The present document endeavours to provide step-by-step guidance on the essential elements, most common practices and responsibilities of an ETSI Technical Group (Technical Body (TB), Industry Specification Group (ISG), Special Committee (SC) and ETSI Project (EP)).
It has been formatted to be used as a quick reference guide together with the ETSI Directives (https://portal.etsi.org/Resources/ETSI-Directives). If in any doubt regarding the application of the correct procedures, the ETSI Secretariat can always provide guidance.
The scope of this guide covers all ETSI Technical Groups, but it does not cover Partnership Projects (e.g. 3GPP and oneM2M). It is to be used in conjunction with the ETSI Delegate’s guide and the ETSI Rapporteur’s guide.
A Special Committee (SC) may be established by the GA for defined tasks and follows the same rules as TBs (as per TWPs) unless otherwise stipulated in their ToR.
Obligations and Responsibilities of the Chair
The primary duties of a Chair:
- Ensure an efficient operation of the Technical Group and its Working Groups (in conjunction with the Vice-Chair(s), Working Group (WG) Chair(s) and Vice-Chair(s))
- Ensure the activities of the Technical Group adhere to ETSI Directives and its rules, policies and procedures
- Ensure that the Work Programme is kept up to date
- Maintain strict impartiality and act in the interest of ETSI and its members
- Ensure that the ETSI Guidelines for Antitrust Compliance are strictly observed
- Remind the members of the Technical Group of their statutory obligations to submit IPR disclosures
- Endeavour to reach consensus on all issues, including the approval of draft ETSI deliverables
- Report to the OCG, Board and the General Assembly on the activities of the Technical Group upon request.
- A Chair may be appointed for up to three consecutive terms of office by the same Technical Group.
References: ETSI TWPs Clauses 1.1.2, 1.3.1, 1.3.7, 1.7.1, and 3.3.
To attend a TB/SC or WG meeting the delegate shall fulfil one of the following criteria:
- Represent an ETSI Full or Associate member or Counsellor
- Represent an Applicant for Full or Associate membership who has formally submitted their application to the ETSI Secretariat (Applicant member), subject to the agreement of the ETSI Director-General
- Represent an ETSI Partner organisation where ETSI has a signed partnership agreement (according to the rules of the relevant agreement). For further information on the 3 types of partnerships see Section 6.1 of this guide
- Attend as a Guest (non-member or ETSI Observer) following authorisation by the TB Chair for three TB/WG meetings or six months (whichever is the shorter).
ETSI Observers and Guests may present a document for information, answer questions related to the information provided in their document, ask questions during the meeting and give information or a point of view, if invited by the Chair.
ETSI Observers and Guests are not permitted to:
- submit written contributions for discussion or decision
- contribute in any way to the work on the deliverables, Change Requests and/or Work Item of the respective TB
- vote or have the possibility to take part in any decision- making process
- subscribe to a TB mailing list or receive any working document, either during the meeting itself or between meetings or hold any leadership position.
References: ETSI RoP Articles 1.2.2, 1.2.3, 1.2.4, 1.3 and 1.5, ETSI TWPs Clauses 1.4 and 1.8.1.
TB/SC membership list
Each TB/SC has an email exploder list to be used for discussion, dissemination and/or collection of information and for decision-making purposes outside of TB/SC meetings. Only delegates subscribed to the TB/SC membership list with their EOL account email address are considered members of the TB/SC.
Upon registration to a TB/SC meeting, each delegate (ETSI Full or Associate member or Counsellor) will be automatically subscribed to the TB/SC membership list if not already subscribed.
Email exploder lists are also maintained for Working Groups (WG), Task Groups (TG) and Special Committees (SC).
TB Guests and Observers may not be subscribed to the TB membership list.
A representative of an ETSI Partner organisation where ETSI has a signed partnership agreement may be subscribed according to the rules of the relevant agreement.
References: ETSI TWPs Clauses 1.4, 1.5.4 and 1.5.5
In accordance with ETSI TWPs Clause 3.4, representatives of an ETSI Full member, Associate member, Full or Associate Applicant member, and an ETSI Partner may attend ISG meetings.
Representatives of a non-member (known as ISG Participant) may attend ISG meetings providing ETSI is in receipt of the signed relevant ISG Participant Agreement.
ETSI Observers may attend meetings of an ISG and participate in the work without the right to vote subject to having signed the relevant ISG Participant Agreement. Meeting fees are stipulated in the relevant ISG Participant Agreement.
A Counsellor is not required to sign an ISG agreement to be able to attend an ISG meeting.
For a Guest to attend an ISG meeting on an exceptional and temporary basis, the rules according to TWPs Clause 3.4, Annex 2 and Board Decision (D-B108/8) shall be adhered to.
ISG Participants, Counsellors and Guests shall neither vote nor hold an ISG leadership position.
