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Standards   Tags: certification,  ce mark,  standards  

Last Updated: Jul 8, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Introduction Print Page


  • Approved standard  
  • Certification  
  • NF mark  
  • Standardization  
  • Technical report - TR  
  • XP experimental standard  

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A standard is a reference document that defines the characteristics, (objective and measurable) performance criteria of products, services, organisation systems, etc.

The document is obtained by consensus of the concerned parties.

Its application is voluntary.




Misconceptions about standards

  • All standards are compulsory

In reality, less than 2% of standards are mandatory by legislation. These mainly concern those relating to health and safety, protection of the environment, etc.

  • The NF label proves compliance with a standard

The NF label found frequently on different types of products does not necessarily refer to a standard. This mark demonstrates compliance of the product with the performance specified in a reference published in the Journal Officiel. This reference is not necessarily a standard. In fact, the NF mark signifies a certification (see glossary).

  • The CE label indicates a European standard

The CE mark is imposed by the European directives called the "New Approach". It authorizes the free circulation of a product in the European economic area. The mark indicates that the product has been developed in compliance with the essential requirements contained in the standard. These requirements focus on public health and safety. They do not involve any performance requirement.

Need more help?

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Karim Belghit
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University South Brittany
00 33 2 97 87 65 43
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Subject Guide

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Nathalie Blanchard
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University South Brittany
00 33 2 97 01 71 00
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To cite this guide

Belghit, Karim & Blanchard, Nathalie. "Standards”. In UEB (Université Européenne de Bretagne). Form@doct. Rennes: UEB, 2012 (last updated on 7 July 2013). Available at:


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