Updates and history


Update and extension of the Series of OHTs on Pesticide Residue Chemistry, September 2017:  the Series was re-organised (residues in crops and in rotational crops grouped in single files) and completed with new templates on the nature, magnitude and stability of residues in commodities. The OHTs on the metabolism in livestock and in crops/rotational crops were harmonised with corresponding MetaPath Study Summary Composers. Updates included also the addition of repeatable fields to capture (new) data reporting tables, and elements to cover the EU Biocidal Product Regulations. Some predefined tables and executive summaries were revised or added.

The revision of the OECD Harmonised Templates (OHT) undertaken by OECD and ECHA from 2014 to 2016 aimed to improve the set of templates and to align them with new IUCLID 6 characteristics launched in April 2016 (read the History section below). The full series of revised OHTs was published in July 2016. The documents showing the modifications brought to the OHTs (both in track-changed and cleared versions) and approved by the Joint Meeting in February 2015 and then July 2015 for additional changes, collated in a zip file. Access the 2016-2015 OHTs major update and revision.

Changes brought to OHTs, and new OHTs added to the existing Series, that were published from 2011 to 2014 are available: 2011-2014 OHTs Update Overview (Excel file).

Process for developing/revising the OECD Harmonised Templates

The draft new or revised templates undergo a thorough review process before their publication:

  1. Pre-draft (new or revised) documents are usually developed in Word format by an Ad hoc group of experts and specialists of the test guidelines and endpoint to be covered by the template. This development is co-ordinated by the OECD Secretariat. 
  2. Draft documents are circulated to the OHT Expert Group, as well as other OECD Working Parties where relevant, for comments and suggestions under written procedure. 
  3. Comments received from national authorities, industry experts and observer organisations, are taken into consideration by the Ad hoc group and the OECD Secretariat as far as possible for finalising the draft templates. Depending on the nature and the extent of the changes brought to the initial drafts, further round(s) of comments by the OHT Expert Group might be necessary. 
  4. (Final) draft templates are submitted to the OECD Joint Meeting for comments and endorsement under written procedure. 
  5. After the deadline and pending Joint Meeting agreement, the new or revised OHTs are then published on the OECD Website.

Brief history of the OECD Harmonised Templates development

August 2018: Update of 4 OHTs in the Series on Health Effects and 1 OHT in the Series on Effects on Biotic Systems

December 2017: Update of 4 OHTs in the Series on Effects on Biotic Systems and 5 OHTS in the Series on Health Effects.

September 2017: Update and extension of the Series of OHTs on pesticide residue chemistry.

August 2016:  Major update and revision of all OHTs (see details below). Publication made on the improved website with new presentation by OHT Series, increased use of zip files to group previous documents wherever possible, and new function linking each OECD Test Guideline covered by the OHTs to access its corresponding publication page on OECD iLibrary. Publication of: new types of templates: OHT on intermediate effects (non-apical observations during testing), and the Series of OHTs to report information on the use of and exposure to chemicals; Addition of a new OHT on in vivo endocrine disrupter testing in aquatic vertebrates, and 4 new OHTs on physico-chemical properties.

2014-2016: OECD and ECHA implemented a general revision process aiming to improve the whole set of templates and align then with the new characteristics of IUCLID 6 (that was launched in April 2016). Taking into account comments from users over the past years, the templates were modified in consultation with the relevant OECD expert groups. This revision has provided major improvements by allowing cross-check between OHTs and harmonising elements, simplifying the template presentation and content, making them easier to use and to update in future. The full Series of revised OHTs was published in August 2016, providing an opportunity for renovating the website to facilitate the access and use of the information.

Examples of templates that were developed and added to the evolving OHT website in previous years:

2013: Addition of 13 OHTs on physico-chemical properties specific to nanomaterials

2012: First OHT of the Series on emissions from treated articles (preservative-treated wood)

2010: Website re-organised for making available all templates with their related material and report the OECD Test Guidelines they cover (1 page per OHT)

2008: First set of OHTs on pesticide residues

2006: A set of 87 templates developed by the OECD Secretariat (on 86 endpoints or physico-chemical properties, and 1 on generic fields) was agreed by the OECD Joint Meeting and published on the OECD website. When defining the pieces of information of the templates, i.e. fields including context-sensitive help texts and picklists, a number of existing national/regional test guidelines and/or templates were taken into account, particularly:

  • OECD Test guidelines
  • NAFTA Pesticides: Evaluation templates for reviewing the scientific studies that are submitted to support applications to register pest control products in Canada and the United States
  • Templates drafted by the Working Group Data Submission Formats "Biocides and Beyond", which was established by the German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) jointly with the European Chemicals Bureau (ECB) (Final drafts dated 17 May 2004)
  • WORD proformas provided in the Technical Notes for Guidance (TNsG) on Preparation of Dossiers and Study Evaluation under Directive 98/8/EC
  • IUCLID 4: The previous system in the EU for data entry of electronic submission of summaries of test results under the EU Existing Substances regulation and the OECD High Production Volume (HPV) Chemicals Programme
  • OECD HPV ExChem: Templates for compiling robust study summaries for submission to the OECD HPV Chemicals Programme
  • EU/New Chemicals: SNIF - Data entry screens for electronic notification of summaries on new chemicals substances

2004: The OECD Joint Meeting of the Chemicals Committee and the Working Party on Chemicals, Pesticides and Biotechnology established the OECD Expert Group on Harmonising Templates which 1) reviewed the existing templates and 2) selected four endpoints representing the major areas of testing: human health, eco-toxicity and environmental fate. The first four OECD Templates were developed and agreed, covering endpoints for skin irritation, hydrolysis, repeat dose toxicity (oral) and fish acute toxicity, as well as a template grouping all generic fields (i.e. fields which occur in almost all the templates). It was also agreed to develop other templates on the remaining endpoints, with a focus on the most important ones for regulatory decisions, and to recommend the use the five existing templates as the starting point.

2003: The OECD Secretariat conducted a survey with member countries and observer Organisations on already-existing templates for chemical study reporting developed by other bodies. 

October 2002: The OECD Workshop on Electronic Tools for Data Submission, Evaluation and Exchange for the Regulation of New and Existing Industrial Chemicals, Agricultural Pesticides and Biocides recommended for the OECD to support harmonisation where possible in the reporting of chemical test results, by the use of templates and XML tags.


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