Smart Standards

What is it?

🥜 In a nutshell

This project is about making the "traditional" content of standards machine readable, so that standards users can import them into their systems and do all kinds of tech savvy things with them.


What happens today

Today, many standards users invest significant time and effort in copying and pasting small pieces of text from PDF standards into their systems (such as requirement management systems, along with requirements from other sources like customer contracts and local government regulations), in an effort to integrate the information into their processes and systems. At the same time, they have to interpret the ambiguities in standards and restructure the content in a way that is usable for them.

What will happen in the future

We aim to help standards users save time and reduce error caused by copy/paste activities and misinterpretation.


But there are a lot of things we don't know yet. We're still exploring. There may be many other benefits and changes, but these are not yet clear. For example, will standards still be sold as one whole document, or as pieces of data? Will there be more shalls and less shoulds, resulting in standards users implementing the standards differently? The team will explore these topics.


 Discover what it could look like in this short demo !




✅ Objectives & timeline

This project aims to facilitate the creation of standards that meet the needs of standards users' digitalized industries. Simply put, this involves breaking up sentences and other content into their constituent pieces and tagging them with what type of information they contain. We will aim for Level 3 machine readable standards, as defined by the SMART Standards Utility Model (which was developed by IEC and which has been adopted by both ISO and CEN-CENELEC). We will collaborate with ISO and IEC who are running similar projects in order to represent European interests at international level.


The aim is to have a complete framework in place, fully tested in production, by December 2024.

👩‍🔬 Impact on experts

What does it mean for you as an expert currently involved in writing standards? Standards are currently written as prose free text documents, and this will need to change. For example, the information will need to be more structured and consistent, the type of information (requirement, example, rationale, etc) will need to be clearly identified, and requirements will need to be smart (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound). This will be a challenge and one of our top priorities is to ensure your work is not made more complex by developing tools to support you.

We are at an early stage of this project and therefore still defining what needs to change, what a smart standard needs to look like, and whether it will affect all standards or just some. Our colleagues at ISO and IEC have also started work and we expect to work jointly with them to create one, unified solution because we know that many of you are involved not just in CEN/CENELEC Technical Committees but also at ISO/IEC, and also that the users of standards need one, unified solution.

Get involved

☎ Contact us

Feel free to drop us an email.

💬 Info sessions & workshops

Please see the list of upcoming info sessions and workshops.


📢Call for pilot projects

We’re looking for pilot projects to test and optimise the tool to create smart content.

Pilot projects task:

  • Mark up the provisions in the deliverable etc – do full conversion and report back.

Your deliverable:

  • Is a CEN or CENELEC project;
  • Must be homegrown (not EN ISO parallel work);
  • May be new or a revision (but not an amendment or corrigendum);
  • Could be EN, TS, or CWA.


  • The WG has already started working on the deliverable (preferred), or has recently finished – the stage code of the deliverable does not matter;
  • The WG has started drafting but is still editing;
  • The WG is active.



  • The deliverable should ideally start being written within a few weeks after you contact the project team.

Sounds like you? Please express your interest.

🧩 National stakeholder groups

These groups run activities at national level, eg: info sessions and requirements gathering, and relay info between national and European level.




IDiS website (DIN/DKE)


AFNOR's Smart Standards website


Lonneke van Urk (NEN)


Frederik Fehn (SIS)


Maryam Imani (BSI)

📢 Call for project team members

We announced a Call for Participation in Sep 2021 and onboarded a number of new team members, but more are welcome. Please check it out and express your interest if you'd like to join the team.

📢 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? Contact  

🔔 Status update

Last updated: 2022-10-19



Example work packages



Standards maker engagement

Requirements gathering, training & communications

First Member survey & webinar being planned for 2022-11


Standards user engagement

Requirements gathering, marketing

Gathering user stories via national user groups. First batch compiled & cleaned.


Technical solutions

Prototypes, storage, creation, use, the information model, integration into the ecosystem and version control

First version of the information model defined. Proposing FontoXML as the frontend tool for first pilots. Consolidating requirements.



Processes, procedures, support, KPIs and release management

Not started


Business model

Legal and commercial arrangements, pricing, IPR.

Proposed changes to Guide 10 submitted to the Joint Commercial Advisory Group (JCAG). Now working through the set of generic user stories (= high level capabilities expected to be enabled by smart standards) and examining the potential impact on member business models.

ISO & IEC collaboration

The CEN and CENELEC project is in contact with similar initiatives at ISO and IEC with the aim to ensure alignment and complementarity. You can read more about them on the ISO/IEC SMART page and the IEC Digital Transformation page.

💬 Info sessions & workshops

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

Just curious? Join one of the monthly info session, where you will learn about the project and the functionalities of SMART through a live demo! Everybody is welcome to join, but you will find the sessions particularly interesting if you are part of a Working Group.

Info session

Date & time





1 to 2 PM CEST






1 to 2 PM CEST





1 to 2 PM CEST





1 to 2 PM CEST





1 to 2 PM CEST





1 to 2 PM CEST





1 to 2 PM CET





1 to 2 PM CET



❓ Frequently Asked Questions

Expand/Collapse All

We have discovered multiple individual information models for standards already exist at different levels of maturity in our ecosystem. The model we have developed to date at CEN-CENELEC is very generic – our main aim at present is to compare these different existing models.

As many TCs as possible are invited to give their input so that the consolidated information model that will be developed will accommodate as many requirements as possible. We encourage TCs to participate in the stakeholder engagement activities which will be published on this project page and via other channels throughout the project.

Yes, because the required structure for machine readable content results in many benefits like reduced ambiguity, clear identifiers, etc. This standards content will be presented in a low-tech format, too.

Yes, because the required structure for machine readable content results in many benefits like reduced ambiguity, clear identifiers, etc, which are useful for humans who read standards, too.

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