Disseminating ISO Documents to National Mirror Committees

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1 Disseminating ISO Documents to National Mirror Committees

2 Disseminating ISO Documents to National Mirror Committees ISO in brief ISO is the International Organization for Standardization. It has a membership of 162* national standards bodies from countries large and small, industrialized, developing and in transition, in all regions of the world. ISO s portfolio of more than * standards provides business, government and society with practical tools for all three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, environmental and societal. ISO International Standards make a positive contribution to the world we live in. They facilitate trade, spread knowledge, disseminate innovative advances in technology, and share good management and conformity assessment practices. ISO standards provide solutions and achieve benefits for almost all sectors of activity, including agriculture, construction, mechanical engineering, manufacturing, distribution, transport, medical devices, information and communication technologies, the environment, energy, quality management, conformity assessment and services. ISO International Standards represent a global consensus on the state of the art in the technology or good practice concerned. * As of August 2009.

3 Background: ISO committees and national stakeholders ISO is a highly decentralized organization operating in many sectors of technology and business with a membership of, currently, some 160 national standards bodies (NSBs), over 700 technical committees and subcommittees and more than working groups. NSBs may choose to be participating (P) members or observer (O) members the latter category also being open to ISO correspondent members. In the case of participating members, the NSBs facilitate the process of negotiation and consensus-building among national stakeholders in National Mirror Committees (NMCs) and thus contribute to the international negotiation and consensus-building process. Because of this, close cooperation and synergy are required between the international standardization work taking place in the international TCs and national standardization taking place in the national mirror committees. The national committees have the key tasks of : Following up international standardization work in their field of activity Participating actively in that work by consulting national stakeholders (such as manufacturers, users, professionals and government officials) Formulating the national viewpoint and voting on draft International Standards Promoting the national implementation of International Standards. The ISO Central Secretariat has implemented a new, fully reliable, cost-effective, automated service that allows ISO members to disseminate all types of ISO committee documents within minutes to their national stakeholders. This brochure describes how the service works and what ISO members need to do to implement it for the benefit of their stakeholders. The main target audience of this brochure are heads of standards international cooperation or IT departments in ISO members with the responsibility for standards development and for organizing national input to ISO s technical work. 1

4 Participation of national stakeholders in ISO (Selective) Participation in ISO committes Stakeholders NSB/ NMC 1 ISO/TC 1 ISO/TC 2 Stakeholders NSB/ NMC 2 NSB ISO ISO/TC 6 ISO/TC 10 Stakeholders NSB/ NMC 3 ISO/TC 26 ISO/TC 34 Stakeholders NSB/ NMC 4 ISO/TC 126 ISO/TC 210 ISO/TC 215 Stakeholders NSB/ NMC... ISO/TC... Figure 1 Participation of national stakeholders through their standards body in ISO committees Figure 1 shows how national stakeholders are organized in national mirror committees and how the stakeholders through their national standards body participate in selected ISO committees that are of particular interest to their national economy. The activity of each national technical committee is led and coordinated by a Technical Officer, who is in many countries an employee of the NSB and operates as the secretary to one or more NMCs. 2

5 Key IT services related to national mirror committees There are three inter-related information technology applications on which the document dissemination to national stakeholders is built : The ISOTC server (for standards development and dissemination) The ISO Global Directory (for user and role management) 3. The ISONMC server (for document dissemination to national stakeholders). applications such as balloting, file submission to the ISO Central Secretariat, etc. The role of the ISO Central Secretariat is restricted to maintaining the working environment, including helpdesk and backup services. The documents and other content on a committee s work area are under the complete responsibility of the committee secretaries and their support staff. Enabling standards development and document sharing ISOTC server The ISOTC server offers a hosting environment for all ISO technical committees, subcommittees and working groups. Its primary purpose is to provide the secretariats of ISO committees with the tools to autonomously manage their electronic working environment in a decentralized manner. The environment provided by the ISOTC server is aimed at enabling secretariats of ISO committees to make documents available to their members, send notifications, obtain input from their members and provide links to 3

