What are normative documents?

Normative documents consist of the broad category of documents that provides rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results. In the ESS context three types of normative documents exist: legal acts, standards, other normative documents. In this context a “document” means any medium with information recorded on or (not necessarily in the form of document) in it e.g. guidelines, methodologies, algorithms, IT specifications, software, services, models, templates, codes lists, legal acts, vocabularies, checklists etc.

An ESS Standard is defined as a normative document, established by consensus among ESS members and approved by a recognised body according to the procedure of ESS standardisation, that provides for common and repeated use by several actors in the ESS , rules, guidelines or characteristics for the development, production and dissemination of European Statistics, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in the context of the implementation of the mission and vision of the ESS .

The category of "other normative documents" covers basically all normative documents that are not legal acts or standards (including candidate standards).