THE REPORT OF SIST ABOUT ACTIVITIES IN 2021 AIMED AT ENCOURAGING THE INVOLVEMENT OF MICRO AND SMALL ENTERPRISES (SMEs) IN STANDARDIZATION AND THE USE OF STANDARDS
SIST has established an advisory committee for micro and small enterprises, which gathers representatives of chambers and associations representing SMEs in Slovenia. The Committee did not hold any meetings in 2021, but it carried out the following tasks:
- monitoring of the latest state of the art,
- providing of extracts of new Slovenian standards,
- monitoring of the work of SIST technical boards in areas of interest to SMEs,
- promoting of the online tool eSME (e-course for SMEs),
- promoting of the video Standards, a business tool for SMEs,
- promoting of the participation of Slovenian experts in CEN, CENELEC, ISO, IEC and ETSI committees, as representatives of SME interests in the processes of developing various standardization documents.
Education and promotion of participation in standardization and application of standards for SMEs
Aware that SMEs are a very important part of the economy and yet the representatives of these companies hardly use standards or participate in standardization processes, SIST organizes free trainings for SME representatives. Annually, one or two free-of-charge seminars are held for SMEs, which are attended by 15 to 30 listeners.
Due to special measures taken in relation to the Covid-19 epidemic in 2021, SIST organized virtual trainings. For standards users, SIST held the seminar entitled "The importance of standards for companies on 10th June 2021, while the seminar entitled "Sustainable development using standards" was organized on the occasion of SIST’s 20th anniversary and the World’s Standards Day on 14th October 2021. Both seminars were attended by a total of 48 representatives from various SMEs.
Scope of the SIST Contact Point for SMEs
In line with Regulation (EU) 2019/515 on mutual recognition, Regulation for construction products (EU) no. 305/2011, and the WTO / TBT agreement, SIST has established the Contact Point where stakeholders from micro, small and medium-sized enterprises can get free information on applicable standards and regulations and other requirements that must be observed to ensure that only safe and quality products are placed on the market.
In 2021, SIST responded to 230 written requests for information from Slovenian users and also to 46 written requests for information from foreign users. Most of the questions related to existing standards and regulations and conformity assessment procedures.
SIST website, dedicated to SME representatives
Through our links and articles, SMEs can obtain information on the work of various organizations and associations that may have significant influence on SMEs either through their work or their mission (CEN/CLC SME Helpdesk, SBS newsletter, European Small Business Portal, e-learning tool on SMEs), as well as information on current SIST trainings and other documents relevant to SMEs.
- SIST regularly updated the content of the website, dedicated specifically to SMEs.
- In relation to the Regulation 1025/2012, SIST made available on its website an interactive tool for e-learning for SMEs, where all interested can get acquainted with the area of standards and the process of standardization. Available in 23 languages, the tool enables users to learn about the benefits of standards use and involvement in standardization in their own language, and also offers the possibility of printing a certificate after successfully completing all modules. The link to the e-tool is available here.
- SIST has also added another video (available on this link) specifically for SMEs which informs all interested about how and why they should get involved in standardization.
Search for new projects in international and European standardization
SIST website also gives instructions to all interested in the development of international and European standards on how to find information on new standardization projects in IEC, ISO, CEN and CENELEC to encourage competitiveness. The information is intended for all those who need information on new areas of standardization work in IEC, ISO, CEN and CENELEC (click here).
Notification of new working drafts (WI) and draft standards in public enquiry stage on the SIST website
SIST provides a monthly list of new standardization projects and their working drafts (WI) ISO, IEC, CENELEC, CEN and ETSI on its website (click here), and ensures free access to draft standards under public enquiry (click here) where all interested can also submit their comments.
Publication of Abstracts and news updates
SIST provides free access to the publication ABSTRACTS where descriptions of the scope of each Slovenian standard issued in the current month are available to the interested public for awareness and better understanding of standards (link is available here).
Cooperation of SIST with chambers
- SIST cooperates in the working group for the preparation of the e-workbook "Test of procedures for the introduction of quality standards for SMEs" with the Chamber of Small business and Trade, an expert service of the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce.
- SIST also cooperates with the Chamber of Crafts, where we regularly provide promotional articles on standards and standardization to be published at the Chamber’s website
- SIST actively cooperates with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry through its membership in the Chamber of Electronic and Electrical Industry.
Cooperation of SIST in international projects for SMEs
- SIST participates in the working group CEN/CENELEC SME WG
- SIST also participates in the CEN/CENELEC working group for the implementation of the Joint Standardization Initiative in the topics related to SMEs
- SIST participates in the CEN/CENELEC working group for the promotion of the benefits that SMEs can gain from their participation in standardization by presenting good practices of Slovenian companies which are published on the CEN/CENELEC website under the SME tab
- Cooperation of SIST with SBS, the European SME Association
- SIST and SBS cooperation in joint international events.