Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a consolidation project and an upgrade project?

Activities of any organization can be sorted along a six level continuum, grading from the less intrusive to the facility, system or equipment to the most intrusive ones. On this intrusivity scale, consolidation projects belong to level 4 whistle upgrade projects belong to level 5.

The six levels are the following:

  • Level 1 — inspection activities: no modification to the facility, system or equipment. Traceability is ensured by means of the inspection reports.
  • Level 2 — preventive maintenance activities: some components may be replaced, but the configuration is not modified. Traceability is granted by means of the preventive maintenance work orders.
  • Level 3 — corrective maintenance activities: a broken component may be fixed and the configuration can be modified. Traceability is ensured by updating or complementing the as-built documentation.
  • Level 4 — consolidation activities/projects: a system or equipment is replaced by a new one that won't modify the core characteristics of the facility but that should improve the ORAMS features of the system or equipment.
  • Level 5 — upgrade activities/projects: a system or equipment is replaced by a new one that will increase or improve the core characteristics of the facility. The configuration of the upgraded facility is developed out of the configuration of the existing facility.
    Equipment group projects associated with the LIU program (PSB-LIU, PS-LIU or SPS-LIU) or with the HL-LHC one are typically upgrade projects since they contribute to the improvement of the preformance of existing accelerators.
  • Level 6 — new projects: also known as green-field projects; these activities and projects lead to the construction of new facilities. The configuration of the new facility is drawn from a blank page.

Level 1 to level 3 are understood as routine activities and shall be handled according to best operations management practices. Level 4 to level 6 activities shall be managed accoring to best technical project management practices.

What ORAMS means?

ORAMS is an acronyms that stands for Operability, Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety.

In addition to perform as expected or required (functional performance), a facility, a system or an equipment shall also enhance the ORAMS expectations and requirements.

Operability shall be understood as the ability to operate the facility, system or equipment efficiently. For instance, some may say that an automatic gearbox car is more operable than a manual gear car because the driver should dedicate less effort on the driving of a car. An equipment that require a lot of tuning to reach the operating parameters will be said less operable than an equipment for which the tuning sequence is automated. Take note that the wikipedia notice to operability is slightly different.

Reliability is defined by INCOSE as the probability that an item will not fail during a given period of operating time under a given usage. The reliability of a facility, system or equipment is typically measured with indices such as the mean time between failures (MTBF).

Availability is defined by INCOSE as the probability that a system will be operative at any given instant during a specified period of time. The most simple representation for availability is as a ratio of the expected value of the uptime of a system to the aggregate of the expected values of up and down time.

Maintenability is defined by IEEE (IEEE 610.12-1990) as the ease with which a system or component can be modified to correct faults, improve performance or other attributes, or adapt to a changed environment.

Safety is defined by ISO (ISO 8402) as the state in which the risk of harm (to persons) or damage is limited to an acceptable level.

There are several presentation (Microsoft PowerPoint) templates offered. Which is the one to use?

If the presentation is intended to be given outside CERN or to an external attendance, and if the event organizer does not require to use a specific presentation template, then you shall use the template provided by the Communication Group and downloadable from the Design Guidelines website.


CERN official template for presentations (Design Guidelines website )

If the presentation is given at CERN to an attendance that consists of CERN people mainly, and if the meeting or workshop organizer does not require to use a specific presentation template, then you should use the template provided by the Communication Group and downloadable from the Design Guidelines website.


CERN official template for presentations (Design Guidelines website )

If the presentation is prepared in the scope of an integration review, then it is the engineering presentation template that shall be used.


Generic template for engineering presentations (EDMS )

Useful links and documents

CERN design guidelines (Design Guidelines website )

BE Department Templates (BE Dept. website )

EN Department Templates (EN Dept. website )

How to Give a Scientific Presentation − Pablo Valdés Solís (Quality website )

I should like to explain to my colleagues the support provided by the EN-ACE group and how to use them. Are there any slides available?

