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Working methods

The work in the Standards Making Process is governed by the ETSI Directives, which consists of
  • ETSI Statutes
  • ETSI Rules of Procedure
  • ETSI Board Powers and Functions, and Working Procedures
  • ETSI Technical Working Procedures
  • ETSI Drafting rules
and the the terms of reference for the operational co-ordination group (OCG) between the Technical Body Chairmen and the Secretariat.

The Chairman of a Technical Body (TB), nominated by the TB and appointed by the Board, is responsible for the overall management of the TB, its working groups and its work programme.

Representatives of full and associate members can participate in the work of a TB and its working groups. Representatives of non-members may participate on an "exceptional and temporary" basis, if the TB Chairman agrees. Working documents are usually available only to members of ETSI (while the resulting TB approved output is available in the public domain, for free of charge download.

Each TB establishes and maintains a work programme, consisting of Work items. The various TB work programmes together constitute the ETSI Work Programme. The responsibility for a Work item is usually given to small group of experts, chaired by a Rapporteur.

A work item is approved by the TB and then formally adopted by the whole membership (via a web based procedure).

Most of the technical work in such Rapporteur groups, in working groups and in the TB as a whole is done via electronic means, email, email exploders, and the ETSI server (ftp or http). TBs and working groups also arrange physical meetings (with a frequency of 2 - 6 meetings per year). Such meetings take place either at the ETSI Secretariat meeting facilities in Sophia Antipolis or are hosted by ETSI members, in the majority of cases in continental Europe.

Decisions in a TB are taken either by consensus or by a weighted vote (where a  proposition passes if at least 71% of the votes cast are in favour).

The TB approves the output from its work on work item, an ETSI Deliverable. In the case of ETSI Technical Specifications and ETSI Technical Reports, the TB also adopts the deliverable for publication; for the other deliverables adoption takes place after application of the relevant approval process.