ISG membership list
Each ISG has an email exploder list to be used for discussion, dissemination and/or collection of information and decision making outside of ISG meetings. Delegates are subscribed to the ISG membership list following receipt by the ETSI Secretariat of the signed relevant ISG Participant agreement.
Email exploder lists are also maintained for ISG Working Groups (WG).
Guests shall not be subscribed to the ISG membership list.
Meeting responsibilities: preparation, participation, reporting
Technical Groups have the freedom to organise their work according to the needs of the members providing it complies with the ETSI Directives.
For a TG decision-making meeting, the agenda shall be available at least 30 days beforehand.
The principles of decision-making are based on consensus or vote as defined in the ETSI TWPs Clause 1.7.1.
Technical Groups have the right to decide on:
- number of WGs
- frequency of meetings
- organisation of rapporteur’s meetings
- deadlines for submitting agenda and other documents for meetings
- the way WGs and Rapporteur groups report to the TB/ISG/SC meeting, etc.
A non-decision-making meeting of a Technical Group can be used to collect a snapshot of opinions of ETSI members and ISG Participants on a given item or topic.
The ETSI Directives do not make a distinction between different meeting types, although the term “plenary” is used by ETSI TBs, ISGs and SCs.
The ETSI Portal Meeting application offers various types of meetings e.g., Plenary, Working Group, Rapporteur, Resolution etc.
References: ETSI TWPs Clauses 1.1, 1.3.7, 1.7.1, 3.1 and 3.3.7.
Before a Technical Group meeting
The Chair shall ensure that the meeting invitation with all necessary logistical information and the draft meeting agenda will be available on the ETSI portal and that the TB/ISG/SC membership is notified at least thirty (30) days before a decision-making meeting.
NOTE: The draft agenda for the first meeting of a new TB, SC or an ISG kick-off meeting is announced in a Collective Letter by the Secretariat, with at least thirty (30) days’ notice. It is the responsibility of the ETSI Secretariat or the TB/ISG Chair to disseminate the meeting invitation.
Items for decision shall be included in the agenda such as:
- New Work Item (NWI) proposals and draft deliverables for approval
- Any topics in which voting will be required
- The received Chair/Vice-Chair/WG Chair candidatures and the call for candidate’s contribution The following items should also be considered for addition to the agenda, if relevant:
- Contribution deadline
- Meeting contributions uploaded (in agenda revisions)
- Liaisons statements
- Logistical information
- Future meeting schedule.
References: ETSI TWPs Clauses 1.5, 1.7.
During a Technical Group meeting
During a TG meeting, the Chair has the following responsibilities:
- Open the meeting, welcome the delegates, announce any guests or observers
- Make a call for IPR and a reminder of applicable anti-trust and competition laws (see Section 4 of the present guide for further details)
- Ensure a meeting secretary has been appointed to take the minutes for the meeting report
- Present the agenda and seek its approval
- Report on the TB/ISG work programme status
- Endeavour to reach consensus on all issues
- Launch, run, and evaluate the results of planned vote(s) (if any)
- Ensure that all decisions and actions are recorded in the meeting report
- If relevant, invite Rapporteurs and Liaison Officers to present their activities since the last meeting
- If relevant, invite WG Chair(s) to present their Progress reports
- Ensure the presence of each attendee is correctly recorded on the portal.
References: ETSI TWPs 1.7, ETSI RoP Article 11 and ETSI IPR Guide, Clauses 2.3.2, 2.3.3 and 2.3.
After a Technical Group meeting
Following each meeting a report should be provided within 30 days and shall include:
- decisions, including the election of officials, approved or withdrawn deliverables, change request decisions
- key discussion points
- organisational changes to the TB/ISG/SC structure
- call for IPR disclosures
- the dates and venues of forthcoming meetings.
If the meeting report is not available within 15 days after the end of the meeting, the Chair is required to provide a list detailing the key decisions and topics.
The full meeting report should be provided within 30 days and requires the approval of the TB/ISG/SC.
The Chair is also invited - for purposes of transparency – to update the status of Contributions on the portal.
References: ETSI IPR Guide Clauses 2.3.2, 2.3.3, 2.3.4, 2.3.5, ETSI TWPs 1.9.
European Standards in response to Standardisation Requests (SReqs)
ETSI may elaborate European Standards and European standardisation deliverables in response to SReqs to support the European legislation or policies, in accordance with the amended Regulation (EU) No 1025/2012, which is related to Regulation (EU) 2022/2480.
These deliverables shall be adopted by the eligible members of the National Standardisation Body Group (NSBG) throughout the Standardisation Request deliverables Approval Process (SRdAP) and in accordance with the provisions of Article 21 of the ETSI Rules of Procedure, and Clause 2.2.2 of the Technical Working Procedures.
Participation in the SRdAP shall be restricted to the Annex III Organizations and to the NSBG.
