Strong network – strong standards
SSG is working with Swedish industry to devise new standards, coming up with common solutions to common needs
SSG has an extensive network of clients, suppliers, contractors, academics and authorities to assist it in its work. This network raises awareness at SSG on what industrial plants need. They may need support with project design, interpretation of rules, implementation requirements or safety requirements, for example. Anyone identifying a need is welcome to submit a standardisation request to the SSG committees. If this request turns out to relate to something that several parties need, SSG will start the standardisation process.
The committees – at the hub of the network
The SSG committees are made up of representatives of various industrial companies. Participating in the committees gives them the opportunity to exchange expertise and experience, identify common needs and devise common solutions. The ten committees are:
- The Construction Committee
- The Reliability and Efficiency Committee
- The Electrical Committee
- The Instruments Committee
- The Contracts Committee
- The Mechanics Committee
- The Product Database Committee
- The Pipeline Systems Committee
- The Safety Committee
- The Surface Protection Committee
The committees operate as clients and quality assurance agents in the standardisation process. They make decisions on requests that have been received and decide whether new standards are to be developed and whether existing standards are to be revised or withdrawn. Pilot studies and decision data are produced by SSG process managers, who also establish and run the assignments. The committees and SSG process managers play their part in identifying resources for the work to be done. Committee members are involved in standardisation work for a number of assignments.
Workgroups, reference groups and designated stakeholders devise the standard
Resources for the project are managed by various groupings, depending on the size and complexity of the project.
- A workgroup is made up of a number of individuals from industry who are familiar with the project field. Both clients and suppliers are represented on the workgroups wherever possible. Experts with extensive expertise on the subject area in question are used where required.
- A reference group is usually a group of people who take responsibility for ongoing development of a standard over a period of time. This may also be linked to another SSG service.
- A designated stakeholder may be a specialist consultant, a body or SSG’s process managers with the support of a committee, for example.
The standardisation process in brief
A need is identified – the SSG process manager examines what the actual need is and what type of approach would be appropriate in order to meet that need. The committee decides on how to progress with the work.
- The project is created – resources for the project are contacted when the committee has devised a framework for the standardisation work.
- The work is done – the SSG process manager launches a workgroup or reference group or appoints a stakeholder to run the work. As resources work on a voluntary basis, it is up to the SSG process manager to coordinate work meetings and monitor matters to ensure that no unauthorised information is discussed and that no unauthorised combinations are compiled. Meetings are held at 4 to 6-week intervals. It may take 3 to 15 months to revise a standard, depending on the size and complexity of the standard in question. It may take 7 to 20 months to work on a new standard.
- Consultation – when a proposal for a standard has been compiled, this is sent out for consultation to a number of parties that may be involved, such as committees, clients, suppliers, contractors, academics and authorities. There is a consultation period of around one month before comments are compiled so that they can be dealt with by the people who created the proposal for the standard.
- Approval of the work – when the standard has been reworked on the basis of the comments from the consultation period, a new proposal is sent out to the responsible committee for confirmation. The committee now decides whether the results meet the requirements defined in the order. If so, the proposal is confirmed. If the work fails to live up to the committee’s requirements, any of the following may take place:
- The workgroup has to start all over again.
- A new group has to take over the work.
- The committee itself makes final adjustments.
- The standard is sent out for another consultation period.
5. Launch – when the committee has accepted a publication, other language versions are produced and the standard is made available on the SSG website. Information on new or updated standards is published in other SSG channels, such as the newsletter SSG News.
What can you do?
SSG’s process managers are constantly looking for ideas for new standards or improvements to the existing range. Visit the SSG website, locate the committee that you think would be the appropriate recipient of your suggestion, and the contact details of the responsible process managers can be found there. Also take the opportunity to register if you would be interested in being part of a workgroup or would like to apply for a place on a committee.