Basic terms


Activity of establishing, with regard to actual or potential problems, provisions for common and repeated use, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context 

NOTE 1   Standardization activity, in particular, consists of the processes of preparing formulating and issuing standards and ensuring the implementation of standards.

NOTE 2   Significant standardization benefits are improvement of products, processes and service benefits for intended (stipulated) purposes, preventing trade barriers and facilitating technological cooperation.

See 10 good reasons for standardization!

Standardization levels

Standardization levels refer to geographical, political or economic extent of involvement in standardization.

international standardization

Standardization in which involvement is open to relevant bodies from all countries.

regional standardization

Standardization in which involvement is open to relevant bodies from countries from only one geographical, political or economic area of the world.

European standardization

Standardization which involves relevant bodies of European countries.

state/national standardization

Standardization at the level of a specific country.

provincial standardization

Standardization that takes place at the level of a territorial division of a country.

NOTE   Within a country or a territorial division of a country, standardization can also take place on a branch or a sectoral basis (e.g. ministries), at local level, at association or company level in industry and in individual factories, workshops and offices.

Standard and other normative documents

normative document

Document that provides rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results. 

NOTE 1   The term „normative document“ is a generic term that covers such documents as standards, technical specifications, codes of practice and regulations

NOTE 2   A „document“ is to be understood as any medium with information recorded on or in it.

NOTE 3   The terms for different kinds of normative documents are defined considering the document and its content as a single entity.


Document for common and repeated use, established by consensus and approved by recognized body, that provides rules, guidelines, characteristics of activities and their results aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context . 

NOTE   Standards should be based on consolidated results of science, technology and experience and aimed at the promotion of optimum community benefits.

(BAS EN 45020:2009, definition 3.2)

technical specification

1. Document that prescribes technical requirements to be fulfilled by a product, process or service

NOTE 1   Technical specification should indicate, wherever appropriate, the procedures by which it may be determined whether requirements given are fulfilled.

NOTE 2   Technical specification may be a standard, part of a standard or independent  of a standard

(BAS EN 45020:2009, definition 3.4)

2. Technical Specification (TS) -  Document adopted by CEN/CENELEC for which there is the future possibility of agreement on a European Standard, but for which at present:

  • the required support for approval as a European Standard cannot be obtained,
  • there is doubt on whether consensus has been achieved,
  • the subject matter is still under technical development, or
  • there is another reason precluding immediate publication as a European standard.

(CEN/CENELEC Internal Regulations – Part 2:2020, definition 2.6)

technical report (TR)

Document containing collected data of a different kind from that normally published as an International Standard or Technical Specification

(ISO/IEC Directive – Part 2:2018, article 3.1.8).

international standard

 Standard that is adopted by international standardizing/standards organization and made available to the public.

(BAS EN 45020:2009, definition

regional standard

Standard that is adopted by regional standardizing/standards organization and made available to the public;

(BAS EN 45020:2009, definition

European standard

Standard that is adopted by an European standardizing/standards organization (standard that is adopted by CEN/CENELEC or ETSI and that shall be implemented as identical national standard, so all conflicting national standards must be withdrawn)

harmonized standards
(equivalent standards)

Standards on the same subject, approved by different standardizing bodies that establish interchangeability of products, processes and services or mutual understanding of test results or information provided according to these standards.

(BAS EN 45020:2009 definition 6.1)

NOTE   “Harmonised Standard” is a term used in Regulation (EU) No 1025/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, meaning a European Standard adopted on the basis of a request made by the Commission for the application of Union harmonisation legislation.

(CEN/CENELEC Internal regulation – Part 2:2020, definition 2.5)

harmonization document (HD)

CENELEC standard that carries with it the obligation to be implemented at national level, at least by public announcement of the HD number and title and by withdrawal of any conflicting national standards

(CEN/CENELEC Internal regulation – Part 2:2015, definition 2.9)

state standard
national standard

Standard that is adopted by a national standards body and made available to the public.

NOTE   Term “state standard” and the definition is taken over from the Law on standardization” (Standardization Act) (Article 2, Official Gazette BH 19/01) and it is equivalent to term “national standard” that is used in all international or European standardizing document and as such it is taken over in BAS EN 45020:2008, definition

state standard of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Standard that is adopted by national (state) body for standardization of Bosnia and Herzegovina and made available to the public.

provincial standard

Standard that is adopted at the level of a territorial division of a country and made available to the public.

(BAS EN 45020:2009 definition

Code of practice

Document that recommends practices or procedures for the design, manufacture, installation, maintenance or utilization of equipment, structures or products.

(BAS EN 45020:2009 definition 3.5.)

NOTE   A code of practice may be a standard, a part of a standard or independent of a standard.

Regulation and technical regulation


Document providing binding legislative rules, that is adopted by an authority

(BAS EN 45020:2009 definition 3.6.)

technical regulation

Regulation that provides technical requirements, either directly or by referring to or incorporating the content of a standard, technical specification or code of practice

(BAS EN 45020:2009 definition 3.6.1.)

NOTE A  technical regulation may be supplemented by technical guidance that outlines some means of compliance with the requirements of the regulation, i.e. deemed-to-satisfy provision.