References: ETSI RoP Article 21, ETSI TWPs 2.2.2, Annexes A.5 and J.
ENAP (EN Approval Procedure)
This section only applies for ENs (European Standards) that are not related to a Standardisation Request.
ETSI may elaborate European Standards (EN) on a proposal from at least four (4) Full and/or Associate members in accordance with the provisions of Article 13 of the ETSI Rules of Procedure and Clause 2.2.1 of the Technical Working Procedures.
These ENs shall be adopted by the eligible National Standards Organizations (NSO) through the ENAP.
Participation in the ENAP shall be restricted to the Annex III Organizations and to the NSO Group (NSOG)..
ENAP Resolution meetings
The Chair shall:
- Schedule a Resolution meeting when the final draft EN has been submitted to the combined Public Enquiry/Weighted National Voting procedure; it should take place within thirty (30) days after its closure
- Send the invitation to the TB membership list at least thirty (30) days before the meeting
- Cancel the Resolution meeting if no comments are received during the Public Enquiry or if only editorial comments are received and the vote is successful.
References: ETSI RoP Article 13, ETSI TWPs, Clause 2.2, Annexes A.5, J and T.
ETSI Chair’s Responsibilities on Antitrust Compliance, IPR and Confidentiality
One of the primary duties of the Chair is to take care that the ETSI Guidelines for Antitrust Compliance are strictly observed.
The Chair has a duty to remind the TB/ISG members of their obligations to submit IPR disclosures.
Chair’s Responsibilities on IPR
Throughout the standardization process the Chair shall take the actions as laid down in the sections of the Guide on IPRs, to facilitate the identification of Essential IPRs.
This includes disallowing e.g., discussions on commercial issues in the TB/ ISGs and/or discussions on details of specific licensing terms and conditions.
Make call for IPRs in Technical Group meetings
Every TB/SC or ISG meeting starts with a “Call for IPRs” performed by the Chair. e.g., this may consist of the following sentences for a TB meeting:
“The attention of the members of this Technical Body is drawn to the fact that ETSI members shall use reasonable endeavours under Clause 4.1 of the ETSI IPR Policy, Annex 6 of the Rules of Procedure, to inform ETSI of Essential IPRs in a timely fashion. This section covers the obligation to notify its own IPRs but also other companies’ IPRs. The members take note that they are hereby invited:
to investigate in their company whether their company does own IPRs which are, or are likely to become Essential in respect of the work of the Technical Body,
to notify to the ETSI Director-General all potential IPRs that their company may own, by means of the IPR Information Statement and the Licensing Declaration forms through the ETSI IPR online database application at https://ipr.etsi.org/. Only under exceptional circumstances and if instructed by the ETSI Secretariat, paper declarations may be allowed using the forms provided by the ETSI Secretariat similar to the on-line forms.
Members are encouraged to make general IPR undertakings/declarations that they will make licenses available for all their IPRs under FRAND terms and conditions related to a specific standardization area and then, as soon as feasible, provide (or refine) detailed disclosures”.
This Call for IPRs is a notice to the TB/ISG/SC member’s obligations regarding the disclosure of Essential IPRs in a timely fashion.
The meeting report shall clearly state that an IPR call has been made as well as any responses.
In addition, during the meeting a short reminder call for IPR disclosures should be made on:
- the formal submission of a technical solution
- the completion of the first stable draft of the standard
- Working Group approval of a draft standard
- TB/ISG approval of a draft standard.
Recording and reporting information on IPR
The Chair shall be careful to record in the meeting report that an IPR reminder was issued and include details of responses. If no responses were given, then also this should be recorded.
If the Chair becomes aware of the existence of an Essential or potentially Essential IPR, the ETSI Legal Director shall be informed by the Chair.
The Chair should encourage the TB/ISG members to make general IPR undertakings/licensing declarations that they will make licenses available for all their IPRs under FRAND terms and conditions related to a specific standardization area and then, as soon as feasible, provide (or refine) detailed disclosures. Such declarations shall be made in the ETSI IPR database.
Copyrights in ETSI Deliverables
The Chair shall ensure that all technical proposals adopted by their TB/ISG are recorded in the meeting report.
If copyright restrictions exist on the use of any technical proposals, the Chair shall ensure that these are also recorded in the meeting report and that the ETSI Secretariat is informed.
If, in exceptional circumstances, the use of copyrighted third- party material (text/figures) cannot be avoided, reproduction in ETSI deliverables will require the author’s authorization and the copyrighted material shall be indicated by the symbol © and with proper acknowledgment of its owner.
The Chair should instruct the Rapporteur to obtain the author’s authorization using the template available from the editHelp web page.
Chair’s Responsibilities on Antitrust Compliance
As stated in Clause 1.5 of the Technical Working Procedures, when preparing each meeting the Chair and/or the Secretary, should give attention to the agenda and ensure it is distributed and/or made available to all participants prior to the meeting.
