Skip to main content
Standardisation in civil protection

Standardisation in civil protection – chances, risks and future tasks

Published on

Standardisation means that the products we buy or the services we use are safe, reliable and the same standard wherever we access them. We rely on standards as consumers but they're also important in civil protection, supporting quality and safety standards and helping systems from different countries work together. The European Commission’s strategy is also of interest to civil protection.

By Knowledge Network – Staff member

Already today, approximately 80% of all standardisation projects are initiated at international or European level. Now, with its new standardisation strategy, the European Commission aims to ensure further European leadership in global standards. The strategy was introduced in February 2023 and focuses on better networking and coordination of experts in the standardisation bodies, policies, science, and research. By making standardisation a driver of European competitiveness and resilience, the strategy also seeks to support investments in green and digital transformation while integrating democratic values into technology applications.

While most people commonly associate standards with technical regulations used in product development, the scope of standards today is much broader.  “Soft” standards are increasingly being used for processes and services, which can also be observed in the field of civil protection, where standardisation projects on disaster early warning systems, crisis management, resilience, and cross-cutting issues are gaining momentum.

The Commission´s strategy, recognises the strategic value of standardisation. However, its success depends on its implementation. Only by actively implementing the strategy, can we ensure the importance of standardisation as a strategic measure for crisis prevention, allowing the anticipation and prioritisation of standardisation need in critical areas consistently.

“Dealing with risks of different kinds in a structured manner is part of the daily work of many organisations nowadays. Especially bigger enterprises have their own systematic risk management system. To build an efficient and effective risk management system a large bandwidth of information and experience from other actors is required. Here, the DIN specification “Integrated risk management for the protection of civil society” provides a structured process for the cooperation across different domains and levels to create an integrated risk management between governmental and municipal actors

This article was contributed by Nina Henn. Nina is a Member of the Societal Security Committee within the Firefighting and Fire Protection Standards Committee (FNFW) of the German Institute for Standardisation (DIN) and works on behalf of the federal states in Germany. She provides information and reports on ongoing international and European standardisation projects in civil protection and contributes to joint statements.

About the author

The Knowledge Network – Staff member

The Knowledge Network editorial team is here to share the news and stories of the Knowledge Network community. We'd love to hear your news, events and personal stories about your life in civil protection and disaster risk management. If you've got a story to share, please contact us.