Different-sized goals, overly long grass, a poorly lit stadium …
without voluntary standards, football matches could not be played in the same way no matter where you are in the world!
To highlight this role, AFNOR, the body responsible for coordinating voluntary standards in France presents…

In a football stadium
What if there were no voluntary standards?


Voluntary standards: everywhere and for everyone

Contrary to received wisdom about voluntary standards being restrictive, mandatory or even regulatory, let's bank on humor to get across their unsuspected roles in our daily lives. AFNOR, the body responsible for coordinating voluntary standards in France, asked the illustrator Nestor Salas to imagine some absurd situations, unthinkable on a football field or in a stadium, which might occur if voluntary standards didn’t exist. The result is an original and educational way of conveying the nature of voluntary standards.


Voluntary standards: a team game

Just like football, standardization is a team game. Over 20,000 professionals participate each year in standardization activities, with the aim of enhancing the level of their product, service, or organization, for the good of the consumer.

Voluntary standards themselves are based on the responses provided by a whole host of industrialists, service providers, trade federations, consumers, NGOs, public bodies, etc., who share the benefit of their experience, know-how and expertise in order to provide the best possible solution for all economic and social stakeholders from the sector concerned.

Knowing that this response constitutes a benchmark solution, shared both in France and abroad, imbues the standard and its status with a powerful, constant value.

As a result of wide-ranging expertise, voluntary standards shape and facilitate our everyday lives and continually incite us to share more effectively, regardless of borders and with full confidence. Did you know that voluntary standards lie behind such everyday features as the A4 paper format, the barcode and the safety of toys?

In the field of sport and leisure, nearly 400 voluntary standards are updated on a regular basis, with the involvement of all interested countries so as to ensure they are ever more effectively fine-tuned to the expectations of the majority.



AFNOR is the French reference body for voluntary standards. It manages the collection of existing voluntary standards and coordinates and supervises the work of those engaged in their revision or cancellation. It also identifies innovative fields which might give rise to the development of new standards.

The concept of voluntary standards initiated by stakeholders from the relevant markets provides a framework for the development of guidelines and of technical or qualitative requirements for products, services or practices, for the public good.

Standards are developed by consensus amongst professionals and users involved in their preparation. Anyone can contribute to their creation and any organization is free to choose whether or not to use and refer to them. That is why standards are referred to as voluntary documents.

As the coordinator of standardization in France, AFNOR has a very clear remit: to contribute to the dissemination of good practices and effective solutions, for the benefit of all parties. To this end, AFNOR informs and guides all those who, because of their involvement in the establishment of voluntary standards, wish to enable a project, activity or sector to be developed under the best possible conditions and to thereby aid the development of the economy and society of tomorrow. In other words, the support provided by AFNOR is essential to promote progress and innovation and contributes to the international outreach of France.
>> Find out all about standardization.