The meeting shall follow the prepared agenda and only matters included on the agenda can be discussed. Revisions to the agenda can be made during the meeting, by following the principles of decision making as outlined in the ETSI TWPs Clause 1.7.1.
The Chair should take care that the ETSI Guidelines for Antitrust Compliance are strictly observed by reminding orally or by writing the following:
“The attention of the members of this Technical Body/ISG is drawn to the fact that ETSI activities are subject to all applicable antitrust and competition laws and that compliance with said laws is therefore required of any participant of this meeting including the Chair and Vice Chair(s). The leadership shall conduct the present meeting with impartiality. In case of questions, it is recommended that you contact your legal counsel”.
Discussions, communications or any other exchange of information in or on the edge of all ETSI meetings (e.g.: informal discussions, social gatherings, corridor talks etc.) as well as during any activity in ETSI may never have as their subject matter topics that are prohibited by competition law.
If a delegate or the Chair becomes aware of a discussion, communication or exchange of information that appears to lead to restriction of competition of any kind, the delegate should raise the issue, seek to end or separate from this discussion, communication or exchange of information.
References: Clause C.4.1 of the Guidelines for Antitrust Compliance.
Chair’s Responsibilities on Confidentiality
All documents and information provided in or for TB/ISG meetings shall be considered non-confidential unless the information (in written form AND is identified AND accepted by the Chair) has been labelled as confidential.
Confidential information that has been incorporated in a Standard or Technical Specification is automatically regarded as non-confidential from the moment of publication.
If the Chair becomes aware that confidential information has been disclosed in breach of a confidential disclosure agreement to which ETSI is a party, the Chair shall immediately inform the Secretariat.
|Identification and disclosure of essential IPR||Guide on Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), Clause 2. Technical Body Chair Duties|
|Call or IPR disclosures||Guide on Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), Clause 2.3.
Make call for IPRs in TB meetings Guide on Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), Clause 2.3.
When and How? Notification of essential IPR and licensing declarations
|Guide on Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), Clause 2.3.||Make call for IPRs in TB meetings Guide on Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), Clause 2.3.
When and How?
|Notification of essential IPR and licensing declarations||Annex 6 of the ETSI Rules of Procedure. Record and report information on IPRs|
|Guide on Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), Clause 2.3.||Report and Record Information on IPRs|
|Copyrights in ETSI Deliverables||https://portal.etsi.org/Services/editHelp/To-help-you-in-your-work/Use-and-reproduction-of-text-signs-and-material-legally-protected/Copyrights|
|Managing discussions||Guidelines for Antitrust Compliance - Clauses C.4.1 & C.4.|
|Chair’s Responsibilities on Confidentiality||ETSI IPR Policy – Annex 6; Clause 10|
Decision Making and Voting
Consensus and consensus-making
Formal standardization is a process which is open to any individual or organization (member/participant/counsellor), and its results are produced in consensus with all interested parties.
Formal standardization is inspired by international directives on standardization, and is based on six principles for the development of international standards:
- impartiality and consensus,
- effectiveness and relevance,
- coherence, and
- development dimension.
Standards are, therefore, products of negotiation among all involved (and relevant) stakeholders, aimed at establishing a general agreement and the absence of sustained opposition.
With respect to the consensus-making process in ETSI, the Chair should take the following into consideration:
A Technical Group shall endeavour to reach consensus on all issues both during a meeting and/or in between meetings via the Remote Consensus portal application.
The Chair (or Vice-chair or Rapporteur) should aim to facilitate the discussion in an independent manner, considering:
- The objective is to obtain the largest consensus possible on the content of the standard and resolve potential conflicts.
- Reaching consensus may take time, taking into account there are different stakeholders represented in a committee
- Contributions for Decision by Remote Consensus in between meetings are to be available at least seven (7) calendar days before the start of the consultation period and the minimum duration of the remote consensus is at least (7) seven days. The Technical Group is to be informed of the results of the Decision within seven (7) calendar days and recorded in the meeting report of the following meeting.
- Different knowledge domains and backgrounds across committees may imply different "languages and cultures".
- In the case of sustained opposition, this opposition shall be made known before approval (verbally or in writing) and shall be recorded in the meeting report(s).
If consensus cannot be achieved, the Chair can decide to take a vote which may be performed by a secret ballot either during a meeting or in between meetings. Before the vote, the TB/ISG/SC Chair shall provide a clear definition of the issues (e.g., TB/ISG/SC approval of a draft before publication).
References: ETSI TWPs, 1.7, 3.7 and Annex A.
Technical Group vote during a meeting
- Electronic voting is recommended.
- Only members who have registered to the meeting and are present (physically or remotely connected) may vote.
- A Proposal shall be deemed approved if seventy-one percent (71%) of the votes cast are in favour. If a 71% is not achieved the vote shall be re-calculated using the votes of Full members only.
