Delegate's Guide

From OCG
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The present document endeavours to provide step-by-step guidance on the essential elements, most common practices and responsibilities of an ETSI Delegate.

It has been formatted to be used as a quick reference guide together with the ETSI Directives ( 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 (Industry Specification Groups (ISGs), Technical Bodies (TBs) and Special Committees (SCs)). It does not cover Partnership Projects (e.g. 3GPP and oneM2M).

Rights, Obligations and Responsibilities of a delegate

ETSI Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and Antitrust Compliance policies

Delegates participating in the technical work of ETSI shall be aware of ETSI IPR policy and Antitrust Compliance policies. 

References: Rules of Procedures, Articles 1.2.2, 1.2.3, 1.2.4, 1.3 and 1.5, ETSI IPR Policy Annex 6, Guidelines for Antitrust Compliance. 

Code of Conduct 

ETSI encompasses the key principles of international standardization: consensus, transparency, openness, impartiality, effectiveness, relevance, and coherence.

At ETSI the respect of other delegates, the Secretariat and the professional culture of standardization is foremost: 

  • Discussions and debates should take place in a moderate, professional, respectful and friendly manner, without prejudice.  
  • All delegates, participants and guests are expected to act in good faith and with due care and diligence, avoid collusive, anticompetitive, or dominant behaviour and promote a culture of fair and ethical behaviour. 
  • Speakers should not be interrupted; delegates may speak once recognised by the convenor of the call or meeting. 
  • The views of all meeting attendees (including those whose first language is not English) should be heard and understood. 
  • The concepts of consensus-building in the development of ETSI standards should be upheld. 
  • Delegates are invited to actively participate in the work of ETSI, providing timely contributions uploaded to the ETSI portal. 
  • Delegates are to inform the Chair or the Secretariat of any issues requiring escalation so a solution may be reached.  
  • All delegates and guests are to refrain from debate and discussion that is disrespectful, threatening (mental or physical), or otherwise unprofessional in tone or which is offensive to other participants.  

Technical Organisation, SCs and ISGs  


The Technical Organisation of ETSI comprises three (3) types of Technical Bodies, designated either as an ETSI Project (EP), a Technical Committee (TC) or an ETSI Partnership Project (EPP) who all provide a forum for technical discussion, prepare the work programme and produce ETSI deliverables. 

A Technical Body (TB) is the primary decision-making centre for all matters that fall within its Terms of Reference (ToR) and may establish Working Groups (WGs), if required. 

A Special Committee (SC) may be established by the General Assembly (GA) for defined tasks and follows the same rules as TBs (as per the ETSI Technical Working Procedures (TWPs)) unless otherwise stipulated in their ToR. 

Industry Specification Groups (ISGs) exist alongside the current Technical Organisation supplementing the existing standards development process. An ISG is an activity organized around a set of ETSI Work Items addressing a specific technology area as defined in the ToR  and may establish Working Groups where appropriate.

References: ETSI TWPs clauses 1.1, 3.1 and ETSI RoP Article 7.

Participation in TB or SC technical activities 

 Participation in the technical work is governed by the ETSI’s TWPs which are part of the ETSI Directives.

  • Delegates from ETSI Full or Associate members have the right to participate in any ETSI TB or SC meetings, access documents and provide contributions. 
  • Associations which are Full or Associate members shall be represented by their employees and elected officials. Technical experts of an Association attending ETSI meetings shall only represent that Association’s views. A maximum of one (1) nominated technical expert per meeting shall be allowed to attend and participate in meetings.   
  • A delegate may only represent one (1) organisation during a TB or SC meeting and shall not change their registration from one (1) organisation to another during the meeting. 
  • Delegates subscribed to the TB or SC membership list with their EOL account email address are eligible for voting by correspondence. 
  • Upon registration to a TB or 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. 
  • An applicant for Full or Associate membership (Applicant member), who has formally submitted their application to the ETSI Secretariat may attend ETSI TB or SC meetings subject to the agreement of the ETSI Director-General.  
  • Representative of an ETSI partner organisation where ETSI has a signed partnership agreement (according to the rules of the relevant agreement) may attend ETSI TB/SC meetings. 
  • Guests may attend ETSI TB or SC meetings as a non-member or as an ETSI Observer, following authorisation by the TB Chair for three TB/WG meetings or six months (whichever is the shorter) and be in receipt of the meeting information from the Secretariat. 
    References: ETSI RoP Articles 1.2.2, 1.2.3, 1.2.4, 1.3 and 1.5. ETSI TWPs clauses 1.4, 1.5.4 and 1.5.5 and 1.8.1.

Industry Specification Groups (ISGs) 

The main difference with the Technical Organisation is that an Industry Specification Group Agreement sets out the operation rules, budget mechanism, voting rules etc., for each ISG: 

  • ETSI Full and Associate Members may participate in the work of any ISG without needing to sign an ISG Agreement. 
  • The right to vote is reserved only for ISG Members. The voting rules for each ISG are defined in the ISG ToR.  
  • Participation of non-ETSI members in the technical work of an ISG is subject to the signature of the relative ISG Participant Agreement. 
  • The ISG Participant Agreement imposes the ETSI IPR Policy. 
  • Meeting fees are stipulated in each ISG Participant Agreement, Annex 5, these shall be paid prior to attendance of a meeting 
  • ISG Participants can ONLY access the ISG documents of the ISG(s) for which the agreement(s) has been signed. 
  • ISG Participants may hold Rapporteur positions. 
  • The candidature of an ISG Participant for an official ISG role is not permitted. 
  • Counsellors and non-members shall not support new work items, vote or hold an ISG leadership position. 
  • 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. 
  • For a Guest to attend an ISG meeting on an exceptional and temporary basis, the rules according to ETSI TWPs clause 3.4, Annex 2 and Board Decision (D-B108/8) shall be adhered to. 
  • ISG Guests may not be subscribed to the ISG membership list. 
    References: ETSI TWPs clauses 3.4, 3.5 and 3.7. 

