Approval of the prEN 16763 standard has been announced by CEN/CENELEC in the wake of “overwhelmingly positive” votes cast by national standardisation bodies. Euralarm welcomes the adoption of this European standard which it has long supported, with its members now preparing for the next stages.
Services account for between 60% and 70% of all economic activity in the 28 Member States of the European Union. For this reason, the creation of a Single Market for services has become a top priority for Jean-Claude Junker’s Commission. Standardisation is increasingly being used to support the development of the Single Market for services and, as the association representing the electronic fire safety and security sector, Euralarm has backed the development of a standard that’s now set to become a benchmark for other service sectors.
Adoption of the prEN 16763 standard follows much effort first initiated back in 2009 with the creation of a dedicated Services Section within the association. Led by DIN, the objective of the project was to standardise services for fire safety systems and security systems. This European standard duly lays out quality requirements for service providers, defining basic levels of competence for those employees entrusted with the planning, design, assembly, commissioning, verification, handover or maintenance of fire safety and/or security systems. The standard also describes minimum requirements on the service output and documentation.
Paul Langer, a ZVEI delegate in Euralarm’s Services Section, has played an essential part in developing the standard by dint of his role as chairman of the Technical Committee (TC4) in the European standardisation platform CEN-CENLEC. “Adoption of the standard is a good result,” explained Langer. “It has been a long struggle and, even right before the voting period, I wasn’t quite sure whether or not we would achieve an approval. In the end, all major European countries have accepted it. This is a victory for the Single Market.”
High quality threshold and equal service levels
The prEN 16763 standard is considered to be the first step in reaching a high quality threshold and an equal service level for fire safety and security systems right across Europe. In the long run, Euralarm members hope that the standard leads to a convergence of the existing landscape of national policies and procedures in Europe, notably through the expected development of pan-European application guidelines.
Euralarm members welcome the positive outcome of their enduring efforts, although they consider the publication of the new standard to be just the beginning of another long journey towards the recognition of the quality of the services they provide.
The Services Section of Euralarm is now willing to support and accompany such a development with further initiatives such as explaining the objectives of the standard as well as its quality requirements in order to foster acceptance and narrow the range of interpretations.
Euralarm will also encourage the exchange of Best Practice to support the convergence of the certification requirements in collaboration with all stakeholders involved: test houses, certification bodies and their clients.