The European Federation of Associations of Locks & Builders Hardware Manufacturers

CEN Technical Definitions

Definitions of the terms and acronyms most frequently used in CEN documents

Please note: This list is intended as a guide to terms and acronyms that occur frequently within ARGE Technical Reports which review CEN (Comité Européen de Normalisation/ European Committee for Standardization, Documents and other appropriate data. 

The Technical Reports are produced by ARGE Technical Consultant Alessandro Brunelli. We intend to publish these technical reports quarterly in the members section of the website where access requires a password. Summaries will be made available in the public area giving a short synopsis of the topics covered.


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Procedure by which an authoritative body gives formal recognition that a body or person is competent to carry out specific tasks.

Agreed expert opinion

The results of a dialogue between a group of experts who are accepted by their peers as being knowledgeable in a particular fire test and the performance of products in that test. 

Such dialogue shall take place within a recognised and properly constituted forum of an institution of the EU. These agreed expert opinions are then transformed into rules that may form the basis of extended application.

Annex ZA

The Annex ZA of a harmonised standard informs on the relationship between the European Standard and the Essential Requirements of EU Directive 89/106/EEC, EU Construction Products Directive. 

The clauses of a harmonised European Standard, shown in the Annex ZA meet the requirements of the mandate given under the EU Construction Product Directive (89/106/EEC). Compliance with these clauses confers a presumption of fitness of the products covered by this annex for its intended use.

Attestation of Conformity system AoC system

The Attestation of conformity system is the system of procedures used to assess the conformity of a product with its product standard. 

For the building hardware items covered by a harmonised standard, the Attestation of Conformity system is shown in the Table ZA.2 of the Annex ZA of the product standard and it is: System 1: See CPD, Annex III point 2 (i), without audit-testing of samples


European Committee for Standardisation (Comité Européen de Normalisation)

CEN Enquiry

Distribution by the CEN Management Centre of a prEN to CEN national members for public comments.

CEN Technical Board CEN TB

Technical body which controls the full standards programme and promotes its speedy execution by the Technical Committees (TC), the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre (CCMC), and other bodies

CEN/CENELEC Management Centre CCMC

Organization headed by the Director General which plays a specific and active role in the management of the CEN and CENELEC Systems on behalf of the CEN and the CENELEC National Members as agreed by their respective General Assemblies (GA). 

CCMC has many responsibilities among which:

  • To monitor and manage the work programme of CEN and CENELEC taking into account the Vienna and Dresden Agreements
  • To assist CEN and CENELEC Technical Committees in their standards development programmes, especially in the achievement of target dates.
  • To ensure the maintenance of the CEN Statutes, the CENELEC Articles of Association and the CEN-CENELEC Internal Regulations and procedures, providing advice as requested.
  • To processe and distribute documents for submission to CEN and CENELEC Enquiry and Formal Vote.
  • To monitor and manage the translation process in a transparent way to all CEN and CENELEC national members.
  • To proceed to the final editing in one single language and production of ratified texts.

European Committee for Electromechanical Standardization (Comité Européen de Narmalisation Electromécanique)

Co-existence period

A co-existence period will follow publication of the EN in the Official Journal of the European Union and the date of the beginning and the date of the end of the co-existence period are published in the NANDO web site. 

During this period, both a national standard and the EN can be used to demonstrate compliance. At the end of the co-existence period, the national standard will be withdrawn, and product performance will have to be quoted against EN. 

The co-existence period is normally 12 months. Products already in the supply chain before the end of the co-existence period will be considered to have already been ‘placed on the market’ and will not have to be removed after the period of coexistence.

Construction Products Directive CPD

Council Directive 89/106/EEC of 21 December 1988 on the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to construction products (89/106/EEC) (OJEU L 40, 11.2.1989, p.12) amended by: Council Directive 93/68/EEC of 22 July 1993 (OJ L 220, 30.8.1993, p.1) and Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 September 2003 (OJEU L 284, 31.10.2003, p.1)

Construction Products Regulation CPR

Regulation (EU) No 305/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2011 laying down harmonised conditions for the marketing of construction products and repealing Council Directive 89/106/EEC Construction Products Directive. The CPR has entered into force on April 24th, 2011 but Articles 3 to 28, Articles 36 to 38, Articles 56 to 63, Articles 65 and 66 as well as Annex I, II, III and V shall apply from July 1st, 2013.

Date of Announcement doa

Latest date by which the existence of an EN has to be announced at national level

Date of availability dav

Date when the definitive text in the official language versions of an approved CEN/CENELEC publication is distributed by the Central Secretariat

Date of publication dop

Latest date by which an EN has to be implemented at national level by publication of an identical national standard or by endorsement

Date of ratification dor

Date when the Technical Board notes the approval of an EN from which time the standard may be said to be approved

Date of withdrawal dow

Latest date by which national standards conflicting with an EN (and HD for CENELEC) have to be withdrawn

Direct application rules

The rules of direct application of fire resistance and smoke control test results relative to doorsets define the allowable changes to the test specimen following a successful fire resistance test to EN 1634-1 or a smoke control test to EN 1634-3.