6 Managing users and roles ISO Global Directory The registration and maintenance of ISO technical committees, subcommittees and working groups as well as of the users and their roles as members of ISO committees and working groups, is carried out through the ISO Global Directory. National committees, users and roles are also maintained in the Global Directory. User registration and role assignment are both organized in a decentralized manner under the responsibility of each ISO member body for the users in its country. Amongst the roles managed via the Global Directory are those of committee secretaries, chairs, members of committees and working groups, balloters, etc. Supporting national mirror committees ISONMC server The ISONMC server is an important new development that provides ISO members with the ability to efficiently manage and control the read-only access of their national mirror committee (NMC) members to working documents in the ISO technical programme. The service comprises the dissemination to national stakeholders of all documents under development in ISO committees and working groups, such as project management documentation, reports of meetings and resolutions, ballots and comments, working drafts, committee drafts, Draft (DIS) and Final Draft International Standards (FDIS). Only minutes after a document has been uploaded to the site of an ISO committee on the ISOTC server, this same document is replicated to the ISONMC server and so becomes available worldwide without delay to individuals who have been registered as members of national mirror committees by their NSBs. It should be noted that the document dissemination service to national stakeholders is not intended for the dissemination of published ISO standards, nor for the development of national standards. NSBs also have the option to exclude certain types of ISO document from the dissemination service (e.g. Final Draft International Standards or others). To adapt to the requirements of different ISO members, this service is made available in two options (see Figure 2). 4

7 ISONMC service - The two dissemination options ISOTC Server (maintained by ISO/CS) Transfer of documents to the ISOTC server (only for comittees hosted outside the ISOTC server) Other servers hosting ISO/ TCs & SCs (maintained by MBs or other organizations) Upload of documents to NMC server ISONMC Server (maintained by ISO/CS) Upload of documents by MBs to their servers National servers (maintained by MBs) Direct access to documents on the ISONMC server Option 1 Access to documents through national servers Option 2 Figure 2 Service options available from the ISONMC server Using the server Option 1 offers dissemination through the ISONMC server, maintained by the ISO Central Secretariat. Choosing the ISO/CS-hosted NMC server is particularly useful for ISO members having little or no existing national electronic dissemination infrastructure for ISO working documents. All working documents developed by an ISO committee or working group are automatically copied to the ISONMC server. National users who have been registered by their ISO member body as a participant in one or more national mirror committees can access the documents of the corresponding ISO committees through the national mirror committees to which they have been assigned. The main function of the ISONMC server is to disseminate the documents developed by ISO committees or working groups to the corresponding national committees it does not, however, provide an environment to run specific national standards development efforts (e.g. developing national standards). 5

8 Figure 3 Listing of national mirror committees on the ISONMC server Two steps are required for this service to operate : Firstly, national mirror committees must be created in the ISO Global Directory and mapped to corresponding ISO committees and working groups. Secondly, national users must be registered and assigned to the national mirror committees. 6

9 Figure 4 Listing of ISO committee documents mapped to a national committee on the ISONMC server Making the most of the existing infrastructure Option 2 is for ISO members that wish to disseminate ISO committee documents through their own national servers and not via the ISONMC server. To meet this need, the ISO Central Secretariat provides access to the documents and their metadata to the ISO members for download from the ISONMC server and subsequent upload onto their own national servers. With this option, there is no need to register national mirror committees and their individual members in the ISO Global Directory.With both options, the possibility to disseminate ISO documents to national committees requires that an NSB is a P- or O-member in the respective ISO committee that has generated the documents in the first place. 7

10 What you need to do to get started Firstly, consider which of the two options (1 or 2) is more appropriate for your NSB. The choice will depend mainly on the IT capacities available in your organization, both in terms of hardware, but also in terms of software developers, who are needed for the implementation of option 2. Before taking your decision, review the guides to both options, which can be found on ISO Online ( e-guides) in the folder NMC document dissemination service. After having decided for one of the two options, please proceed as follows : Option 1 Option 2 1. Define a mapping relationship between national mirror committees to ISO committees. (Note that the ISO Central Secretariat provides the option of an automated generation of a default 1:1-mapping between national committees and ISO committees based on the participation of a NSB in the ISO committees). Create the national committees with their mapping to ISO committees in the ISO Global Directory. Register the individual members of national committees in the ISO Global Directory. (Note that the ISO Central Secretariat can assist in the automated upload of user and role data) Register a national mirror committee secretary. You can set notifications for the national mirror committees to make sure NMC members receive information about new ISO documents as soon as possible. 6. In addition to the guide to option 2, which provides you with basic information, consult the technical documentation (available on the same site) In case you need additional information or support, do not hesitate to contact ISO s International Helpdesk 8

11 Conclusion The ISONMC server opens a new perspective for ISO members on disseminating ISO documents to their national stakeholders which is far superior in terms of speed, reliability and resource usage to any previous solutions applied. With its coverage of nearly all ISO committees, this new service can ensure a reliable worldwide document dissemination and so facilitate even wider participation by the many stakeholders in ISO work. Case studies of implementing the NMC service The following section contains two cases studies summarizing the experiences of the national implementation of the NMC service in two countries, Malaysia and Canada. Malaysia s experience relates to an implementation of NMC option 1, whereas Canada s provides an example of the implementation of NMC option 2. 9