The few presentations below may satisfy this request:

Towards an Enhanced Quality Management Framework for the A&T Sector - A&T Seminar - 2014-05-15 (Indico )

(further material in preparation)

Does the EN-ACE group provide any quality assurance support?

The EN-ACE group provides support in matters of quality management at large; it can however help to identify the technical experts at CERN that can provide assistance on a specific quality assurance concern.

There does not seem to be any quality process or procedure that treats my specific problem. How to proceed?

Please do not hesitate to contact the persons listed under the contact tab to discuss your specific problem and to obtain personal support.

Who is the authority in matters of quality at CERN? Who defines quality rules at CERN?

The forum for discussing quality matters of the A&T sector is the Quality Assurance Committee (QAC, mandate). All technical groups of the A&T sector are represented in this committee, as well as some key stakeholders from outside the sector.

I am new at CERN, from where should I start? What training is there available on quality management topics at CERN?

Some basic ideas of quality management at CERN are provided in the newcomer’s course.
The following courses in the CERN training catalogue ( cover quality management topics:

  • Quality Assurance;
  • Project Engineering;
  • Maintenance Management;
  • Procurement and Contract Management;
  • CERN EDMS – Introduction;
  • SmarTeam – CATIA data manager at CERN.

What can I do about quality?

Any action that will prevent mistakes or defects will have an effect on quality. Personally you can:

  • clarify quality needs (listen to the client, communicate with the provider);
  • inform yourself about applicable conventions, standards, processes and procedures, best practices and apply them;
  • measure the performance of the service or product;
  • share problems and communicate about your experience;
  • invest in training.

Who is concerned by quality in the Accelerators and Technology sector? Am I concerned by quality?

In the broad sense quality means delivering the service or the product that fulfils the needs of a client in the most efficient way.
At CERN or in any other work environment and like any employee, you are taking part every day in many different work processes in which you are taking either the role of a provider of a service or a product or the role of a client. This applies for any small task as well as for complex services or products that are delivered e.g. by the means of large projects. In both cases, i.e. as provider or as client, you are concerned by quality.
The intention of the Quality Management Framework is to provide you with methods and tools to ensure client satisfaction in the most common technical processes within the A&T sector.

"CE Declaration of Conformity" or "EU Declaration of Conformity"?


This is a question that is often raised along the technical audit process. The right formulation is:

EU Declaration of Conformity (however "CE/EU Declaration of Conformity" is also correct).

The reason for this change is due to new naming affixed to recently released European Union Directives: former CE Directives are superseded by EU Directives! For instance, the former Pressure Equipment Directive with reference number 97/23/CE has been replaced by a EU Directive with reference number 2014/68/EU.

Note that the "CE mark" and "CE marking" formulations remain unchanged!

For information, this is the list of so-called CE Marking Directives (not EU Marking Directives frown), i.e. European Union directives and regulations that require the affixing of a CE mark to the products covers by them:

  1. Machinery Directive – 2006/42/EC
  2. Low Voltage Directive – 2014/35/EU
  3. EMC Directive – 2014/30/EU
  4. Medical Devices Directive – 93/42/EEC
  5. Personal Protective Equipment Directive – 89/686/EEC
  6. Construction Products Regulation – Regulation (EU) No 305/2011
  7. Pressure Equipment Directive – 2014/68/EU
  8. REACH – Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006
  9. RoHS – Restriction of Hazardous Substances – Directive – 2011/65/EU
  10. Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive – 2012/19/EU
  11. ATEX Directive – 2014/34/EU
  12. Toy Directive – 2009/48/EC
  13. R&TTE Directive – 1999/5/EC
  14. Recreational Craft Directive – 94/25/EC
  15. Active Implantable Medical Devices Directive – 90/385/EEC
  16. Explosive for Civil Use Directive – 93/15/EEC
  17. Noise Emission in the Environment Directive – 2000/14/EC
  18. Gas Appliances Directive – 2009/142/EC
  19. Lifts Directive – 1995/16/EC
  20. Pyrotechnic Directive – 2007/23/EC
  21. Measuring Instruments Directive – 2004/22/EC

Thanks to François Angerand for the feedback.

