In standardisation, inclusiveness – that is, the participation of a wide range of stakeholders – is considered important in order to improve the quality of standards and legitimise the outcome of the standardisation process. PROGRESSIVE is drafting a guide for the involvement of users in standardisation to support standardisers in their efforts towards more inclusive standard development processes.
Users of products and services are a recognised stakeholder group in the European standardisation system and, at national level, standardisation initiatives invite user representatives to participate. Despite all efforts, users are often underrepresented, especially at the national level.
The Joint Initiative on Standardisation and the CEN publication Civil Society call for improved user representation in the standardisation work to improve the quality and legitimacy of the work. The Joint Initiative of Standardisation is part of policy of the European Commission on standardisation. User co-production provides several benefits to a standardisation effort, for example, it:
- 1. brings fresh thinking and new value to the standardisation committee;
- 2. proactively captures value from better understanding of future market needs and possibilities;
- 3. helps identify and mitigate risks;
- 4. taps into the collective creativity and intelligence of the technical committee;
- 5. captures value from the collaboration with partners for user co-production;
- 6. motivates member involvement in the committee and fosters teamwork and collaboration.
The PROGRESSIVE project is developing a guide for standardisation work to introduce, develop, and validate a framework for user co-production practices in standardisation. While continuing to enhance user participation in standardisation work, standardisation committees are encouraged to reach out to underrepresented users and solicit their opinion on relevant questions. The guide will provide guidance on when and how. We recognise a standard user co-production process for standardisation does not exist; each committee should define a strategy and activities based on its needs and resources.
If you have good practices on involving users in standardisation efforts in the area of ICT for active and healthy ageing, please share them with us by contacting Marlou Bijlsma and Thamar Zijlstra at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEN, a partner in the PROGRESSIVE project, is the Dutch standardisation institute. NEN is a member of CEN and ISO and thus the gateway to international standardisation. NEN manages over 31.000 standards. More information is available on the NEN website. In the PROGRESSIVE project, NEN is leading the work on co-production and user involvement.