Online Collaborative Authoring

What is it?

πŸ₯œ In a nutshell

The Online Collaborative Authoring platform is a Word-like tool based on a product called FontoXML that technical bodies can use to draft their project deliverables. It will then flow through to following steps of the production chain.

❀ Benefits

The platform has many advantages for authors compared to traditional tools like Word, such as:


  • Normative referencing
  • Guided structure, automatic numbering and quality checks according to the Internal Regulations
  • Concurrent editing with clause locking & unlocking
  • Tagging & filtering comments
  • And many more...

Structure & quality

Because of the structure, it improves quality, and that makes life easier for everyone: experts, TC secretaries, the CCMC editing team and standards users.

Transparency & inclusivity

The access roles make it easier for working group leadership to accept and manage input from a large number of people. This means everyone on the team can see what's happening at all times and can easily make their voice heard.

Safety in the cloud

Working groups no longer need to save offline copies of documents, work on them separately, email them to each other, and struggle with merging changes. Now, all changes are made securely online, with features for locking and unlocking clauses so nobody overwrites anyone else's work, and nothing gets misplaced.

Opportunity for pilot groups to shape the future

Pilot groups have the opportunity to provide feedback on the tool so we can make sure it's really what you want and need.

πŸ”’ Access roles

The working group leadership team can choose who has which role depending on the team's preferred way of working, and this can be changed at anytime. The available roles are:





View content

βœ” βœ” βœ”

Add content

βœ” βœ” Β 

Accept/reject tracked changes

βœ” Β  Β 

Manage clauses

βœ” βœ” Β 

Add/delete own comments

βœ” βœ” βœ”

Reply to others' comments

βœ” βœ” βœ”

Resolve comments

βœ” Β  Β 

We recommend 2 to 4 Leaders, then you can choose whether the other working group members are all Authors, all Contributors, or a mix.

πŸ‘©β€πŸ”¬Β Impact on experts

Experts in participating pilot Working Groups will develop their deliverables in the new Online Collaborative Authoring platform instead of other tools like Word.


Currently, this is only relevant for pilot Working Groups. Later, it will be made available to all technical bodies on a voluntary basis.

Get involved

πŸ’¬ Info sessions & workshops

Please see the list of upcoming sessions.

πŸ“’ Call for pilot projects

We're looking for pilot projects to help us fine tune the new platform. Your deliverable:

  • May be new or a revision (but not an amendment or corrigendum)
  • Must be homegrown (not an adoption)
  • Should ideally start being written within a couple of months after you contact the project team

Sound like you? Please register for an info session or express your interest.

πŸ”¨ Sandbox access

Want to try it out but not ready to sign up as a pilot project yet? Request sandbox access.

πŸŽ“ Support

Already on board as a pilot project? If you need help, check out the knowledge base or email us at

πŸ“’ Spread the word

Technical Committee secretaries and others are encouraged to use this short Digital Transformation slide deck to present to their groups. The "notes" on each slide will help guide you when presenting.

Feedback on this slide deck? ContactΒ Β 


πŸ”” Status update

Last updated: 2021-10-05

πŸ”” Subscribe to "Digital Transformation" updates: here for CEN or here for CENELEC


The overall project is called Online Standards Development (OSD). Currently, the most visible part is Step 1: Online Collaborative Authoring (OCA).





Working group authoring

(Online Collaborative Authoring or OCA)

The WG creates drafts their document in the new tool instead of in Word. Includes features for concurrent editing, tagging & filtering comments, etc.

Went live in October 2020. Being piloted by several WGs:



CEN/TC 89/WG 15


CEN/TC 128/SC 9/WG 2


CEN/TC 207/WG 10


CEN/TC 250


CEN/TC 278


CEN/TC 439/WG 1


CEN/TC 442






New features being released regularly, see release notes.


Member commenting (Online Collaborative Commenting or OCC)

Members can add comments to the document, eg: from the public enquiry phase, for the WG to consider and incorporate. Will include appropriate permissions so that only the relevant people can see the comments.

Scheduled for around April 2022. Will be made available for selected pilots.


Internal editing (Online Collaborative Editing or OCE)

The CCMC editing team will edit the deliverable in the new tool instead of Word.

Scheduled for around December 2022.


Production chain integration

Integration with the CCMC production chain.

Analysis stage.

ISO & IEC collaboration

The project is being led by ISO & IEC, and we are making sure that CEN and CENELEC requirements are incorporated (eg: EU Directives Annexes ZZ and ZA). You can also take a look at the counterpart ISO project page and IEC project page.




πŸ’¬ Info sessions & workshops

πŸ”” Subscribe to "Digital Transformation" updates: here for CEN or here for CENELEC


Target audience



Jan 2022, date to be confirmed

Working Group Online Standardization Platform

Project update

Invitation only

Tue 2022-01-25

1pm to 2pm CET

Existing or prospective pilots, other interested people

Informal info and Q&A session


Tue 2021-12-14

2pm to 3pm CETΒ 


Tue 2021-11-02

2pm to 3pm CET


Tue 2021-09-28

10am to 12pm CET

Working Group Online Standardization Platform

Project update


Tue 2021-06-29

10am to 11am CET

Prospective pilot groups

Project info & demo

Becoming a pilot group


Tue 2021-06-16

12pm to 1pm CET

Existing pilot groups

Demo of new release version 1.3.0

Project update


Tue 2021-06-15

11am to 12pm CET


Tue 2021-06-14

2pm to 3pm CET

Prospective pilot groups

Project info & demo

Becoming a pilot group


❓ Frequently Asked Questions

Expand/Collapse All

We haven't experienced any issues with content being lost for any reason.

There is occasional scheduled maintenance, but we notify all pilot users in advance.

Support is always available via the knowledge base or

Yes, an export is available to HTML and Word. But these exports have limited formatting, etc.

No, not really. You would need to copy and paste one clause or one table at a time.

Currently the tool is mostly intended to be used for documents that are started from scratch. In the future we need to think about how to handle revisions and other cases where some content already exists.

No, it requires an internet connection to make or save changes.

Mostly, yes.

It's the same customized software platform built on FontoXML, but there are a couple of differences:

  • Templates - eg: coverpages, annexes for EU directives, etc
  • Integrations - eg: ISO's instance (which currently hosts both CEN and CENELEC pilot documents) is integrated with XML-to-HTML and XML-to-Word conversion tools, whereas IEC's is integrated with an XML-to-PDF tool, so this affects the export options available

No, not currently. The ISO/IEC/CEN/CENELEC instance/configuration of Fonto XML is only available for European or International standardization deliverables. However this is a question that keeps popping up so we will likely need to address it at some point in the future.

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