- In the case of an ISG, only Founding Members (as identified in Annex 2 of the ISG agreement) are eligible to vote during the kick-off period. Thereafter, all ISG Members are eligible to vote.
- ISGs may have specific voting rules, as defined in the ISG Member agreement (e.g., non-weighted vote, simple majority voting, voting based on presence to previous ISG meetings).
- Voting by proxy is not permitted.
- The result of the vote shall be recorded in the meeting report.
References: ETSI TWPs, Clauses 1.5.4, 1.7.1, 220.127.116.11 3, and 3.3 (including sub-clauses).
Technical Group vote by correspondence
- Electronic voting shall be used.
- Only delegates subscribed to the TB/ISG/SC membership list with their EOL account email address will be considered members of the Technical Group.
- The contribution submitted to the vote shall be announced at least seven (7) calendar days before the start of the voting period.
- The voting period shall be at least (2) calendar days.
- The Technical Group is to be informed of the results of the vote within seven (7) calendar days and recorded in the meeting report of the following meeting.
- In the case of an ISG, only ISG Members can vote and it may be based on presence to previous ISG meetings, as specified in the ISG Member agreement.
- ISGs may have their own vote calculation rules, as specified in the ISG Member agreement (e.g., non-weighted vote, simple majority voting may be used).
- The result of the vote shall be disseminated by the Chair to the membership list within 15 days.
References: ETSI TWPs, Clauses 1.5.5, 18.104.22.168 and 3.
Vote for the election of a Chair/Vice-Chair and WG Chair
In the case where there is more than one candidate for the election of a Chair/Vice-Chair or WG Chair, a secret ballot shall be used.
If no candidate is elected after a first vote, a second or third ballot may be required.
References: ETSI TWPs, Clauses 1.3, 1.7, 3.3 (and sub-clauses)
The procedures for the election of a TB/SC Chair/Vice-Chair and WG Chair described in TWPs, Clauses 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199 shall apply.
The procedures for the election of an ISG Chair/Vice-Chair and WG Chair described in TWPs, Clauses 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206 shall apply.
External cooperation with ETSI Partners
Overview of partnership agreements
When there is a need for the establishment of a partnership agreement, ETSI TBs/SCs and ISGs are required to refer to the ETSI partnership policy framework and the Partnership Engagement Process (PEP) as described in the TWPs Clause 1.8.1. The TB Chair will be accompanied by the ETSI Secretariat and the Partnership team.
The TB or ISG Chair should ensure that they are aware of all the relevant partnership engagements with other organisations and that they abide by the partnership engagements for the work of the TBs and ISGs they are responsible for.
There are three different types of partnership agreements depending on partnership engagement:
|Engagement||Main Focus||ETSI TWPs
Letter of Intent (LoI)
|Initial contact, get to know each other.||220.127.116.11.1|
Memorandum of Understanding
[Partner shall be a legal entity] | - Political
Co-operation Agreement (CA)
[Partner shall be a legal entity and an IPR Policy Check performed to determine the compatibility of the Partner’s IPR Policy with ETSI’s]
|ESOs. A synthetic view of each mode is in TWPs, P Annex 3. (https://portal.etsi.org/Resources/ETSI-Directives)|
- [PAS Process Guide](https://etsi.org/images/files/ETSI_PAS_Process_Guide.pdf)
- [PAS brochure](https://www.etsi.org/images/files/Brochures/ETSI-Brochure-PAS.pdf)
- ETSI web page regarding PAS – see Section 6.2.2 of this guide.
- Incorporation of published text and graphics from the other party into a document.
- Joint production of documents.
- Adoption of identified Partner’s PASs into ETSI TR(s) or TS(s).
- Detailed information on types of partnership agreements can be found in TWPs, Clause 1.8.1.
- Detailed information on Basic Co-operation Agreement between CEN, CENELEC and ETSI and the description of 5 modes of cooperation is given in Annex P of the TWP.
- Full overview of the ETSI Partnership Engagements can be found in TWPs, Annex R.
- The full list of agreements can be found at ETSI Partnership portfolio page on ETSI portal: see Section 6.2.2 below.
- The description of the Partnership Engagement Process is described at: https://portal.etsi.org/Search/Partnership-agreements/Partnership-Establishment
ETSI Cooperation Agreements and Supplements
Whenever there is a Cooperation Agreement signed with a supplement, TB and ISG Chairs are encouraged to use the maximum of the agreement and its supplements.
A Cooperation Agreement may include a PAS (Publicly Available Specification) Supplement, a Working Supplement or a Materials Supplement for the following purposes:
- PAS Supplement enables an external organisation to submit its publicly available specifications to ETSI for adoption
- Working Supplement allows for the creation of a common work item to produce a joint deliverable
- Materials Supplement allows for incorporation of text and graphics in ETSI deliverables.
