This is chapter 3 of the Canadian Participation in ISO and IEC orientation module. A transcript of the video follows below.
There are many sectors that can benefit from Standards, and many diverse voices that can add value to the international standards development conversation. ISO and IEC each work with national standardization bodies from all over the world. The Standards Council of Canada, or SCC, is the ISO member for Canada. Through SCC, Canadians contribute to Standards in a wide variety of subject areas.
Activities in each subject area are managed through international technical committees. Where a technical committee is responsible for a broad category of topics, sub-committees may be designated to sub-divide and concentrate their work. ISO and IEC work jointly in certain sectors; those committees are called Joint Technical Committees.
ISO and IEC member countries with presence in a technical committee form specialized working groups to begin work on a new draft standards. These groups consult with affected interest groups to identify technical requirements for a new standard. The aim is to reflect the current conditions and needs of that subject area.
National mirror committees monitor international standardization activities. Based on group findings, they formulate an official position on a proposed standard by pursuing consensus. Designated committee members present those positions at the international technical committee table. A vote is cast (either for or against acceptance of a particular standard) based on its applicability for use in their respective countries.
In Canada, SCC forms national mirror committees to facilitate participation in ISO’s standards development activities where appropriate. At IEC, SCC sponsors the Canadian national committee (CANC/IEC) that is responsible for participating in standards development in the electro-technical field. SCC communicates with and makes recommendations to IEC through the CANC/IEC. Canadian national mirror committees for joint ISO and IEC technical activities operate directly through SCC as well.
Under SCC’s authority, an accredited Canadian Standards Development Organization may seek to administer a mirror committee. SCC works with SDOs to ensure that proper procedures are followed and that their work aligns with established international committee practices and conditions.
SCC supports each mirror committee formed in its efforts to conduct meaningful and productive standardization work. Committee activities are monitored to ensure they fulfill mandated tasks and to facilitate communication.
SCC will help you, as a subject matter expert, to make the most of your committee participation by finding the subject area and type of committee that is right for you. Through SCC, you will have access to the information, tools and training you need to enjoy an active and rewarding role in international standards development work.