What is ISO date and time format?

This is the format defined by the ISO 8601 Standard (Data elements and interchange formats – Information interchange – Representation of dates and times).

Date and time values shall be ordered from the largest to smallest unit of time: year, month (or week), day, hour, minute, second, and fraction of second.

Practically a date shall be represented in one of these two representations: YYYYMMDD (basic format) or YYYY-MM-DD (exteded format).

To ease readability, it is strongly recommended to represent dates by means of the extended format (i.e. YYYY-MM-DD).

See also

What is ASD-STE100?

ASD-STE100 is an international specification for the preparation of maintenance documentation in a controlled language. STE stands for Simplified Technical English.

The observation that 80% of aircraft maintenance technicians are not native English speakers, but important and critical users of maintenance documentation, was at the origin of this specification. It provides writing rules and a carefully limited and standardized subset of English that shall be used by maintenance documentation authors to mitigate the risk of misunderstanding any instructions or procedures. In 2016, surveys have shown that 60% of STE100 users are outside aerospace and defence; this specification is mainly used for maintenance documentation but also for engineering requirement documentation.

See also: and

Contact Pierre Bonnal to get a copy of this specification.

What are the definitions of a system and of an equipment?

Equipment is usually defined as an instrumentality developed for a specific purpose, to perform a function or a service. It is generally agreed that equipment is rather compact, is made of components and does not embed software (e.g. a bending magnet, a beam instrument, a radiofrequency cryomodule, a collimator).

A system is usually defined as an instrumentality that combines interrelated and interacting artefacts designed to work as a coherent entity. A system is not necessarily compact. It is often a networked set of components, and it may involve several technologies and embed software (e.g. the MEDICIS ventilation system, the PS complex access control system).

What are the definitions of a complex and of a facility at CERN?

These definitions are given in the quality management guidelines related to safety files management (EDMS 785546).


The CERN beam facilities are grouped in three accelerator complexes: PS, SPS and LHC.

The PS complex consists of: the Linacs (Linac2, Linac3 and Linac4), LEIR, PS Booster, PS Ring, East Experimental Area, ISOLDE (incl. target areas, REX ISOLDE, HIE-ISOLDE, MEDICIS and experiments in the experimental hall), AD facility (target and ring, ELENA and experimental area), n_ToF (beam lines, targets and experimental areas), all transfer lines including the one to SPS (TT2). The CTF3 facility is not strictly part of the PS complex, but is treated by the same entities (e.g. CSAP [1] of the PS complex).

The SPS complex consists of: SPS ring, North Experimental Area including transfer lines and the three halls EHN1, EHN2 and ECN3, CNGS/AWAKE facility, HiRadMat facility, former West Experimental Area transfer lines, upper part TI2 and TI8 transfer lines to LHC, transfer line from PS (TT10).

The LHC complex consists of: LHC ring and surface areas, the four large experiments and the forward experiments located in the ring, lower part TI2 and TI8 transfer lines from SPS. The LHC complex also comprises the stand-alone beam facility LIGHT.

Surface buildings associated to the accelerators and experiments should preferably be included in the perimeter of the complex.

The non-beam facilities (workshops, laboratories and non-beam experiments such as CAST) are not part of the accelerator complexes and constitute a separate type of facilities.


A facility is a set of systems, installations and infrastructure built for a specific purpose. Each beam facility is part of an accelerator complex and is managed by the Accelerators and Technology Sector. Non-beam facilities typically are stand-alone and are usually under the responsibility of a single Department. Facilities may have interfaces but cannot overlap.
A beam facility is a facility that is handling beams in any way: injection lines, accele-rators, ejection lines, experimental halls and independent beam lines. A beam facility always has—with a few exceptions—an interface to at least one other beam facility.
All facilities are under the authority of an activity leader. Activity leaders are:

  • For beam facilities, members of the accelerator operations group, with the following exceptions:
    • For experimental halls, the area physicists in charge;
    • For experiments, the technical coordinators;
  • For non-beam facilities, usually the section leader in charge of the facility, with the following exception:
    • For experiments, the technical coordinator.


