Financing the standardizing system
A necessary complementarity between experts and operators
Whatever the type of document to be developed (NF, EN, ISO standards ...), the standardizing system needs both experts and operators (i.e. standardization offices, AFNOR).
Experts and operators are totally complementary as any initiative involving experts work requires that adequate means are provided by one or more operators.
The standardizing system is funded on the one hand by the State and on the other hand by the various socioeconomic partners concerned with the development and use of the standardizing documents.
With subsidies granted by the Ministry of industry to AFNOR, the state only supports missions of general interest (development of fundamental horizontal standards, management of public enquiries, approval of standards, coordination and running of the French standardizing system,…) and national priorities supports.
It should be noted that the governmental authorities sometimes supplement these subsidies with specific agreements when they want their experts to participate in some particular standardization work.
Financing of sectorial standardization work
Sectorial standardization work conducted in Standardization Offices or in AFNOR, must be financed in its entirety by all the partners concerned, according to the Decree no 2009-697 dated from June 16 2009 and relative to standardization.
The sectorial standardization offices have for a long time been exclusively funded by the trade associations of their economic sectors. Thus, UNM was essentially funded by the mechanical engineering industry with the contributions of the trade association FIM (Federation of Mechanical engineering industry) and of the various Industrial Technical Research Centres (CETIM, CETIAT). Some outside partners also took part in the financing as major customers of the mechanical engineering industries such as EDF, PSA or Renault.
To ensure improved equity among the partners in the financial contribution system, outside participation has been extended to all partners taking part in the development of standards as part of a general contract policy. As a matter of fact, UNM does not prepare standards for its own needs; it provides support to experts who take part in the work of its committees. Within the standardization committees, the experts bring their experience and wishes, and therefore contribute to the development of normative documents for their future use. The development of these documents requires that the standardizing office provides its knowledge of standardization, and the necessary dedicated logistics.