PAS (Publicly Available Specification) Process
The ETSI PAS Process enables an ETSI Partner who has signed a cooperation agreement and a PAS Supplement to submit one or more of its Publicly Available Specifications for adoption by ETSI as an ETSI Technical Specification (TS) or as an ETSI Technical Report (TR).
The ETSI TB identified by the ETSI Board will be the host of the PAS review and will approve the PAS as a TR or TS following the normal ETSI approval procedure.
The attention of the TB Chair is drawn to the need to create the corresponding Work Item in the relevant TB immediately after the Board decision to allocate the PAS to this TB and before starting any work.
A PAS Process Guide is available for download describing the process and its benefits.
Further information is available on the ETSI website: Partnership
Participation of an ETSI Partner representative in ETSI meetings
Most of the Partnership Agreements allow for cooperative interworking between relevant ETSI TBs/ISGs and the groups of the other party. This is usually limited to one partnership representative per ETSI TB/ISG depending on the work topic. The work topic will be identified in the summary of the agreement as well as in an annex describing the working areas.
Partnership information is available at: https://portal.etsi.org/webapp/AgreementView/AgreementSearch.asp.
This attendance rule also applies to ETSI’s participation in the partner’s technical bodies.
It shall also be noted that participation by a Partner’s nominated observer in an ISG is subject to the signature of the ISG Participant’s Agreement, in accordance with ETSI TWPs, Clause 3.4.
Working with Observers and non-members
Participation of Observers and non-members in ETSI meetings
The conditions for participation of Observers and non- members in ETSI meetings are described in Clauses 2.1 and 2.2 of the present Guide.
Liaison Statements when there is no Partnership Agreement
Simple liaison statements between ETSI TBs/ISGs and external bodies are to be encouraged as a first step.
If such liaisons reach the point where the two bodies concerned are going to exchange technical documents, then the need for a formal Partnership Agreement should be investigated.
Joint meeting with an organisation that has no Partnership Agreement with ETSI
It is possible for an ETSI TB/ISG to exchange information and even hold a joint meeting with an organisation that has no Partnership Agreement with ETSI.
This typically occurs during the phase where ETSI and the other organisation are getting to know each other and before the need for a formal Partnership is identified.
If a meeting between the two organisations needs to take place, a set of basic rules and principles must be followed to comply with the ETSI TWPs and to remain in a safe zone from the legal standpoint. e.g., no TB/ISG working document can be discussed in such meeting unless it is publicly available.
- The meeting cannot be a formal meeting of the TB/ISG or of the other organisation. ETSI cannot impose its rules on another organisation and likewise, another organisation cannot impose its rules on ETSI. Therefore, the meeting should be organised as a “Workshop” under the umbrella of the identified TB/ISG
- If any new content is created during the TB/ISG workshop, the copyright for that content is jointly owned by ETSI and the non- partner organisation
- The principle of the ISG meeting participation fee shall not be applied to workshops organized between an ISG and a non- partner organisation.
Cooperation between ETSI TBs/SCs and ISGs
The attention of the TB/SC and ISG Chairs is drawn to the details of cooperation between ETSI TBs, TBs and ISGs, TBs and SCs and between ISGs.
Typically, interactions between different TBs and ISGs are based on Liaison Statements (LS) exchange, Liaison Officers reporting and joint meetings.
The table below considers different scenarios of collaboration.
|Cooperation between TBs and ISGs||Type of cooperation|
|Between TBs/SCs||- Liaison officer |
- Liaison statement
- Joint meeting(s)
|TBs/SCs with ISGs
|- Liaison officer from one ISG or TB/SC can attend another ISG meeting only if his/her organisation signed the ISG agreement
- Liaison statements
ETSI Chair’s Responsibilities – Operational Coordination Group (OCG)
- Acts as a focal point and a forum for co-ordination of and between the Technical Committees (TCs), ETSI Projects (EPs), ISGs, SCs, Coordination Groups (CGs) and the ETSI Secretariat.
- Provides an opportunity for Chairs and ETSI representatives to CGs initiated by external bodies to exchange information and experiences, to discuss any issues prior to formal resolution of substantial objections in the Board and respond to Board requests for information.
- Makes recommendations to the Board on the allocation of resources for STFs and on the proposed technical testing roadmap and priorities for TTFs.
The OCG is also involved in the endorsement of MoU’s, Cooperation Agreements, and the processing of PAS Supplements.
It shall resolve, as far as possible, any duplication of effort or conflict of technical views between the TBs/ISGs to reinforce co-operation between the Technical Organisation, the ISGs and the CGs.
A TB/ISG Chair will be periodically requested to report to the OCG on the progress, issues and topics for decision.
The Chair’s role in the OCG
OCG meetings are open to Technical Group Chairs, and meetings are called as required to fulfil the duties as mentioned above.
