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Issues related to standardisation in the service sector

Human Resources Management in UNE
Excellence of the service provided

The Standard UNE-CEN/TS 16880:2015 establishes a model of excellence for providing services to create exceptional customer experiences, exceed their expectations and to please them. It does not focus on providing a basic service to the customer, to which the organisations that want to implement this model must already adhere.

It is applicable to all kinds of service providers, whether private, public or non-profit organisations.​

ISO is also working on the concept of service excellence with new projects that delve into its principles, metrics, customer experience and the provision of an excellent service.

Further information

Programme or seminar
"Growing the services industry with ISO standards"

ISO, aware of the potential of standards on the provision of services, organised two international seminars (Geneva, 2016, and Vancouver, 2017) to analyse the particular needs of this sector and the system's flexibility in preparing standards to cater these needs. On both occasions, after presenting overwhelmingly successful cases, it became evident that standards are efficient tools for services. Some of them have been published and are available on ISO's website, at the following link.

ISO has set itself the following challenges, supported by its member countries:

  • Maintaining permanent communication with the service industry, through ISO members, with the aim of understanding and attending their needs
  • Adapting the standardisation system to the furthest extent possible, without loosing any soundness and credibility
  • Presenting standardisation in a way that its benefits and flexibility can be appreciated and that shows how leadership rests on each sector's agents

Further information

Scales as a symbol of law and justice
Joint Initiative for Standardisation. Action 12

Action 12 is part of the Joint Initiative for Standardisation (JIS) and intends to promote the further development and use of European standards in the area of services. Its main purpose is for organisations to benefit from a genuine Single Market for the service industry.


Further information

To find out more

CEN/TC 447 Horizontal standards for the provision of services

Its work programme includes the drafting of the following European standards:

  • Agreements and contracts
  • Selecting a service provider (in the area of both public and private procurement)
  • Criteria and parameters for measuring service quality
  • Terminology and definitions in the scope of services

You can have a say in the drafting of these projects for European standards by participating in CTN 309/SC 1 “Horizontal Standards in Services”.

Further information

CEN Guide 15. Drawing up standards in the service sector

The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) published the CEN 15:2012 Guide, which provides support, guidelines and a methodology for the development of standards in the field of services, whether generally applicable or for a specific sector.

The Guide, translated by the Spanish Standardisation Association, UNE, is available in Spanish.

CEN Guide 15

Standards for the service sector on the website of DG GROW

The European Commission DG GROW has allotted a space specifically dedicated to standardisation in services on its website.

Use this link to keep up to date with policies and new developments related to standardisation in the field of services.

The European Commission's DG GROW