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The International Organization for Standardization (French: Organisation internationale de normalisation, Russian: Международная организация по стандартизации, tr. Mezhdunarodnaya organizaciya po standartizacii), widely known as ISO, is an international-standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Founded on 23 February 1947, the organization promulgates worldwide proprietary industrial and commercial standards. It has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland While ISO defines itself as a non-governmental organization, its ability to set standards that often become law, either through treaties or national standards, makes it more powerful than most non-governmental organizations
Standards make an enormous and positive contribution to most aspects of our lives.
Standards ensure desirable characteristics of products and services such as quality, environmental friendliness, safety, reliability, efficiency and interchangeability - and at an economical cost.
When products and services meet our expectations, we tend to take this for granted and be unaware of the role of standards. However, when standards are absent, we soon notice. We soon care when products turn out to be of poor quality, do not fit, are incompatible with equipment that we already have, are unreliable or dangerous.
When products, systems, machinery and devices work well and safely, it is often because they meet standards. And the organization responsible for many thousands of the standards which benefit the world is ISO.
make the development, manufacturing and supply of products and services more efficient, safer and cleaner
facilitate trade between countries and make it fairer
provide governments with a technical base for health, safety and environmental legislation, and conformity assessment
share technological advances and good management practice
safeguard consumers, and users in general, of products and services
make life simpler by providing solutions to common problems
ISO standards provide technological, economic and societal benefits.
For businesses, the widespread adoption of International Standards means that suppliers can develop and offer products and services meeting specifications that have wide international acceptance in their sectors. Therefore, businesses using International Standards can compete on many more markets around the world.
For innovators of new technologies, International Standards on aspects like terminology, compatibility and safety speed up the dissemination of innovations and their development into manufacturable and marketable products.
For customers, the worldwide compatibility of technology which is achieved when products and services are based on International Standards gives them a broad choice of offers. They also benefit from the effects of competition among suppliers.
For governments, International Standards provide the technological and scientific bases underpinning health, safety and environmental legislation.
For trade officials, International Standards create "a level playing field" for all competitors on those markets. The existence of divergent national or regional standards can create technical barriers to trade. International Standards are the technical means by which political trade agreements can be put into practice.
For developing countries, International Standards that represent an international consensus on the state of the art are an important source of technological know-how. By defining the characteristics that products and services will be expected to meet on export markets, International Standards give developing countries a basis for making the right decisions when investing their scarce resources and thus avoid squandering them.
For consumers, conformity of products and services to International Standards provides assurance about their quality, safety and reliability.
For everyone, International Standards contribute to the quality of life in general by ensuring that the transport, machinery and tools we use are safe.
For the planet we inhabit, International Standards on air, water and soil quality, on emissions of gases and radiation and environmental aspects of products can contribute to efforts to preserve the environment.
There are more than enough ISO standards to confuse any organization that's looking to get certified. Today, there are over 16,000 standards being used by certifying bodies to assess, monitor and audit any organization seeking to improve its quality management system. Here is a short explanation on what these standards are and their specific usages:
ISO standards contain the metrics or specifications required in order to achieve the guidelines or criteria specified under that series. These standards are referred to as ISO series in order to refer to groups of standards used for quality management and assurance.
An ISO standard is identified as the ISO series and its version. For example ' ISO 9001:2005. This indicates that the ISO standard in place is ISO 9001 with the 2005 version.
Here are some of the most popular ISO standards applied for:
This is a very popular ISO series, ranging from ISO 9001 to ISO 9999. ISO 9000 is the quality management system used by companies that engage in production. ISO standards in these series include:
This series is the system used to implement standards in environmental management, specifically in a production environment. A few standards in these series include:
ISO 14001 ' standard for general environmental management
ISO 14064 ' standard used for handling greenhouse gases
ISO 14230 ' implemented for diagnostic systems used for road vehicles
ISO 14698-1 ' used for bio-contamination control
This series is used to establish ISO standards and guidelines for project management quality. The series includes:
ISO 10012 ' used to implement standards in the production of measuring equipment and for measurement processes
ISO/IEC 10077 ' sets the standards for the calculation of heat transmittance in products such as shutters, windows and doors
ISO 10211 ' establishes the necessary guidelines for making detailed calculations of surface temperature for the construction of buildings ISO 10628 ' sets the standards for the creation of flow diagrams used in process plants
The ISO 20000 series sets the standards for guidelines used in establishing an IT service management system. It covers standards for the following:
ISO 20022 ' covers standards used for companies offering financial services
ISO 22000 ' establishes guidelines used by certifying bodies that audit other companies' management systems in food safety
ISO/IEC TR 20943 ' used for setting standards for procedures used to achieve consistency in registry content of metadata
The choice of ISO standard your organization will apply for will depend on the type of company you have, the nature of its business, its production or manufacturing processes, the type of products and/or services involved and the quality management system you wish to achieve.
We are International Consultancy Service offering ISO certification services across the globe.