Periodically (typically every two years), each TB, SC, EP and ISG Chair is required to present progress reports to the Board meeting.
STF/TTF Management and Chair’s responsibilities
An active contribution of the Technical Group Chair is required in the phases listed below:
Drafting the Terms of Reference
The Chair makes sure that a new Special Task Force or Testing Task Force (STF/TTF) proposal, including the related Work Items, is supported by at least four (4) ETSI members and approved by the Reference Body, irrespective of the funding source.
STF/TTF Work plan
The work plan included in the STF/TTF Terms of Reference (ToR) is established by the Reference Body Chair, in consultation with the ETSI Secretariat, and contains the following elements:
- latest schedule for the availability of the base documents
- milestones and reporting schedule
- deliverables schedule
- tasks and resources assigned to the service providers
- provisional travel plan for the participation of service providers’ personnel to meetings and events.
Submission of STF/TTF proposal
Submission of STF proposal funded by ETSI
STF proposals under the ETSI budget can be submitted in the two allocation steps, in October/November and in May/June (urgent requests only) time periods.
Submission of STF proposal funded by EC/EFTA
Since April 2021, the EC changed the process for STF proposals funded by EC/EFTA and established a new Agency called the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA).
The STF proposals are first assessed by EC (DG GROW and/or any relevant DG). To be eligible for EC/EFTA funding, the STF proposals shall:
- be linked to a Commission priority, Commission strategy, EU legislation or other documents (e.g., the ICT Rolling Plan or the Annual Union Work Programme); and
- meet the Single Market Programme (SMP) objectives; and
- state the expected deliverables/outcomes; and
- mention the objective and verifiable criteria that will allow the EC to assess that the above deliverables/outcomes have been effectively fulfilled.
If the above criteria are met, EISMEA then evaluates the STF proposals with the following criteria:
- Quality — Project design and implementation
- Quality — Project team and cooperation arrangements
For each criterion there is a threshold, and each threshold shall be met to receive a positive assessment from EISMEA.
Submission of TTF proposal
The Technical Group Chair is to liaise with the CTI Director at each step of TTF proposal submission.
The initial TTF ToR should be sent to the CTI Director before the date indicated in the TTF Process Calendar, so it can be incorporated into the following year’s Technical Roadmap.
The Technical Group Chair is to present and defend the work behind the TTF proposal at the September Board/OCG meeting.
Recruitment of the experts
Applications from ETSI members active in the Technical Group are encouraged.
The STF/TTF Manager (ETSI Secretariat) and the Chair should assess the applications and draw up a short list of candidates.
To avoid a conflict of interest in the selection of service providers, the Reference Body Chair/Vice-Chair(s) and the Chair of the Working Group directly concerned by the STF/ TTF activity and who belong to an organisation that has an interest in applying for selection as a service provider to a funded STF/TTF, shall declare this to the Board and subsequently be excluded from all discussions and decisions related to the selection of the service providers.
Preparatory Meeting (Experts’ interview)
The Technical Group Chair should attend the preparatory meeting with the selected experts, appoint the STF/TTF Leader, and decide on the draft Work Plan and allocation of resources. This should be done in coordination with the ETSI STF/TTF Manager & Technical Officer and, in the case of a TTF, the CTI Director.
Monitoring STF/TTF progress
The Chair is expected to provide technical guidance. The STF/TTF leader is appointed by the Director-General in consultation with the relevant TB/ISG Chair. The STF/TTF leader acts as the interface with the Director-General for management of the STF/TTF, with the service provider(s) for coordination of the project and with the TB/ISG/SC Chair for technical control. It is recommended that a Steering Group (SG) is set up. It is essential to ensure the timely approval of the STF/TTF deliverables by the TB/ISG/SC.
The Chair approves the STF/TTF Progress Reports which confirm the achievement of the intermediate milestones against which the experts’ companies will be paid by ETSI Director-General.
Whenever possible, the reports should be reviewed and endorsed by members of relevant TB/ISG/SC, before the approval by the TB/ISG/SC Chair.
Closing the STF/TTF
Upon completion of the STF/TTF work, the Technical Group Chair shall ensure that feedback is provided to the Director- General on the STF/TTF work.
The ETSI Director-General (or a nominated substitute) represents ETSI within the relevant committees of the EC and EFTA concerning advisory or regulatory standardization issues.
The TB/ISG Chair should be aware of all the relevant liaisons between ETSI and the EC.
The TB/ISG Chair should also consider/verify relevant contributions of the TB/ISG to EC/EFTA Annual Union Work Programme (AUWP), the Rolling Plan for ICT Standardisation and any other EU policy.
