SIS conducts standardization in many different spheres, such as construction, healthcare, services, materials, information management, sustainability issues and management systems. This committee work, which is open to all interested parties, is led by a project manager from SIS, in conjunction with a chairman appointed by the participants. Participants can range from large companies, government agencies, special interest groups and industry organizations to small one-man enterprises and consultants.
Most standardization projects are international, and SIS is a member of the European standardization organization CEN as well as its global equivalent, ISO. SIS plays an extremely active role in both these organizations, representing Swedish interests. SIS also chairs a number of international committees on behalf of CEN and ISO.
When you participate in the work of a committee, you actively influence the standards and guidelines that affect your industry. You receive advance information on what is happening and get the chance to establish valuable contacts with others in your industry. You play an active role and help draft guidelines and regulations that can have a considerable impact and that can affect your specific field of activity in Sweden and abroad for a long time to come.
As a participant you can:
- influence current standardization work or develop new standards
- facilitate the use and dissemination of standards and guidelines
- gain access to national and international networks in your industry
- receive advance information about the latest in standardization
- move the international standardization process forward.
How a committee starts
A committee can be initiated by one or more organizations. Anyone can contact SIS with a proposal for a standardization project. Often, a need to establish clear guidelines and consistent requirements in a specific field has already been identified.
SIS reaches its decision to start a committee according to the degree of national interest in the issue, as well as the funding and resources required. In many cases, a committee is started when an international standardization process is launched that Sweden wishes to participate in and influence.
Participation in the committee is open to all interested parties in the market. Companies, special-interest organizations, government agencies, local authorities and non-profit organizations may all participate, as long as they are SIS members and pay the participation fee jointly determined by the committee. The participating organizations appoint their own representatives, who thereby become the committee members.
What a committee does
SIS committees are constituted according to their declared purpose and participants’ preferences. Many committees are organized as an effective means of influencing the European and global standardization process. Other committees are exclusively national in focus.
It is the committee delegates who determine the objectives, activities and funding of its work, which may be national and/or international. All standardization work involves consensus, openness and voluntary commitment, and is steered by special interests. An elected chairman chairs the meetings, acts as a driving force and collaborates with the SIS project management team to achieve the committee’s agreed objectives.
A typical committee holds two to four national meetings in a year, either at SIS, as a net or telephone conference, or at one of the participating organizations, where it may also include a study visit.
Typical of SIS committee work:
• creates consensus and acceptance
• based on profound and broad competence, involving varying perspectives
• clearly defined working approach and efficient processes
• results in standards, guidelines, technical specifications and contracts, national or international
• open, voluntary, special-interest steered, with a focus on consensus
• free exchange of information and access to networks.
The finished product
In most cases, the result of a committee’s work is determined in the form of standards. Committees also develop other types of document and products to make it easier for users to work in an efficient, safe and environmentally acceptable manner. These may be in the form of technical specifications, reports, checklists, manuals or contracts. The products are published and sold through SIS Förlag.
SIS handles administration and copyright protection for Swedish standards and standard proposals, in compliance with current international and European regulations.
The participation fee is determined by the committee and is based on the assigned tasks that participants wish to complete during the year. The fee covers the costs borne by SIS in conducting the work. The committee also receives a State subsidy via SIS, issued as a percentage of participation fees. Participants’ expenses related to attendance at meetings in Sweden and/or elsewhere are not normally included as part of the committee’s budget. SIS is a non-profit organization and, to participate in committee work, all participating organizations must also be members of SIS.