A system is a collection of equipment installed to fulfil specific requirements; e.g.: the power distribution system, the power conversion system, the magnet system, the cryogenic system, the vacuum system, etc. The organic unit in charge of a system—referred to as the Equipment Group—nominates contributors to the safety files.


[1] CSAP stands for Complex Safety Advisory Panel (see the Safety Files Management Procedure, EDMS 1177755).

What is form fit function?

The expression form fit function, also referred to as FFF, is used to describe the identifying characteristics of an item or a part. Form fit function can be defined as:

  • Form – the shape, size, dimensions, mass, weight and other visual parameters that uniquely distinguish an item or a a part. For example, a screw that will be used in an assembly as ‘screw, pan head, M3 x 0.5, 2 mm long, 316 SS.’
  • Fit – the ability of an item or a part to physically interface with, connect to, or become an integral part of another item, part or assembly. For example, to fit correctly in the final assembly, the screw shall adhere to the product requirements set by engineering in the design phase. This might include specifications for the space around the screw relative to a faceplate hole or the location of the screw’s top position relative to the product surface.
  • Function – the action or actions that a part is designed to perform. In our example, the screw is intended to hold other parts of the product together.

How to reference an EDMS or a CDS document in a Microsoft Word File for instance?

In the core of the document

To harmonize reference to EDMS and CDS documents, it is strongly recommended to proceed as follow:

  1. In the core of the text, type "EDMS 1234567 X" or "CDS 1234567 X"), where 1234567 is the EDMS or CDS ID and X refers to a footnote;
  2. Convert "EDMS 1234567" or "CDS 1234567" as a hyperlink and type the URL of the EDMS or CDS document (see detailed instructions hereafter);
  3. Retype the URL of the EDMS or CDS document in the footnote so that it appears in clear for those consulting a paper copy of the document.

It is strongly recommended to refer to the last released version on the EDMS or CDS document, and not to a given version of the document, or a given version of a file for instance. The syntax to respect for making the URL shall be one of the following:

  • https:­­//  for an EDMS document;
  • https:­//  for a CDS document.

If it is necessary to refer to a given version of a document:

  • https:­­//  where version can be: 1, 2, 3 or 0.1, 1.0, etc.

If it is necessary to refer to a given file (even if it is not recommended):

  • https:­­//  for a file archived in EDMS;
  • https:­//  for a file archived in CDS.

Please note that it is not recommended at all to refer to a Microsoft Word file.

In the reference/bibliography section

To harmonize reference entries in reference of bibliography sections, it is strongly suggested to follow the recommendations of the Chicago Manual of Style.

For referring to EDMS documents, it is proposed to format the entry as follows:

  • One author, no reference to the version nor to the validity, no reference to the date of release:

Author, Title of the document, Type of the document, EDMS 1234567

  • Two authors, no reference to the version nor to the validity, no reference to the date of release:

Author#1, Author#2, Title of the document, Type of the document, EDMS 1234567

  • Three and more authors, no reference to the version nor to the validity, no reference to the date of release:

Author#1 et al., Title of the document, Type of the document, EDMS 1234567

  • One author, reference to a given version, to a validity status and to the date of release:

Author, Title of the document, Type of the document, EDMS 1234567 version 1.0 Released 2015-MM-DD

For referring to EDMS documents which received a so-called document number (i.e. a code such as XXX-YY-ZZ-NNNN, where XXX is the project code (Quality website ), YY is the equipment code (Naming Portal website - CERN intranet only ), ZZ is the document type and NNNN is a sequential number) it is proposed to format the entry as follows:

Author, Title of the document, Type of the document, XXX-YY-ZZ-NNNN, EDMS 1234567

For referring to CDS documents, it is proposed to format the entry as follows:

Author, Title of the document, CERN-ACC-YYYY-NNNN, CDS 1234567

Access restriction

Authors shall ensure that the EDMS documents which are referred to have the appropriate accessibility level w.r.t. the targeted audiance of the authored document.

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