12 Malaysia by Salwa Denan, Senior Standards Executive, Standards Development, SIRIM Berhad (on behalf of the Department of Standards Malaysia DSM) As a member of ISO s Information Technology Strategies Implementation Group (IT- SIG), Malaysia had been involved during the development of the ISONMC Server, including participating in the ITSIG/ NMC project team and the NMC trial period from 21 May 2007 to 7 June SIRIM Berhad, the National Standards Development Agency, was assigned by Standards Malaysia to manage the rollout of ISONMC Server deployment in Malaysia. Malaysia had opted for Option 1 which is using the ISO/CS hosted NMC Server. The deployment process started with the compilation of the list of experts and NMC which include P and O memberships. This was done in early December The manual mapping structure was chosen to accommodate the process then used in Malaysia due to limited resources. An introductory notification on the availability of the application was circulated in February 2009 to all NMC members in Malaysia. Subsequently, a training session to all NMC secretaries was conducted in April Presentations and demonstrations were given to the NMC experts during their respective national mirror committee meetings since June A special hands-on training for all NMC Chairmen was scheduled for October Various problems were encountered during the NMC roll-out, especially during the mapping stage between ISO committees and national mirror 10

13 committees. However, with the efficient and prompt support from the ISO Helpdesk, most of the problems encountered were rectified within the same day. In addition, feedback and recommendations for improvement given by the NMC secretaries were also forwarded to the ISO Helpdesk for the e-services team s consideration. Like any other new applications and services, ample time and patience are needed by the NMC members and secretaries to familiarize themselves with the new way of work. Notification on availability of new documents uploaded in the ISONMC Server is essential to keep them informed. Furthermore, the Member Body User Administrator (MBUA) needs to regularly maintain the list of NMC experts registered in the ISO Global Directory based on the input from the NMC secretaries. Nevertheless, positive responses and commendations have been received from the NMC members, especially those with P-membership status. The high degree of reliability of document dissemination allows them to access the ISONMC server to download the documents, resolutions of meetings, ballots text and report without having to wait from the NMC secretaries. Indirectly this encourages the commitment and contribution from the NMC experts since they are able to access the information as and when required. 11

14 Canada by Zbigniew Ignatovicz, Manager, Information Systems, Standards Council of Canada SCC On 22 May 2008, the Standards Council of Canada took steps to synchronize its online document management and collaboration system, Sitescape, with the ISO s NMC service. Our national implementation was launched in July To put the magnitude of our ISO work into perspective, the SCC s Sitescape system, which facilitates Canada s participation in international standardization activities, has over registered members and hosts over ISO national mirror committees, subcommittees and working groups. The SCC has been using a collaboration environment for its national and international activities since Our information technology strategy identifies the use of advanced technologies, like Java and XML, a focus on strategic partnerships, collaborative efforts and the facilitation of communication, in addition to looking at shareable services that take advantage of consolidation, simplification and automation as key IT strategic components. The impetus behind our integration efforts back in May 2008 was primarily the alignment of these components with those that the NMC service was providing at the time. There was a good strategic fit. From a functional viewpoint, Canada s participation in ISO is managed by a small number of support staff, so the automation service has had benefits for the SCC in general and programme staff in particular. The automatic mirroring activity has increased the speed with which documents are posted to Sitescape and made available to committee members, thus providing additional time for Canadians to review and discuss the ISO documents. The process has removed much of the administrative burden from internal SCC 12

15 by national committees, such as voting on Draft International Standards (DIS) and Final Draft International Standards (FDIS). staff of obtaining and posting documents and has evolved to an automated and scheduled function. By removing the burden, staff time is liberated to focus more on programme support functions and services related to committee activities. To help simplify and organize the upload process even further, all documents are posted to a special document repository found under each committee s main working environment. In addition, we also created a special workflow process that delivers a timely notification automatically to committee members on a daily basis once new material is uploaded. This is important not only for general notification reasons but also for notifications containing links to documents that require a upcoming vote We have used the service for over a year now. Like any new implementation, it did not come without its technical issues and problems. Issues come up once in a while in production too. However, through our ongoing study of the NMC framework, review of our own internal documentation/processes and ongoing communication with the ISO development team, we make adjustments and apply fixes on a case-by-case basis. As we continue forward with our collaboration services and enhancements, we will also continue to monitor for future integrations between ISO and the SCC. The NMC was a major and important implementation. The technological and business knowledge obtained and the efficiency gains realized from that experience has been beneficial to the SCC. 13

16 International Organization for Standardization 1, ch. de la Voie-Creuse Case postale 56 CH-1211 Genève 20 Switzerland ISO Central Secretariat Tel Fax Web ISBN ISO, /XXXX

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