The main goal of contribution to AUWP is to indicate what needs to be mandated by the EC for ESOs (AUWP targets ESOs only). AUWP is adopted after having conducted EC consultation with relevant stakeholders: ESOs, Member States and Annex III organisations (see Regulation 1025/2012). In many cases, a pre-condition for a Standardisation Request is an item in the AUWP. On the other hand, AUWP is not binding for the EC.
Standardisation actions identified in Rolling plan for ICT Standardisation are complementary to other instruments, in particular the Annual Union Work Programme (AUWP).
Normally, it is for the ETSI Secretariat to coordinate the response to the AUWP, the Rolling Plan for ICT Standardisation and any other EU policy. Information is shared among the ETSI members through the ETSI OCG and relevant ETSI BOARD meetings.
References: - AUWP - https://ec.europa.eu/growth/single-market/european-standards/notification-system_en - Rolling plan for ICT standardisation - https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/collection/rolling-plan-ict-standardisation/
ETSI working tools
Most of ETSI’s work is carried out by electronic means - by email exploder lists and via the ETSI portal.
Guidance is available from the portal wiki help pages including FAQs.
- An ETSI on-line (EOL) account is required to access most areas such as the ETSI portal.
- The ETSI Work Programme (EWP) contains all the technical activities and work items of ETSI committees and ISGs and enables the download of ETSI publications via a search engine.
- Remote Consensus is the ETSI online tool to collect comments and measure consensus for contributions during a given period as opposed to during a face-to-face meeting.
- The TB Decision Support application is designed to help the Technical Bodies/ISGs in their decision-making processes. Several types of formal Voting procedures (as opposed to consensus gathering) are predefined, including the vote for the approval of a draft, selecting a technology and electing officials.
- The e-Approval application is the means for voting on draft ETSI Standards, ETSI Guides, ETSI European Standards and ETSI Harmonized European Standards. The consultation of comments and/or results of votes on such documents is also possible.
ETSI Secretariat Contacts
The table below provides an overview of Secretariat teams available.
|Standards Development Centre (SDC)||Secretariat support to Technical Groups.|
|Centre for Testing and Interoperability (CTI)||Support to Technical Groups for the specification and validation of base standards and the development of test specifications.||
|editHelp!||Support and guidance for the drafting and finalisation of ETSI deliverables.||
|IT Helpdesk||Assistance for technical issues on ETSI Portal, EOL accounts, etc.||
|Membership||Advise on membership categories, application process, fees.
Liaises with the Official member contact.
|Funded Activities||Support to STFs, TTFs, Plugtests™ and Special Projects at different levels:
Work closely with the OPS Division, Technical Groups and EC/EFTA (for some projects)
|Communications||Manage the ETSI website, social media, press releases, webinars, blogposts, brochures, leaflets and the Enjoy! magazine.
Manage the finalisation and publication of White Papers, not under the control of ETSI.
|Events||Manage endorsements of events and negotiate special conference rates (speaking slots and stands).
Organise and promote ETSI workshops.
See forthcoming and past seminars, plugtests, webinar details.
|Legal||Responsible for the IPR Policy and IPR Guide, disclosure of Standard Essential Patents (SEP), and ownership of ETSI Copyright and Trademarks. Provision of legal advice upon request.||
|Partnerships||Development and maintenance of the ETSI partnership portfolio, interaction with the National Standards Organisations (NSOs)||
Annex 1 - Abbreviations
For the purposes of the present document, the following abbreviations apply:
- AUWP Annual Union Work Programme
- CA Co-operation Agreement
- CG Coordination Group
- CTI Centre for Testing and Interoperability
- EC European Commission
- EDRs ETSI Drafting Rules
- EG ETSI Guide
- EFTA European Free Trade Association
- EISMEA European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency
- EN European Standard
- ENAP EN Approval Procedure
- EOL ETSI on-line
- EP ETSI Project
- EPP ETSI Partnership Project
- ES ETSI Standard
- ETSI European Telecommunications Standards Institute
- EWP ETSI Work Programme
- FRAND Fair Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory
- GA General Assembly
- GR Group Report
- GS Group Specification
- HS Harmonised Standard
- ICT RP ICT Standardisation Rolling Plan
- IPR Intellectual Property Right
- ISG Industry Specification Group
- LOI Letter of Intent
- LS Liaison Statement
- MOU Memorandum of Understanding
- NSBG National Standards Body Group
- NSOG National Standards Organisation Group
- NWI New Work Item
- OCG Operational Co-ordination Group
- PAS Publicly Available Specification
- PEP Partnership Engagement Process
- RoP ETSI Rules of Procedure
- SC Special Committee
- SG Steering Group
- SR Special Report
- SRdAP Standardisation Request deliverables Approval Process
- STF Special Task Force
- TB Technical Body
- TG Task Group
- TC Technical Committee
- ToR Terms of Reference
- TR Technical Report
- TS Technical Specification
- TTF Testing Task Force
- TWPs Technical Working Procedures
- WG Working Group
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