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Comparison of reliability standards report available.

The final agreed report prepared by Expert Group 17 (Dependability and Safety) of CEN Workshop 10 is now available. The report was delivered by the Expert Group 17 convenor Nicholas Barnett of the UK Ministry of Defence, a joint member of SaRS and SEE, David Richards reports,

CEN Workshop 10, and its 19 expert groups, were tasked by the EU European Defence Agency (EDA) to recommend requirement standards for defence procurement related to the European Defence Procurement Directive 2009.

This section of the European handbook encompasses standards related to the more traditional areas of reliability, availability and maintainability including testability (RAM), both in terms of engineering design assessment and verification techniques.

The Dependability and Safety working group identified relevant standards commonly used in individual countries. This activity encompassed five nations-France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK - and totalled 230 standards. The group reviewed each of them, forming a consensus on which standards should be included in the handbook as best practice.

Preference was given to international standards where possible but only when the group agreed that those standards represented best practice. Where international standards were not available or not considered as best practices then multinational or national standards were recommended.

The process produced a total of 77 standards that were selected for inclusion in the Dependability and Safety part of the European Handbook for Defence Procurement.

The expert group found many standards encompassing the Dependability and Safety domains and it proved difficult to recommend just one set of standards. They recognised that many standards are interrelated or complementary to each other and that the recommendation of one standard implied the inclusion of others, particularly in management areas where multinational standards, typically NATO, are based on civil standards with additional requirements for military applications.

The expert group identified that some standards encompass very specific domains, for example road vehicle safety, but still contain activities that need to be tailored for a particular project. They noted in the conclusions that utilising any standard without a thorough understanding can often lead to the inclusion of unnecessary tasks and cost. Even where a standard is recommended as best practice it is vital to ensure it is applied intelligently and adds value.

The expert group observed that the Dependability and Safety domains are changing rapidly as a result of new legislation, incidents occurring in service, and research that is providing new and better methods for achieving safe and dependable products.

There is a vast number of standards in the Dependability and Safety domains, both civil and military, and the group felt there is an urgent need for a review all standards in each domain to both remove old and obsolete standards, and merge the best parts of some "complementary" standards, both civil and military in one document.

The final report of Expert Group 17 will be made available on the SEE website. The CEN Workshop 10 reports will be on

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Publication:Environmental Engineering
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 1, 2011
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