ISO - The International Organization for Standardization

Supporting innovation and providing solutions to global challenges.

ISO is a network of international standards institutes that predominantly develop technical standards. The ISO 9000 family of standards, for example, is primarily concerned with quality management. ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 162 national standards bodies. Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, market relevant international standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges. The central secretariat is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
International Standards help to make things work. They give standardized specifications for products, services and the like, to ensure proper quality, safety and efficiency. They are instrumental in facilitating international trade. ISO has published more than 20,500 international standards and related documents, covering almost every industry, from technology, to food safety, to agriculture and healthcare. ISO International Standards impact everyone, everywhere.
The ISO story began in 1946 when delegates from 25 countries met at the Institute of Civil Engineers in London and decided to create a new international organization ‘to facilitate the international coordination and unification of industrial standards’. In February 1947 the new organization, ISO, officially began operations. Since then, they have published numerous International Standards covering almost all aspects of technology and manufacturing. Today they have members from 162 countries and 3,368 technical bodies to take care of standards development. More than 150 people work full time for ISO’s Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.
Because 'International Organization for Standardization' would have different acronyms in different languages (IOS in English, OIN in French for Organisation internationale de normalisation), the founders decided to give it the short form ISO. ISO is derived from the Greek word “isos”, meaning equal. So wherever the country, whatever the language, we are always ISO.
ISO International Standards ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality. For business, they are strategic tools that reduce costs by minimizing waste and errors and increasing productivity. They help companies to access new markets, level the playing field for developing countries and facilitate free and fair global trade.
International Standards bring technological, economic and societal benefits. They help to harmonize technical specifications of products and services making industry more efficient and breaking down barriers to international trade. Conformity to International Standards helps reassure consumers that products are safe, efficient and good for the environment.
International Standards are strategic tools and guidelines to help companies tackle some of the most demanding challenges of modern business. They ensure that business operations are as efficient as possible, increase productivity and help businesses access new markets.
ISO standards are developed by the people that need them, through a consensus process. Experts from all over the world develop the standards that are required by their sector. This means they reflect a wealth of international experience and knowledge. When products and services conform to International Standards consumers can have confidence that they are safe, reliable and of good quality. For example, ISO's standards on road safety, toy safety and secure medical packaging are just a selection of those that help make the world a safer place. To make sure that the benefits of ISO International Standards are as broad as possible, ISO supports the involvement of consumers in standard development work with its Committee on consumer policy (COPOLCO). International Standards on air, water and soil quality, on emissions of gases and radiation and environmental aspects of products contribute to efforts to preserve the environment and the health of citizens.
ISO standards draw on international expertise and experience and are therefore a vital resource for governments when developing public policy. National governments can use ISO standards to support public policy, for example, by referencing ISO standards in regulations. This has a number of benefits, including:
Expert opinion - ISO standards are developed by experts. By integrating an ISO standard into national regulation, governments can benefit from the opinion of experts without having to call on their services directly.
Opening up world trade - ISO standards are international and adopted by many governments. By integrating ISO standards into national regulation, governments help to ensure that requirements for imports and exports are the same the world over, therefore facilitating the movement of goods, services and technologies from country to country. The existence of different national or regional standards can create technical barriers to trade and increase the cost of doing business. International Standards provide the technical basis on which political trade agreements can be put into practice, whether they are at the regional or international level.Supporting innovation and providing solutions to global challenges.
ISO is a network of international standards institutes that predominantly develop technical standards. The ISO 9000 family of standards, for example, is primarily concerned with quality management. ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 162 national standards bodies. Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, market relevant international standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges. The central secretariat is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
International Standards help to make things work. They give standardized specifications for products, services and the like, to ensure proper quality, safety and efficiency. They are instrumental in facilitating international trade. ISO has published more than 20,500 international standards and related documents, covering almost every industry, from technology, to food safety, to agriculture and healthcare. ISO International Standards impact everyone, everywhere.
The ISO story began in 1946 when delegates from 25 countries met at the Institute of Civil Engineers in London and decided to create a new international organization ‘to facilitate the international coordination and unification of industrial standards’. In February 1947 the new organization, ISO, officially began operations. Since then, they have published numerous International Standards covering almost all aspects of technology and manufacturing. Today they have members from 162 countries and 3,368 technical bodies to take care of standards development. More than 150 people work full time for ISO’s Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.
Because 'International Organization for Standardization' would have different acronyms in different languages (IOS in English, OIN in French for Organisation internationale de normalisation), the founders decided to give it the short form ISO. ISO is derived from the Greek word “isos”, meaning equal. So wherever the country, whatever the language, we are always ISO.
ISO International Standards ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality. For business, they are strategic tools that reduce costs by minimizing waste and errors and increasing productivity. They help companies to access new markets, level the playing field for developing countries and facilitate free and fair global trade.
International Standards bring technological, economic and societal benefits. They help to harmonize technical specifications of products and services making industry more efficient and breaking down barriers to international trade. Conformity to International Standards helps reassure consumers that products are safe, efficient and good for the environment.
International Standards are strategic tools and guidelines to help companies tackle some of the most demanding challenges of modern business. They ensure that business operations are as efficient as possible, increase productivity and help businesses access new markets.
ISO standards are developed by the people that need them, through a consensus process. Experts from all over the world develop the standards that are required by their sector. This means they reflect a wealth of international experience and knowledge. When products and services conform to International Standards consumers can have confidence that they are safe, reliable and of good quality. For example, ISO's standards on road safety, toy safety and secure medical packaging are just a selection of those that help make the world a safer place. To make sure that the benefits of ISO International Standards are as broad as possible, ISO supports the involvement of consumers in standard development work with its Committee on consumer policy (COPOLCO). International Standards on air, water and soil quality, on emissions of gases and radiation and environmental aspects of products contribute to efforts to preserve the environment and the health of citizens.
ISO standards draw on international expertise and experience and are therefore a vital resource for governments when developing public policy. National governments can use ISO standards to support public policy, for example, by referencing ISO standards in regulations. This has a number of benefits, including:
Expert opinion - ISO standards are developed by experts. By integrating an ISO standard into national regulation, governments can benefit from the opinion of experts without having to call on their services directly.
Opening up world trade - ISO standards are international and adopted by many governments. By integrating ISO standards into national regulation, governments help to ensure that requirements for imports and exports are the same the world over, therefore facilitating the movement of goods, services and technologies from country to country. The existence of different national or regional standards can create technical barriers to trade and increase the cost of doing business. International Standards provide the technical basis on which political trade agreements can be put into practice, whether they are at the regional or international level.

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