KANBrief 2/09

All DIN specifications, in one place

Since April 2009, a range of DIN products have been grouped under the heading DIN SPEC (further information). These products are created by means of procedures which do not necessarily require the full consensus of all parties with a vested interest; as a result, their development time is shorter than that of standards. In the view of the OSH lobby, these documents are however not suitable when they impact upon health and safety aspects.

Since contracting innovation cycles are a facet of sectors subject to rapidly changing developments, such as the IT sector, a growing need exists for specifi cations which can be made available swiftly. DIN SPECs are a response to this development. Four different procedures are available for their development.

DIN SPEC (PAS): Publicly Available Specifications

DIN SPECs (PAS) are developed by temporary committees in consultation with DIN. The initiative may be launched by an individual, an organization or a standards committee.

A business plan (objectives, work schedule, costs, etc.) must fi rst be drawn up and made available free of charge for four weeks on the website of Beuth Verlag. Any interested party who responds within this period may participate in development of the DIN SPEC (PAS).

The committee develops the document without having to involve all parties with a vested interest and without necessarily having to reach a consensus. In cases of doubt, the chairperson decides when a draft is complete. As an option, the draft can then be made available on the Internet for four weeks for inspection free of charge and for comments. The document is then adopted by a majority vote of the committee. Only committee members who approve the document are cited as its authors. The Director of DIN must approve publication of the DIN SPEC (PAS). Copyrights remain with DIN.

DIN SPEC (CWA): CEN Workshop Agreements

CWAs are the European equivalent of DIN SPECs (PAS). The agreements are drawn up in CEN/ CENELEC workshops and can be adopted nationally in the form of DIN SPECs (CWA).

Inquiries regarding the development of a CWA are received in Germany by DIN and forwarded to CEN. Should the project be accepted, CEN publishes the business plan for at least 60 days on the CEN website with the opportunity for comments.

Once the CWA draft has been completed, the workshop participants decide whether a public comment phase is to take place. At the end of the procedure, the workshop participants vote on the fi nal document. CEN makes the CWA available to its members.

DIN SPEC (Prestandard)

Like a standard, a DIN SPEC (Prestandard) is developed by a standards committee according to the principles of DIN 820. Its function is frequently that of setting out preliminary observations and of gathering experience which can be supplemented at a later stage and converted into a standard.

In contrast to a standard, however, publication of the draft may be omitted in the case of a DIN SPEC (Prestandard). It need also not be based upon a consensus of all interested parties.

DIN SPEC (Technical Report)

A DIN SPEC (Technical Report) is a status report recording data and fi ndings which are not intended for publication in the form of a standard or prestandard. It can be used as a basis for the development of standards.

A DIN SPEC (Technical Report) is drawn up by a DIN working committee or is produced by the adoption of Technical Reports (TRs) drawn up at European or international level. Publication requires approval by the management of DIN.

Review after three years

DIN SPECs (PAS, CWA, Prestandard) are reviewed after three years at the latest. A decision is then taken whether the document should be revised, withdrawn, retained, or converted to a standard.

No safety aspects in CWAs and PAS

Owing to their rapid development, DIN SPECs have a legitimate function in the support of technical progress. In the view of KAN, however, CWAs and PAS are not suitable for the treatment of health and safety aspects, since the application of essential standardization principles such as the involvement of all parties with a vested interest, the conducting of a public enquiry, and consensus- forming within all parties is not mandatory. KAN is currently lobbying for provisions concerning health and safety aspects in CWAs and PAS to be excluded by the relevant procedural rules.

Katharina von Rymon Lipinski