According to the clause 13.1 of EN 1634-1 and EN 1634-3, these variations can be introduced automatically without the need for the sponsor to seek additional evaluation, calculation or approval. Note: the sponsor is the applicant for the fire test.

Draft European standard prEN

It is a standard under development. It is drafted by a Technical Committee and submitted to CEN members for a public enquiry.

Draft European standard for Formal Vote FprEN

It is the final test of a draft European standard ready to be progressed to the Formal Vote.

Essential characteristics

Characteristics of products covered by harmonised standards which are identified in the mandate, considered in the answer to the mandate and accepted by the Commisiion as being relevant. 

Table ZA.1 of harmonised standards lists the essential characteristics and the clauses of the standards which cover each of them.

Essential requirements

Requirements that represent the core of European Union law around which an effective policy has been developed in matters of safety, health and other measures for those areas covered by the 'new approach directives'.

European Commission EC

The Commission is both the institution and the 'college' of commissioners. There is currently one commissioner from each EU country.

European Directive

Legislative instrument within the European Union (EU) which is binding for Member States with regards to the objective to be achieved but which leaves to the national authorities the choice of form and methods used to attain the objectives which were agreed on at EU level within their domestic legal systems.

European Economic Area EEA

The European Economic Area (EEA) was established on 1 January 1994 following an agreement between the member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the European Community, later the European Union (EU). 

Specifically, it allows Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to participate in the EU's Internal Market without a conventional EU membership. In exchange, they are obliged to adopt all EU legislation related to the single market, except laws on agriculture and fisheries. One EFTA member, Switzerland, has not joined the EEA.

European Free Trade Association EFTA

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is an intergovernmental organisation set up for the promotion of free trade and economic integration to the benefit of its four Member States; Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland

European Regulation

Legislative act of the European Union that becomes immediately enforceable as law in all member states simultaneously. A regulations can be distinguished from directives which, at least in principle, need to be transposed into national law

European Standard EN

Standard adopted by CEN/CENELEC and carrying with it an obligation of implementation as an identical national standard and withdrawal of conflicting national standards.

NOTE The term “harmonized standard” is a term used in the context of the New Approach directives – see 4.2 of the “Guide to the implementation of directives based on the New Approach and the Global Approach” edition 2000.

European Telecommunications Standards Institute ETSI

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) produces globally-applicable standards for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), including fixed, mobile, radio, converged, broadcast and internet technologies

Extended application rules EXAP rules

The extended application rules of fire resistance and smoke control test results are the rules which take into consideration the doorsets variations which are outside of the rules given in EN 1634-1 and EN 1634-3 for direct application

While the rules of direct application are based on the results of a fire resistance or smoke control test, the extended application (EXAPs) rules are based on agreed expert opinions and/ the interpolation and extrapolation from a series of tests. 

The extended application (EXAPs) rules are defined in the part of EN 15269 relative to the doorsets having the same basic construction type end the same material as the considered doorset

Factory production control FPC

The manufacturer of a building hardware item covered by a harmonised standard shall establish, document and maintain an FPC system, in accordance with the requirements of the product standard, to ensure that the products placed on the market comply with the declared performance of the characteristics. 

The FPC system shall consist of procedures, regular inspections and tests and/or assessments and the use of the results to control raw and other incoming materials or components, equipment, the production process and the product. 

All the elements, requirements and provisions adopted by the manufacturer shall be documented in a systematic manner in the form of written policies and procedures.

Formal vote FV

Circulation by the CEN Management Centre of the final text of a prEN (FprEN) to CEN national members for approval through weighted voting.

Hardware performance sheet HPS

A hardware performance sheet (HPS) is a summary of test and extended application evidence, designed to facilitate the interchangeability of building hardware for application to fire resisting and smoke control doorsets and openable windows. 

A HPS shall be part of the technical documentation delivered to a Notified Body by an applicant for an Extended application report, prior to CE marking. It is the responsibility of the Notified Body to check whether its content is correct and up-to-date.

Harmonised European standard hEN

A harmonised standard (hEN) is a technical specification adopted by European Standards Organizations, developed under a mandate given by the European Commission and/or European Free Trade Association, in support of essential requirements of New Approach Directives.

Harmonization Document HD

A Harmonization Document (HD) is a normative document made available by CENELEC in the three official languages. The elaboration of a HD includes a public enquiry, followed by an approval by weighted vote of CENELEC national members and final ratification. 

The Harmonization Document is announced at national level and every conflicting national standard is withdrawn. During the elaboration and whole lifetime of the Harmonization Document, standstill applies. 

The preparation, the approval and the review of an HD follow the same procedure as that given for an EN

Initial Type Testing ITT

The manufacturer of a product covered by a harmonised standard shall submit a sample representative of the products which will be placed on the market for a complete set of tests for Initial Type Testing. 

This is to prove that the product complies with the performance characteristics established in the product standard and that the performance declarations made by the manufacturer represent the true behaviour of the product.

National Standards Body

Standards body recognized at national level, that is eligible to be the national member of the corresponding international and regional (European) standards organizations

New approach directives

Directives that have been put into force since May 1985 by the Council of the European Communities which define 'legislative harmonization in those sectors where barriers to trade are created by justified divergent national regulations concerning the health and safety of citizens and consumer and environmental protection 

New approach directives will be confined to laying down the 'essential requirements', conformity with which will entitle a product to free movement within the Community.' 

