About Norwegian Electrotechnical Committee (NEK)

NEKs lokaler Mustads vei 1.

NEKs lokaler Mustads vei 1.

Trond Salater

NEK, The Norwegian Electrotechnical Committee, was founded in 1912. NEK became the 21st. member of IEC, The International Electrotechnical Commission. NEK is an independent and neutral organisation promoting electrotechnical standardisation and the use of standards at the national, regional and international levels.

The organisation is a founding member and national committe of the European CENELEC. NEK is also the Norwegian member body within IECs conformity assessment systems IECEE/CB scheme (for electrical equipment) and IECEx (for hazardous areas).

NEK is recognized as the national body responsible for standardisation in the electrotechnical field. It’s organisational structure simply mirrors that of the IEC in the standardisation domain.


NEK’s governing bodies are the General Assembly and the Board of Directors. The executive organ is the Secretariat, comprised of 12 staff, including eight engineers, which takes care of the day-to-day business. Some 150 technical committees (“normkomiteer”) are in charge of standards development. About half of the more than 500 experts involved in the Norwegian technical committees also participate in international Working Groups.


Purely national standardisation work has not been on the agenda for many years. The major task experts in NEK technical committees are facing is to monitor and take part in IEC and CENELEC committees to promote and defend Norwegian interests with the aim of implementing and using international consensus-based standards at national level. This objective effectively lines up with the policy of CENELEC to harmonize European Standards (EN) on the basis of IEC International Standards, avoiding modifications and national deviations as much as possible. NEK’s philosophy and reasoning can be summed up in this motto: “Do it right the first time, and do it internationally.”

Norway, as a small country with an open economy, has a genuine strong interest in having internationally viable technical rules and market relevant international standards that truly promote global trade. The basic point of NEK’s philosophy is that Norway depends more on the global free market than the global free market does on Norway. This dependence is growing as globalisation expands. If Norwegian companies are to be successful on a global scale, then it is essential for these companies to face competition on their turf. In other words, the domestic market has to become an integral part of the global economy.

Essentially NEK is a national arena based on two principles:representativity and consensus. NEK is a non-profit and none governmental organisation operating with the voluntary participation of Norwegian authorities, companies and organisations interested in participating, and influencing, the work on technical regulations in the electrotechnical area. This is reflected at all levels of the organisation – in the General Assembly, the Board of Directors and the technical committees.