Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General information on ISO

What's the bottom line on ISO?

ISO's work makes a positive difference to the world we live in. ISO standards add value to all types of business operations. They contribute to making the development, manufacturing and supply of products and services more efficient, safer and cleaner. They make trade between countries easier and fairer. ISO standards also serve to safeguard consumers and users of products and services in general - as well as making their lives simpler. You will find an introduction to ISO in the About ISO section.

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What can I expect to find in an ISO standard?

An ISO standard is a documented agreement containing technical specifications or other precise criteria to be used consistently as rules, guidelines, or definitions of characteristics to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose. It is a living agreement that can have a profound influence on things that deserve to be taken seriously - such as the safety, reliability and efficiency of machinery and tools, means of transport, toys, medical devices, and so on.

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Conformity assessment and certification

What does "conformity assessment" mean?

At its simplest, "conformity assessment" means checking that products, materials, services, systems or people measure up to the specifications of a relevant standard. For example, a customer may want to check that the product he or she ordered from a supplier meets the purpose for which it is required. One of the most efficient ways to do this is when the specifications of the product have been defined in an International Standard. That way, both supplier and customer are on the same wavelength, even if they are based in different countries, because they are both using the same references.

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Shopping FAQs

What is CHF and how can I convert it to my local currency?

Prices for ISO publications ordered from the ISO Central Secretariat are in Swiss francs (CHF). If you wish to convert the price of any ISO publication into your national currency you can use the currency converter at www.oanda.com

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ISO glossary

Ad hoc group (AHG): Group set up within a committee to look into a particular problem and report back to the parent committee at a meeting.

CASCO (Conformity Assessment Committee):Committee whose secretariat is provided by ISO/CS that deals with conformity assessment and is responsible for the development of conformity assessment standards.

Certification: Assurance given by an independent certification body that a product, service or system meets the requirements of a standard.

Chair: The person with overall responsibility for a committee, who leads experts and delegates to consensus, makes sure everyone's views are heard and remains neutral. T

Code of conduct Set of principles to be followed by people involved in ISO work, e.g. working within an international framework, upholding consensus, being ethical.

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