The CEN WORKSHOP approach
CEN, the European Committee for Standardization, has introduced the CEN Workshop (WS) structure and process which offers a new mechanism and approach to standardization. It is intended as a process where clients can bring their standardization and specification requirements and are given the opportunity to find a solution in an environment "tailor-made" for their needs. The Workshop concept provides a unique opportunity for any party faced with a challenge to find others in a similar situation and to develop a result by consensus, validated in an open arena.
The procedures for setting up and operating Workshops are deliberately kept to a minimum and all the decision-making powers rest with the interested parties themselves -- the members of the Workshop. They are responsible for the funding and direction of the Workshop and for the approval of the deliverables. The Workshop members may include all market players (industry, service providers, administrations, users and consumers) and can come from any part of the globe, as opposed to the European Standards (ES) approach, in which only CEN member states represented by their national Standardization Bodies can take part.
The main activity of a CEN Workshop is the development and publication of the CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA).
The CEN Workshop and Humanitarian Mine Action
The European standardization bodies have been mandated by the European Commission to establish standard methodologies for humanitarian demining and have created a Working Group of the CEN Technical Board (BT/WG 126) to ensure co-ordination and to generate specific standardization initiatives.
It is planned that different actors in Mine Action will progressively identify the needs for standardization and deal with them in CEN Workshops.
In November 2001, the CEN BT/WG 126 proposed to initially focus the standardization effort on four areas in the field of Humanitarian Mine Action and created four Ad Hoc Groups (AHG):
AHG 1 - Test and Evaluation of Equipment
AHG 2 - Technical Training Assessment and Certification
AHG 3 - Existing Standards, Terminology and Definitions
AHG 4 - Risk and Quality Management and Performance Indicators
Within the scope of the first Ad Hoc Group, two CEN Workshops have been run, dealing with the standardization of the test and evaluation of metal detectors (CEN Workshop 07, leading force: Joint Research Centre, EC) and demining machines (CEN Workshop 12, leading force: Swedish EOD and Demining Centre, Sweden) respectively. Both of these Workshops have been finalised. A third CEN Workshop, within the task area of the second Ad Hoc Group, dealing with Demining Competency “Standards” (CEN Workshop 13, leading force: Swedish EOD and Demining Centre, Sweden) was initiated in November 2003 and is still ongoing.
Perspectives(source: 6th meeting of the CEN/BT/WG 126, October 2003)
CEN Workshop 07 - Test and Evaluation - Metal Detectors
The CEN Workshop 07 will be dormant for a period of maximum two years. During this time, the delivered CEN Workshop Agreement 14747:2003 is being submitted to an experimental verification process. Based on the experiences collected during the latter process an update of the CEN Workshop Agreement will then take place.
It is also recognised that there is a need to further the standardization of soil property testing and improve the current soil classification in the CWA 14747:2003 Appendix 1. An amendment to the original CEN Workshop 07 Business Plan will be drafted accordingly. If the amendment is accepted by the Workshop members, the CEN Workshop 07 will reconvene to work on soil properties.
CEN/BT/WG 126 further proposed to add the more general problem of soil classification (i.e. for sensors other than metal detectors) to the scope of the CEN Workshop 07. However, the Workshop has not yet met to consider this proposal.
The IMAS Review Board agree to cite the CWA 14747:2003 as a normative reference in future revisions of appropriate IMAS.
CEN Workshop 12 - Test and Evaluation - Demining Machines
The final CEN Workshop Agreement obtained in April 2004 has been submitted to CEN for further processing. The CEN Workshop 12, after discussion with the GICHD about further standardization needs within the area of demining machines, has presented the following proposals, which will be included as an Amendment to the original CEN Workshop 12 Business Plan.
- Post Mechanical Clearance Requirements. The aim is to develop internationally accepted subsequent clearance procedures, post mechanical application.
- Mechanical Equipment for Humanitarian Mine Action – Evaluation Methods for Quality Control (Sampling). The main aim is to develop internationally widely accepted and applied specifications for evaluation methods for Quality Control (Sampling) following IMAS 09.20 as a Guide Line in using demining machines and if necessary supporting tools (sensors) when performing Sampling.
- Operator and Crew Safety. The aim is to develop internationally accepted and applied specifications for ensuring a high level of safety for operators and crew of machinery operating in mined areas.
Other CEN Workshops
Plans are being made to propose a new CEN Workshop in the area of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Humanitarian Mine Action. Preliminary steps are being taken in acquiring the necessary statement of request from the end-user, establishing a driving force and identifying possible financial support.