DIN Standards and DIN SPEC

DIN Standards are the results of national, European and/or international standards work. Anyone can submit a proposal for a new standard. Once accepted, the standardization project is carried out by the relevant Standards Committee at DIN, the relevant Technical Committee at the European standards body CEN (CENELEC for electrotechnical standards) and/or the relevant Technical Committee at the international standards body ISO (IEC for electrotechnical projects). In all cases, standards work follows set principles, procedural rules, and rules for the presentation of documents.

Standardization projects involve all stakeholders in the topic at hand, including manufacturers, consumers, businesses, research institutes, public authorities and testing bodies. These delegate experts to represent their interests on one or more of DIN's 3,400 subcommittees, which are organized in some 70 standards committees. The latter also send delegations and experts to represent German interests in standardization projects in CEN/CENELEC and ISO/IEC. The permanent staff at DIN coordinate the standardization process and are responsible for overall project management, ensuring the uniformity and consistency of the German technical standards collection. DIN Standards are consensus-based, that is, they are developed by experts with the aim of arriving at a common standpoint. In doing so, they consider technological developments, economic viability and international harmonization. DIN Standards are reviewed at least every five years. If a standard no longer reflects the current state of technology, it is either revised or withdrawn.

Standards work at DIN results in the publication of either a national standard, or a European Standard or International Standard adopted at national level. Their origin is indicated as follows:

DIN (plus number, e.g. DIN 4701)
This is a national standard that has been developed at national level only and is primarily of interest nationally. It may also be prepared as a preliminary document as input for supranational standardization activities. The number for a draft national standard is preceded by an "E" (for "Entwurf" = draft). Although the numbering system is not classified systematically, standards on the same subject sometimes lie in the same numbers range. National electrotechnical standards are issued as "DIN VDE" standards (e. g. DIN VDE 0100).

DIN EN (plus number, e. g. DIN EN 71)
This is a European Standard that has been adopted, unchanged, at national level and which has been developed by the one of the European standards organizations, CEN, CENELEC or ETSI. As a member of CEN/CENELEC, DIN is obliged to adopt all European Standards and to withdraw any national standards that might conflict with them. The number itself does not indicate the subject matter, except as follows: Electrotechnical European Standards developed at CENELEC are given a number between 50000 and 59999, while those developed by IEC and adopted by CENELEC have a number between 60000 and 69999. ETSI standards have a 30000 number.

DIN EN ISO (plus number, e. g. DIN EN ISO 306)
This is a European Standard that is identical to an International Standard (i.e. it was developed by ISO and adopted by CEN or vice versa) and has been adopted, unchanged, at national level. As a member of CEN/CENELEC, DIN is obliged to adopt all European Standards and to withdraw any national standards that might conflict with them. The number does not indicate the subject matter.

DIN ISO (plus number, e. g. DIN ISO 720)
This is an International Standard which has been adopted, unchanged, at national level. The number does not indicate the subject matter.

Beiblätter (supplements) give additional information on a DIN Standard (explanatory notes, examples, advice on the application of the standard, etc.) but no additional specifications.

In the context of ever faster cycles of innovation, there is a growing demand for specifications that can be developed more rapidly than full consensus standards because they do not need to address all interested parties. Accordingly, DIN now offers its services in drawing up DIN SPEC, specifications which can be completed and published quickly, thus reaching the market faster and supporting the introduction of innovations. DIN SPEC are drawn up in existing standards committees or in dedicated project groups according to one of four different procedures:

DIN SPEC (PAS) are Publicly Available Specifications that describe products, systems or services by defining characteristics and specifying requirements. DIN SPEC (PAS) are drawn up by dedicated project groups under DIN guidance.

DIN SPEC (CWA) are agreements between workshop participants who come from all over Europe. The workshops are organized by the European Committee for Standardization, CEN (CWA=CEN Workshop Agreement). The development procedure is similar to that of the national DIN SPEC (PAS).

DIN SPEC (Prestandard)
A DIN SPEC (Prestandard) is published as the output of a standardization project when there are reservations regarding the content, when it has not been drawn up strictly according to the official standards development process, or when its publication as a full standard would contravene agreed practice in European standardization. The principles and rules otherwise applying to standardization activities in DIN also apply to DIN SPEC (Prestandards), in particular the requirements relating to their uniformity and consistency with the body of German Standards.

DIN SPEC (Technical Report)
A DIN SPEC (Technical Report) documents the findings, data etc. deriving from a standardization project that has not resulted in the publication of a standard or prestandard. It thus serves to define the state of standardization in that area as reached at the national, European or international level. Such findings and data may be used later as the basis for renewed standardization activities.

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