ETSI's role in creating standards
ETSI is basically a factory that produces some of the best ICT standards on the market. The contractors are Members in the majority of cases, sometimes EU policy makers (for mandated work).
In both cases, a work item is being created within (or channelled to) a technical committee.
NOTE: In ETSI it is sufficient that 4 members decide to start a new work item to set the machine into motion.
If it happens that the new work cannot be performed within the perimeter of an existing technical body, a new technical body is being set up by ETSI Board. Such was the case recently for GRID and e-health.
Our role is then to support a smooth, swift and efficient standards production at all stages of the process: inception, meeting organization and support (logistics and technical), compliance with IPR rules, standards drafting and editing (including dealing with change requests), conformance, validation and interoperability testing (with the CTI), promotion and maintenance of the standards.
Along the way, members may decide to add Specialists Task Forces (STFs), typically because of a specific time to market issue. STFs are experts from member companies who come as residents in ETSI (as opposed to experts who join specific meetings) and are dedicated full time to the production of a set of specifications.
Members' and market requirements are therefore the lifeblood of ETSI. The whole Secretariat is a service centre, dedicated to making things happen as fast and efficiently as requested whilst maintaining the highest standards of quality and reliability of the specifications coming out of the factory.