CEN Deliverables

This page lists the different CEN Deliverables


CEN deliverables, differing in the levels of transparency, consensus and approval required before issue, offer flexible means to meet market needs for technical requirements and information.

These deliverables are:

  • The European Standard (EN), leading to full implementation, as national standard, Europe-wide, which may also serve the European regulatory purposes of the New Approach;
  • The Technical Specification (CEN/TS), that serves as normative document in areas where the actual state of the art is not yet sufficiently stable for a European Standard;
  • The Technical Report (CEN/TR), for information and transfer of knowledge;
  • The CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA), which aims at bringing about consensual agreements based on deliberations of open Workshops with unrestricted direct representation of interested parties; 
  • The Guide (CEN Guide), which gives information about standardization principles and policies and guidance to standards writers.

These products are, apart from the CWA which has direct industry representation in Workshops, worked out in the community of the CEN Members, who in turn consult their interested parties, usually via the means of national mirror committees.

The CEN Technical Committees may establish EN, CEN/TS and/or CEN/TR.

CEN Guides result from a decision of the BT, CA or AG and are developed by a body appointed by the BT, CA or AG.


The European Standard is a normative document made available by CEN in the three official languages, English, French and German. The development of a European Standard includes a public enquiry accompanied by a weighted vote of CEN Members, a Formal vote (‘weighted vote') of CEN Members and final ratification. The Formal Vote may be optional depending on the outcome of the Public Enquiry and associated vote.

The European Standard is announced at national level, published or endorsed as an identical national standard, and every conflicting national standard is withdrawn.
The content of a European Standard does not conflict with any other European Standard.
A European Standard is periodically reviewed. During the elaboration and whole lifetime of the European Standard, standstill applies.

Why choose an EN?
The EN is the appropriate deliverable where there is a need for national implementation and withdrawal of conflicting national standards. The rigour in the development of the EN makes it the ideal deliverable to support European legislative needs, or where the standardization need is focused on protecting health and safety or as support to certification.
The values that the EN derives from the characteristics of its development process, are:

  • Consensus;
  • Openness;
  • Transparancy;
  • National commitment;
  • Technical coherence.

Consensus: General agreement, characterized by the absence of sustained opposition to substantial issues by any important part of the concerned interests and by a process that involves seeking to take into account the views of all parties concerned and to reconcile any conflicting arguments (Note: consensus need not imply unanimity).
Consensus reflects the voluntary character of standards.
It makes sure that the standard is wanted by the parties concerned and prepared with the voluntary commitment to their use.
An EN is drafted and developed on the basis of voluntary agreement between all the interested parties.

Openness (open to all stakeholders): All interested parties have the right to participate in (via national delegations) and contribute to the elaboration of an EN.

Transparency: At the initiation phase, the project is made public (via announcement in standards bulletins, etc.).
If it may have an impact on international trade it is also notified to a defined body ('Code of Good Practice for Standardization' of the WTO TBT agreement).
Procedures for the preparation of an EN are transparent, unbiased and non-discriminatory.
The CEN programme of work is available as public information and everybody may react during the obligatory public commenting phase (the CEN enquiry).

National commitment:

  • Formal adoption of an EN is decided by a weighted majority vote of all CEN Members and is binding on all of them;
  • standstill applies: CEN Members agree that, during the preparation or after the approval of an EN, no national individual action that would prejudice the European work is taken and that no publication or revision of national standard not in line with an existing EN shall take place;
  • implementation of an EN which includes the withdrawal of any conflicting national standards.

Technical coherence: the European Standards form a collection which ensures continuity and consistency of technical content for the benefit of users, both at European and national levels.

An EN is reviewed at least within five years from its publication or earlier when requested or needed.


A Technical Specification is a normative document made available by CEN in the three official languages.

A Technical Specification is established and approved by a CEN Technical Committee by a weighted vote of CEN Members.

REMINDER: The members of a CEN Technical Committee are the CEN Members.

The Technical Specification is announced and made available at national level, but conflicting national standards may continue to exist.
A Technical Specification may compete against another Technical Specification with the same scope, but a Technical Specification may not conflict with a European Standard.

This implies that an existing Technical Specification shall be withdrawn if the publication of a subsequent EN brings the Technical Specification into conflict with that EN.

REMINDER: A national standard is withdrawn if its scope is in conflict with the European Standard. This provides the precedent for the withdrawal of a Technical Specification on publication of the European Standard.

NOTE: This is to avoid a situation that a Technical Specification becomes a barrier to full standardization through allowing conflicting national standards to be maintained.
During preparation of the Technical Specification, or after its approval, no standstill obligation exists except if the Technical Board has specifically decided so.

