This site introduces the ISO 26000 user guide for European SMEs developed by NORMAPME, the “European Office of Crafts, Trades and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises for Standardisation”. NORMAPME contributed to the development of ISO 26000 throughout the project by offering various comments and proposals.

Why did it seem reasonable to develop such a specialised user guide? There are two main reasons:

  • Europe is different to other regions in a number of aspectsUG SME europe is different such as history and culture, and particularly the level of law and regulation, including working enforcement mechanisms.
    A variety of ISO 26000 recommendations are regulated in Europe, therefore they cannot have the same value as ISO standard recommendations may have in other regions. Furthermore, European SMEs, to a greatest possible extent, follow de facto sector codes, written or unwritten, which have developed over centuries. These codes regularly consider SMEs as part of society.
  • NORMAPME has been instrumental to have SME aspects incorporated into the various ISO 26000 drafts (working drafts WDs, draft international standard DIS, and final draft international standard FDIS). However, several proposals, seen as important from a European perspective, did not find their way into the finally published international guidance standard.

Pursuant to this, NORMAPME initiated the development of a user guide that focuses on those social responsibility aspects which may be relevant for European SMEs. It is available in six languages. NORMAPME, kindly permits the presentation of the English, French, Spanish and German edition on this ISO 26000 dedicated website.
To download the SME user guides from the original source please see

Self-assessment and communication:

  • There is an easy-to-use tool to identify the core subjects and issues relevant to an organisation. This so-called
    26k-issue-tool” has been developed for the “26k-user-guide” (which is applicable to all kinds of organizations) and is similarly applicable together with the NORMAPME SME user guide.
  • The “26k-issue-tool” is available in various languages (see the 26k-user-guides) and serves as nothing more than a
    self-assessment. Its resulting document (an Excel file) is a profound basis for any stakeholder dialogue or communication with customers and suppliers.
  • In using this tool, SMEs neither need to engage with external parties for audits or assessments, nor be obliged to participate in training exercises.

To continue, please go to the “NORMAPME ISO 26000 user guide for European SMEs” in English, Spanish, French or German.

These SME user guides can be downloaded for free.

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