NEN supports the standardization process in The Netherlands. If a party asks NEN to effect an agreement, we go to work.
We start by investigating to what extent standardization is possible, and if there is an interest in this. We then invite all interested parties to participate. A broad base of support is prerequisite. Agreements are effected based on consensus and are recorded in a document. This is usually a standard. Agreements recorded in a NEN standard cannot conflict with other valid NEN standards. NEN standards together form a cohesive entity.
An interested party can be a producer, consumer, service provider, user, but also the government or a consumers’ or investigative organization. We are not always asked to develop a standard; the government regularly requests us to investigate whether standardization is possible within a certain sector or in a certain field. NEN will subsequently investigate and, depending on the outcome, start a project. All interested parties can participate.
NEN manages over 31.000 standards. Those are the international (ISO, IEC), European (EN) and national (NEN) standards accepted in The Netherlands. In total over 800 standards committees are active, with in total over 5.000 standard committee members. Properly managing the extensive standards collection and coordinating the national, European and international standards committees, requires a high-quality infrastructure.
NEN’s business activities – offering international, European and national standardization, investigating, maintaining the infrastructure required for drawing up the standards, providing documents, training and consulting about standards – is paid for in different ways.
NEN is a professional non-profit business organization. The profit margin is therefore minimal. Parties interested in the standardization procedure bear part of the costs of the standard development process. This income, together with the proceeds from the sale of standards and the transfer of knowledge in training programs, ensures that NEN can carry out all its duties. Standardization is impossible without this income.
Our starting point is that all parties participating in the standardization process pay a proportional share. The members of the standards committee can make other agreements amongst themselves. For example, sometimes agreements are made that the larger parties pay a larger share than the smaller parties.
The prices for the standards are the same for everyone. The costs for licences depend on the size of an organization and the number of users.
Just like any book, CD-ROM or any other publication, the standards – both on paper and digital – are protected by copyright. This means that it is not allowed to copy, reproduce or redistribute standards in any way.