Contributing to the technical activity

  • Contributions related to drafting of deliverables shall comply with ETSI Drafting Rules. 
  • All documents and information provided in or for TB/ISG/SC 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. 
  • Delegates shall follow the Technical Working Procedures on the submission of contributions. Special attention shall be given to the purpose of the contribution: Decision, or Discussion, or Information. 
  • ETSI Observers and ETSI non-members 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 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/ISG/SC.
    • vote or have the possibility to take part in any decision-making process.
    • subscribe to a TB or SC mailing list.
References: ETSI TWPs clauses 1.4, 1.5.4 and 1.5.5.

ETSI Working Tools 

ETSI On-Line account 

Most of ETSI’s work is carried out by electronic means – by email exploder lists and via the ETSI portal. 

An ETSI On-Line (EOL) account is required to access most areas such as the ETSI portal.  

Apply for an ETSI online account (username & password) Reset my password or Change my password

Update my personal contact details in the ETSI database.

ETSI portal 

The tabs Meetings, Contributions, Work Programme and Drafts are the most relevant areas on a TB/ISG/SC portal page. 

  • Subscribe to a TB/ISG e-mail/membership list under Email archives.
  • See help page for the Contribution’s application.
  • See help page on Latest draft application.

ETSI portal applications 

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, and also enables consultation of comments and/or results of votes on such documents.  

Preparing for an ETSI meeting (physical or online) 

Meetings are held when and where necessary to coordinate activities, discuss important issues and make decisions. 

They can be face-to-face at ETSI or at an external location, online or hybrid.  

ETSI is situated in Valbonne - Sophia Antipolis between Nice and Cannes on the French Riviera. 

The nearest airport is Nice Côte d’Azur (NCE) and the nearest train station is Antibes

See the webpage on how to reach ETSI and find a hotel room close by:  

An ETSI delegate shall take note of the following: 

  • Registration before the meeting via the ETSI portal.
  • Details of the meeting invitation including the QR code for the printing of the meeting badge.
  • Review of the agenda and in particular the topics for decision or vote (election, New Work Item (NWI) proposal, draft deliverable for approval). 
  • Awareness of the guidelines for contributions and deliverables:
    • Copyright.
    • Trademarks.
    • third party material.
References: ETSI TWPs clauses 1.5.4. ETSI IPR Guide; Guidelines for Antitrust Compliance, clause C.4.1, ETSI Rules of Procedure, Annex 6.

Special Task Force/Testing Task Force 

A Special Task Force (STF) or a Testing Task Force (TTF) is a team of highly skilled experts working together to draft an ETSI standard or report under the technical guidance of an ETSI Technical Group. 

A delegate may submit a new STF/TTF proposal, including the related Work Items, supported by at least four (4) ETSI members for an approval by the Reference Body. 

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. 

The European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA) is the agency handling STF proposals funded by EC/EFTA.  

All delegates from ETSI members and ISG Participants who are prepared to actively contribute to the management of the STF/TTF shall be entitled to participate in the Steering Committee. 

Applications from ETSI members active in the Technical Group are encouraged.  

References:  ETSI TWPs: clauses 1.10, 1.11 and Annex H, ETSI Chair’s Guide section 8 “STF/TTF Management and Chair’s responsibilities”, ETSI STF/TTF Expert’s Guide.

Useful links to find out more 

ETSI Strategy:

ETSI in Europe: 

ETSI Worldwide: 

ETSI Directives: Directives 

ETSI Drafting Rules: ETSI Drafting Rules 

ETSI Brands and Trademarks: library/brand-and-trademarks 

Subscribe to the ETSI magazine ENJOY!: 

Read the ETSI news and press releases: 

See ETSI technology pages and our committees for an overview of the current areas of work in ETSI. 

Read the ETSI Work Programme brochure and annual reports 

Find an ETSI published standard: 

Download published ETSI standards via the ETSI Standards Search  

The ETSI Labs platform where ETSI members can collaborate and experiment with code around ETSI standardized technologies, developing demos, prototypes and proofs of concept:

The ETSI Forge is for users of ETSI standards to download software produced collaboratively by ETSI delegates:   

Other ETSI Guides: 

ETSI Information Policy 

ETSI Information Policy r1.png

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Annex 1- ETSI Secretariat Contacts 

The ETSI Secretariat provides: 

  • guidance to ETSI members and delegates on ETSI rules, best practices and on writing high quality standards. 
  • administrative support to ETSI Technical Groups. 
  • Assistance in the promotion of Technical Group activities outside of ETSI. 

The table below provides an overview of Secretariat teams available for delegates. 

Secretariat team Role Web page
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:  
  • Project set-up  
  • Project lifecycle  
  • Project closing  

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. 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 2 - Abbreviations 

For the purposes of the present document, the following abbreviations apply: 

EC European Commission  

EDR ETSI Drafting Rules 

EFTA European Free Trade Association  

EISMEA European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency 

EN European Standard 


EP ETSI Project 

EPP ETSI Partnership Project 

ETSI European Telecommunications Standards Institute  

EWP ETSI Work Programme 

GA General Assembly 

IPR Intellectual Property Rights  

ISG Industry Specification Group 

OCG Operational Co-ordination Group  

RoP ETSI Rules of Procedure 

SC Special Committee  

STF Special Task Force  

TB Technical Body 

TC Technical Committee  

TTF Testing Task Force 

TWPs Technical Working Procedures  

WG Working Group