New Approach Directives define the essential requirements that products must meet when they are put on the market, but, in contrast to the Old Approach Directives, do not include technical solutions to meet the essential requirements.

New Approach Directives foresee that the European Standards organizations (e.g. CEN), following a mandate given by the Commission, will elaborate harmonised European Standards (hEN), which will offer technical solutions to meet the essential requirements. 

The list of the new approach directives comprehends several directives among which:

  • Construction Products Directive (CPD) 89/106/EEC and following amendments
  • Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) directive 2004/108/EC
  • Low voltage directive (LVD) 2006/95/EC Machinery directive (MD) 2006/42/EC and following amendments
New Approach Notified and Designated Organisations Information System NANDO Information System

Notification is an act whereby a Member State informs the Commission and the other Member States that a body, which fulfils the relevant requirements, has been designated to carry out conformity assessment according to a directive. 

Notification of Notified Bodies and their withdrawal are the responsibility of the notifying Member State. The Member States, EFTA countries (EEA members) and other countries with which the EC has concluded Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) and Protocols to the Europe Agreements on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (PECAs) have designated Notified Bodies, established per directive. 

Lists of Notified Bodies can be searched on the NANDO web site. The lists include the identification number of each notified body as well as the tasks for which it has been notified, In the NANDO web site it is also available a list of the harmonised standards under the CPD which advises the applicability date and the co-existence period end date of each harmonised standard. 

Find out more on NANDO website.

No performance determined NPD

The requirement on a certain characteristic of a harmonised standard is not applicable in those Member States (MSs) where there are no regulatory requirements on that characteristic for the intended use of the product. 

In this case, manufacturers placing their products on the market by these MSs are not obliged to determine nor declare the performance of their products with regard to this characteristic and the option “No performance determined” (NPD) in the information accompanying the CE marking (see ZA.3) may be used. 

The NPD option may not be used, however, for durability and where the characteristic is subject to a threshold level.

Notified Body

Notification is an act whereby a Member State informs the Commission and the other Member States that a body, which fulfils the relevant requirements, has been designated to carry out conformity assessment according to a directive. 

Notification of Notified Bodies and their withdrawal are the responsibility of the notifying Member State.

Official Journal of the European Union OJEU

An official publication of the Institutions of the European Union which is published daily.


Point at which the CEN Management Centre registers the standard as an adopted standard in the CEN System following a positive vote and the production of the voting report.


Document providing binding legislative rules, that is adopted by an authority.

Standing Committee of a directive

Committee composed of representatives appointed by the Member States of the European Union (who may call upon the assistance of experts or advisers) and chaired by a representative of the European Commission. 

It deals with any question regarding the implementation of a directive, and in particular, gives advice prior to the publication of the references of the national standards retained on a transitional basis and in case of appeal procedure provided for by the safeguard clause.


Standstill is an obligation accepted by the national members of CEN/CENELEC not to take any action, either during the preparation of an EN (and HD for CENELEC) or after its approval, which could prejudice the harmonization intended and in particular, not to publish a new or revised national standard which is not completely in line with an existing EN (and HD for CENELEC).

Technical Board TB

Technical body which controls the full standards programme and promotes its speedy execution by the Technical Committees (TC), the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre (CCMC), and other bodies.

Technical Committee TC

Technical decision making body with precise title, scope and work programme, established in the CEN System by the Technical Board (BT), essentially to manage the preparation of CEN publications- in accordance with an agreed business plan

Technical Report TR

Document adopted by CEN/CENELEC containing informative material not suitable to be published as a European Standard or a Technical Specification. 

NOTE a TR may include, for example, data obtained from a survey carried out among the CEN/CENELEC national members, data on work in other organizations, or data on the “state-of-the-art” in relation to national standards on a particular subject.

Technical Specification TS

Document adopted by CEN/CENELEC for which there is the future possibility of agreement on a European Standard, but for which at present

  • The required support for approval as a European Standard cannot be obtained,
  •  There is doubt on whether consensus has been achieved,
  • The subject matter is still under technical development, or
  • There is another reason precluding immediate publication as a European Standard.

NOTE: A Technical Specification is not allowed to conflict with an existing European Standard.

Third party

Person or body that is recognized as being independent of the parties involved, as concerns the issue in question. NOTE: Parties involved are usually manufacturer or supplier ("first party"") and user or purchaser (""second party"")."

Unique Acceptance Procedure UAP

Procedure applied to any type of document, whatever its origin, in order to achieve rapid approval of a European Standard, for which there is an expectation to be acceptable at European level with no or only minor changes.

Vienna agreement

Agreement on exchange of technical information between the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and CEN approved by the CEN Administrative Board on 27 June 1991 in Vienna.

Work item WI

Subject with a specific title and scope to be worked out by a Technical Committee within agreed target dates and leading to a CEN publication, or a series of interrelated tasks implemented within the constraints of time, cost and quality for the purposes of achieving a specific measurable objective