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About the AFNOR

International cooperation


AFNOR, the French standardization organization, directs and coordinates the establishment of national standards (NF) and participation in the definition of European standards (EN) and International standards (ISO and IEC). It is the French member of European and international non-governmental standards organizations such as CEN and CENELEC in Europe, and ISO and IEC internationally. Thanks to the investment of all the players in the French economy, AFNOR is one of the most influential members of these organizations, strategically and technically.


AFNOR also provides expertise for international technical cooperation in the field of quality infrastructure in order to develop synergies and reinforce French influence internationally.


AFNOR is also a network whose activities throughout the world are ever more intensive, with 39 locations, 5 certification organizations and 7 training centers to guide French companies beyond national boundaries in taking their know-how to 100 countries.


So as to develop and roll out its services in terms of technical assistance and development, AFNOR collaborates with ADETEF, the French cross-ministry economy, finance and sustainable development agency for international technical cooperation. Together, they largely contribute to widen the scope of international projects in the fields of metrology, standardization, accreditation and compliance assessment.



The quality of products and services is at the heart of the economic development and competitiveness of organizations and even of countries on world markets. The quality tools which are metrology, standardization, certification and testing enable them to master all the technological know-how in a given area of competency.


For over 30 years, AFNOR has been involved in technical cooperation and international projects facilitating the entry of developing and/or emerging countries into the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the development of closer ties with the European Union.


Together, AFNOR and ADETEF contribute to the deployment of high-performing infrastructures and contribute their professional expertise to sustainable skills development, relying for this on the competencies and knowledge of specialists. The two organizations are at the service of public authorities, standards institutions and all organizations involved in the quality and security of markets in developing countries.


A network of experts

AFNOR can call on the experts in its network: its in-house experts but also the 20,000 specialists in standards committees and the 1000 or so trainers and auditors working on behalf of AFNOR Compétences and AFNOR Editions. For its part, on its website, ADETEF regularly publishes information on projects in hand and job announcements for professionals in its fields of action.


The technical assistance offered by AFNOR and ADETEF in the area of quality infrastructure is deployed in four directions:

  • Institutional twinning projects (Adetef), which meet specific requirements defined by the European Commission.
  • Technical assistance projects (Adetef), which reply to invitations to tender from the European Commission.
  • Projects led by CEN (European Committee for Standardization) and CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization) rely on the expertise of their members, among them AFNOR, who are responsible for expressing their requirements as specialists.
  • The implementation of the ISO Action Plan for developing countries,  led by DEVCO, the International Standards Organization (ISO) committee  on developing country matters, relies on AFNOR, its principal French  speaking member, for its projects targeted at French speaking and  developing countries.


Multiple activities

Industrial equipment, consumer goods, food products, services… The technical assistance activities carried out by ADETEF, with the support of AFNOR, cover numerous fields. These activities comprise:

  • Consultancy in the development of national policies: assessment of existing national systems, revision of legislative and regulatory documents, advice on setting up national organizations, assistance in developing local technical bodies, deployment of the European Neighborhood Policy.
  • Services linked to quality, standardization and certification: training, quality audits and upgrades, development of certification procedures, assistance in setting up training and documentation centers.
  • Development of metrology, testing and assessment laboratories to apply compliance assessment procedures: investigation and assessment of requirements, provision of equipment, training for laboratory professionals, testing to European and international standards, evaluation and preparation for accreditation.
  • Assistance in setting up quality procedures in professional and academic training organizations.

International projects allow a real exchange with experts from different countries, members of national standards bodies and international organizations… For several years, AFNOR has been meeting its sister organizations and has signed numerous cooperation agreements for joint actions on standardization, training and certification.


Did you know that 90% of standards established within AFNOR are of European or international origin? Indeed, AFNOR takes an active part in standardization activities carried out in international and European bodies with the aim of promoting and defending French interests. A French delegation of experts attends the meetings of these bodies and takes part in the work in hand. This delegation then reports back on the exchanges and actions to the national standards commission responsible for monitoring the proceedings from the French standpoint.


AFNOR: a strong international presence

AFNOR has permanent seats in the governance bodies of the International Standards Organization (ISO). The AFNOR Standards Director is a member of ISO's Council and of its Technical Management Board. Until the end of 2015, the current Director General of AFNOR, Olivier Peyrat, holds the position of Vice President (finance), alongside the vice presidents for policy and technical management.


AFNOR is the third most important contributing member of the Organization out of nearly 163 member countries.


It is also the second most important contributor within CEN, the European Committee for Standardization which brings together 33 countries. AFNOR is a member of CENELEC and IEC .


In 2012, France obtained 21 new responsibilities within CEN and ISO.


This strong presence at the European and international decision making levels allows AFNOR to defend French interests effectively in Europe and worldwide.


To find out more about AFNOR and CEN...


To find out more about AFNOR and ISO


The AFNOR group is also present on the international scene through its certification, publishing and training activities. More than 100,000 users have selected the subscription solutions offered by AFNOR Editions. AFNOR Certification has at its disposal about 30 locations in the five continents and AFNOR Compétences has 7 training centers.


International projects and the signing of cooperation agreements make for privileged relations with many countries in standardization, certification, training and publications. Exchanges notably exist with China and Brazil and also with French-speaking countries supported by the Réseau Normalisation et Francophonie.



Agreements and partnerships

Standardization, Certification, Training, Publication… The four competencies of the AFNOR Group enable privileged relations to be developed with China, Brazil, Algeria, Macedonia… Cooperation agreements have notably been signed between AFNOR and these countries in the fields of information exchange, standardization, compliance assessment and documentation.


Standardization in the French-speaking world

Created in 2007 by AFNOR and the Bureau de Normalisation du Québec (BNQ), the Réseau Normalisation et Francophonie (RNF) is devoted to standardization in French-speaking countries and brings together national standards organizations or bodies promoting quality active in Africa, North America and Europe.


Chaired by Jacques Girard, BNQ Director, RNF has as its Vice President Barama Sarr, Director of the Association Sénégalaise de Normalisation (ASN) and as its Secretary General Alain Durand, former Secretary General of AFNOR.




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