Security and certification

On 11 January 2011 the Coordination Office for Civil Security held a workshop on the "Certification of civil security technologies and services".

"Civil security is an omnipresent, multidimensional challenge", said keynote speaker Klaus Keus at the start of this one-day workshop in Berlin. Around 100 participants from diverse fields were present when Dr. Rainer Jäkel of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) stated in his opening remarks that almost all sectors were represented there, from fire services to the Federal Government.
Dr. Jäkel, who is responsible for innovation and technology policies within the Ministry, emphasized the fact that the Ministry attaches great importance to the topic of civil security technologies and services as does the market. He then went on to describe the measures and programmes which comprise the Ministry's industrial policy initiative "Civil Security: A Key Future Market" launched in November 2010. Standards and specifications that are accepted throughout Europe and worldwide are needed to ensure that this future market can develop to its full potential. German companies must become involved and provide their expertise at an early stage in the development of standards so that the market remains open and no new market constraints are created due to unilateral national standards, said Jäkel. Coordinating the national standardization process early on and representing German interests in supranational standardization from the very beginning are some of the - very proactive - tasks of DIN's Coordination Office for Civil Security, which began its work on 24 November 2010 with the Ministry's support. Dr. Jäkel's introduction of the new Coordination Office was supplemented by more detailed information on its tasks and work procedures given by DIN's Director Dr. Torsten Bahke.

Klaus Keus, representing the Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC), one of the seven institutes of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), presented the Commission's current considerations regarding the rapidly growing security market and the key role standards will play on that market. Keus pointed out the enormous complexity of this topic, as civil security not only involves technologies, services and processes, but also social and political aspects at national, European and global level. Standards will be needed in all areas in order to ensure the visibility, comparability and verifiability of the degree of security that has been reached. Broad skills are already available and need to be bundled and effectively implemented. "We are not starting from scratch ", emphasized Keus.

Markus Reigl, Head of Standardization and Regulation at Siemens AG, closed the workshop with his speech on standardization and certification from a manufacturer's perspective. Reigl explained how manufacturers consider the significance of standardization and certification to be different for security, performance and methodology: Security is of great importance as a topic for standardization, as well as for certification. On the other hand, standardization and certification are only significant to a limited extent for performance, as this is an aspect of competition, and they are important to an even lesser extent for methodology. Reigl's conclusion is that there should not be any certification that does not have added value for manufacturers, business partners and consumers and that is not in the public interest.

In the afternoon the participants were separated into four parallel workshops in which specific aspects of certification within the security context were dealt with in greater detail.

Further information and workshop summaries will be available as of 18 January 2011 on the Coordination Office for Civil Security website (at present in German only)