Approval processes

ETSI’s standards-making process is based on consensus. Only when consensus cannot be achieved is a vote conducted in a Technical Committee.

Different approval procedures are used depending upon the type of standard being created.

For all types of standards the ETSI Secretariat is responsible:

  • for checking that the draft meets the requirements of the ETSI Drafting Rules (available via the ETSI Portal) and procedural rules
  • for managing the approval and publication processes

Technical Specifications (TSs), Technical Reports (TRs), Group Specifications (GSs) and Special Reports (SRs)

After the Technical Committee has approved the draft, it submits it to the ETSI Secretariat which publishes the standard.

Editing-Publication chart 

ETSI Guides (EGs) and ETSI Standards (ESs)

These documents are approved by the full ETSI membership, using the 'Membership Approval Procedure':

  • After the Technical Committee has approved the draft, the ETSI Secretariat makes the document available to the Members.
  • Each ETSI full and associate member may vote as to whether or not the standard should be adopted
  • If the vote is successful the ETSI Secretariat publishes the standard; if not, it is referred back to the committee

Editing-Member Voting-Publication chart

European Standards (ENs)

EN Approval Procedure  – most ENs follow this procedure which comprises a Public Enquiry and a weighted national Vote performed in a single process:

  • After the Technical Committee has approved the draft, the ETSI Secretariat makes the document available to the NSOs.
  • The NSOs carry out the Public Enquiry. This involves consultation and submission of the national position (the national weighted ‘vote’) on the standard.
  • If this vote is successful, and if no substantial comments are received as a result of this consultation, the ETSI Secretariat finalizes the draft and publishes the standard.
  • Any technical comments received during PE are considered by the Technical Committee, which may revise the draft and resubmit it to the Secretariat.
  • If the changes are significant, the Secretariat may initiate another Public Enquiry; otherwise the draft will be presented directly to a second vote.
  • After a successful vote, the Secretariat publishes the standard.

EN Approval Procedure chart: Editing, NSO Public Enquiry and National Vote, either resulting in Publication if no technical comments, or resulting in TB resolution, Editing, NSO voting and Publication


Votes are considered to be successful if at least 71% of the weighted votes cast are in favour of the draft. This applies to all types of documents, with the possible exception of some Group Specifications. For European Standards the vote of each nation is weighted as agreed by the ETSI General Assembly. For other types of document the vote of each ETSI member is weighted as agreed between the members.


Maintenance is an important part of the standardization process. It is the means by which ETSI adapts its standards to evolving technology and the developing needs of the market place.

Our standards are updated as required to take account of the latest developments and revised versions are published.

Full details of the approvals process are outlined in the ETSI Directives, in particular the Technical Working Procedures.