Committee for Standardization (CS)
The Committee for Standardization (CS) is the senior NATO committee for Alliance standardization and operates under the authority of the North Atlantic Council. It issues policy and guidance for all NATO standardization activities.
The CS is chaired by the Secretary General, normally represented by two permanent Co-Chairmen, namely the Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment and the Director General of the International Military Staff.
Since September 2000, Partner countries have become actively involved in the Committee’s activities.
The CS meets in full format twice a year and comprises 28 NATO countries and more than 30 Partner countries. It is assisted by National Representatives (CSREPS) with delegated authority, who meet four times a year.
The work of the CSREPs focuses on harmonizing standardization activities between NATO and national bodies and promoting interaction between them in all fields of standardization.
The Committee is the Board of Directors of the NATO Standardization Agency, directing and managing the latter’s work in accordance with its Terms of Reference.
The NATO Standardization Organization (NSO)
The NATO Standardization Organization (NSO) is a NATO subsidiary body responsible for harmonizing and coordinating all standardization activities of the member states of the Alliance, NATO’s Strategic Commands and principal committees, and its Partner countries.
The NSO operates under the authority of the North Atlantic Council (NAC), which established the NSO in 1995 by agreeing on a founding charter describing NSO tasks and responsibilities. Each NATO member state is responsible, to the extent that it is capable, to support the NSO’s work.
The NSO has two main functional elements: the Committee for Standardization and the NATO Standardization Agency.
The Tasking Authorities are senior NATO committees that can task subordinate groups to produce Standardization Agreements and Allied Publications. They are therefore deeply involved in NSO activities within their respective fields of standardization.
The NATO Standardization Agency (NSA)
A single, integrated body, the NATO Standardization Agency (NSA) has the authority to initiate, co-ordinate, support and administer standardization activities conducted under the authority of the Committee for Standardization. It is composed of military and civilian staff.
In addition, it especially supports the Military Committee (MC) Joint, Maritime, Land, Air and Medical Standardization Boards through four military operational oriented branches within the NSA. Each of these boards acts as a Delegate Tasking Authority for operational standardization, including doctrine, as delegated by the MC.
The Director of the NSA is the principal advisor to the MC on operational standardization and to the Secretary General on overall standardization matters. He or she is selected by the CS, endorsed by the MC and appointed by the Secretary General, normally for a three-year period. The authority to promulgate NATO Standardization Agreements and Allied Publications is vested in the Director.
NATO Standardization Staff Group (NSSG)
The NATO Standardization Staff Group (NSSG) assists the Director, NSA. Its principal task is to harmonize standardization policies and procedures and to coordinate all NATO standardization activities at the staff level. It is responsible for liaising with staff and preparing documentation that contributes to the formulation of standardization requirements for NATO’s military commands and standardization objectives for the NATO Standardization Programme.