Consumers and standards development

Standards are developed in an open process, reflecting the views of many stakeholders. Integrating the view of the consumer into standard development is important as he or she can lend a unique perspective to the process.

For example, consumers can

Getting involved in standards development can help make sure that products and services perform as expected. It can help improve:

See an example of consumer outreach in the real world with this case study on ISO's technical commitee for Nanotechnologies and find out more about how national standards bodies can effectively engage stakeholders, including consumers.

Resources for the consumer

A free of charge distance learning tutorial useful for those new to standardization and consumer policy.

Your voice matter

Why consumers need to participate in standards-making.

Involving consumers

Practical guidance for standards development bodies

What difference can you make?

As a consumer representative you can participate in technical committee meetings where standards are developed. No particular background is required just a willingness to read and understand the issues, and get your voice heard by participating.

To get involved you can:

Want to keep up to date with ISO's work with the consumer?
Subscribe to COPOLCO's quarterly newsletter

Want to learn more about standard development?
Visit our standard development page

ISO Directory of consumer interest participation
ISO has created a searchable platform of information on how its members involve consumers in their work. ISO members are asked to submit their own information to this database, which can then be searched by anyone looking to find out more about consumer participation in standards development work.
Find out more by accessing the ISO Directory of consumer interest participation.

Areas of focus for consumers

ISO's work on consumers is led by the ISO Committee on Consumer Policy (COPOLCO).

This committee focuses on areas of ISO and IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) technical work that are of particular interest to consumers. Key priorities include areas such as child related products, product safety, toy safety and personal health. Every year COPOLCO updates its priorities, publishing the Priority Programme annually. 'Key Persons', consumer representatives chosen to be the focal point of COPOLCO’s various priorities, monitor and report annually on this work in the Priority Programme Annual Report.

Key and emerging priorities

A list of focus areas where ISO is promoting consumer involvement.

Watching brief priorities

A list of areas that ISO is monitoring from a consumer point of view.