jointly adopted and published ISO/IEC Guide 17 'Guide for writing standards taking into account the needs of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises'. This Guide was prepared by ISO’s Technical Management Board (ISO/TMB) and IEC’s Standardisation Management Board (IEC/SMB) and published by ISO and IEC on 1 March 2016. It is based on CEN-CENELEC Guide 17, which was published by CEN and CENELEC in June 2010.

Both CEN-CENELEC Guide 17 and ISO/IEC Guide 17 are intended to provide guidance to people who are involved in drafting and writing standards at European and/or international levels. The Guides contain recommendations on how to ensure that standards take the needs of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (i.e. companies with less than 250 employees) into account.

Alberto Spasciani, SME Safety President, said: "For the competitiveness of European SMEs, it is essential that standards fully take into account our needs. We are glad that the principles of the Guide, already recognised in Europe since some years, are now valid also at international level. International standards need to consider that SMEs have limited resources and cannot cope with too expensive testing requirements. We will now examine the draft ISO standards for Respiratory Protective Devices and make sure that they respect the principles of Guide 17.”


CEN-CENELEC Guide 17 in 27 languages (free of charge):


ISO/IEC Guide 17 (on ISO website):


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