Why choose a CEN/TS?

CEN introduced the Technical Specification to provide an 'appropriate' consensus/transparency solution to a market need where there is no immediate need for national implementation and withdrawal of conflicting national standards.

A Technical Specification can be transformed into a European Standard (EN) and thus may serve as a CEN 'pre-standard'. This pre-standardization role is further acknowledged through the possibility of allowing the existence of 'competing' Technical Specifications, which permits CEN to test two (or more) solutions to a specific market need: with experience, the preferred solution could then be transformed into a European Standard.

The Technical Specification can act as a pre-standard, but it can also be accepted that the 'appropriate consensus' represented by the Technical Specification could continue to meet a market need without eventual conversion into an EN.

A Technical Specification may be established with a view to serving for instance the purpose of:

  • publishing aspects of a subject which may support the development and progress of the European market but where a European Standard is not feasible or not yet feasible;
  • giving guidance to the market on or by specifications and related test methods;
  • providing specifications in experimental circumstances and/or evolving technologies.

Furthermore, a CEN Technical Committee may decide to publish a work item, originally intended to result in an EN, as a Technical Specification where:

  • there had been insufficient support at the CEN Enquiry for the work item to progress to an EN;
  • no consensus can be reached on the submission of the work item to Formal Vote within the given target date.

It may also be preferable to publish two or more Technical Specifications if, for instance, the draft EN had dealt with more than one class of products, or included alternative methods of test. Technical Specifications may, therefore, compete with each other.


A Technical Report is an informative document made available by CEN in at least one of the three official languages.

A Technical Report is established and approved by a CEN Technical Committee or the CEN Technical Board by a simple majority vote of the CEN Members.

During the preparation of the Technical Report or after its adoption, no standstill obligation exists. The obligation at national level is limited to announcement of the existence of the CEN/TR and conflicting national standards may continue to exist.  Adoption as a national deliverable is optional.

A Technical Report gives information on the technical content of standardization work.

A Technical Report may be established as an informative document in cases when it is considered urgent or advisable to provide information to the CEN Members, the European Commission, the EFTA Secretariat or other governmental agencies or outside bodies, on the basis of collected data of a different kind from that which is normally published as an EN.

A Technical Report may include, for example, data obtained from a survey carried out among the CEN Members, data on work in other organizations, or data on the ‘state-of-the-art’ in relation to national standards on a particular subject.
No time limit is specified for the lifetime of Technical Reports, but it is recommended that Technical Reports be regularly reviewed by the responsible technical body to ensure that they remain valid.


A CEN Workshop Agreement is a document made available by CEN in at least one of the three official languages.

A CEN Workshop Agreement is a technical agreement developed in an open structure, the CEN Workshop (WS), and not in a Technical Committee.

A CEN Workshop Agreement is adopted through consensus, which is reached by the CEN Workshop participants who are responsible for its contents.
The main activity of a CEN Workshop is the development and publication of a CEN Workshop Agreement. In addition to this main activity, a CEN Workshop may be used as a forum to organize other project activities within CEN, such as exchange of experiences with regard to implementing a specification, exchange of views with regard to new technologies and their business opportunities (conferences and seminars), creation of common websites, etc.

For all CEN Workshops, an approved project plan indicating the voluntary contributions of the participants to support the above activities is essential.

During the preparation of a CEN Workshop Agreement or after its adoption, no standstill obligation exists.

The Workshop Agreement is announced and possibly made available at national level, and conflicting national normative documents may continue to exist.
A CEN Workshop Agreement may not conflict with any European normative document, but may compete with any European normative document.
This implies that an existing CWA must be withdrawn if the publication of a subsequent EN brings the CWA into conflict with that EN.

A CWA is valid for 3 years, after which the former Workshop Secretariat shall consult the former Workshop participants and the relevant CEN/CENELEC technical bodies to determine whether the CWA shall be confirmed for another 3 years, revised, transformed into another deliverable, or withdrawn. In case it is decided to confirm or revise it, after 6 years from initial publication the CWA shall be submitted to the CEN/CENELEC BT(s) for decision regarding its transformation into another deliverable or its withdrawal.


The CEN Guide is an informative document made available by CEN in at least one of the three official languages, established and approved by a corporate body of CEN by simple majority vote.

A CEN Guide gives information about standardization principles and policies and guidance to standards writers.

A CEN Guide may be established with a view to serving for instance the purpose of:

  • providing technical or administrative orientation to the work of CEN;
  • giving advice on how to deal with matters of standardization;
  • collecting decisions of a CEN corporate body on specific general questions related to standardization for future equal treatment of such questions.

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