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Brand new tools for public policy

The least one can say is that policy makers have a difficult job. Elected by a certain portion of the population, they must do what is best for their constituents and the country as a whole. They have the daunting task of making everyone happy – public opinion, government and private sector alike – while sending out strong, positive signals for the future... This proves especially challenging in these times of economic and financial uncertainty when nobody seems to agree on the best path to follow. So how can they get it right?

International Standards can be very useful tools in a policy maker’s toolkit. Some potential advantages include: offering ready-made solutions that already have the buy-in of a wide range of international stakeholders, and meeting the obligations of World Trade Organization (WTO) members to reduce technical barriers to trade.

To help policy makers achieve the many benefits of using standards in their initiatives, ISO has recently published a set of useful tools, including a new Website and a brochure, issued jointly with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Backed by practical examples, they detail how to reference International Standards in policy decisions and regulations, such as public procurement, incentive systems, or awareness campaigns.

The section on conformity assessment has also been reviewed and expanded to become an interactive online platform (www.iso.org/cascoregulators) that policy makers can refer to when using conformity assessment standards in regulation. Combining theory and practice, it offers concrete examples of how to reference conformity assessment standards in regulation. For greater browsing comfort, the information is organized into bite-size units with collapsible links, which help the user navigate through the pages and choose the most appropriate path.

Promoting the engagement of policy makers in International Standards development is also a priority for ISO and several workshops with policy makers are planned for 2015. Stay tuned!

For more information, see www.iso.org/policy.

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ISO International Standards provide practical tools for tackling many of today’s global challenges. Learn how International Standards work in the real world in sectors such as Health, Water, Food, Climate change and many more...

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New ISO standard on compliance management cuts challenges and costs

Compliance has become one of the biggest challenges facing businesses today. Failing to have the right controls and culture in place could mean forking out millions in fines. So how can businesses get it right? Look no further than the newly published ISO 19600:2014, Compliance management systems -Guidelines.

Innovation and standards - a contradiction?

While the role of innovation in boosting economic growth, creating jobs and addressing societal challenges is well known, the role standards play in supporting this innovation is less well understood.

ISO's new additions to the energy management range

What's good for the environment is often good for business, and effective energy consumption is a good example. Now businesses can improve their energy performance even more with the addition of three new ISO standards to complete their energy management range.

New BIC code is on the money for the financial world

From wiring money to far flung places to everyday financial transactions, the humble BIC code is a vital ingredient in ensuring banking messages get sent to the right place. Now the standard that is used to define it has had a revamp, to make it even more robust and fit for the future.

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This month on ISOfocus

The confidence factor

Protecting a company’s reputation is the most important and difficult task facing senior management teams and boards of directors today. The reason? Its good name is a major source of competitive advantage.

In the latest ISOfocus magazine (November/December 2014), you'll learn about how it only takes one slip to cause irreparable damage to a company’s image. It also showcases how ISO standards for anti-bribery and online reputation have the potential to generate greater leverage and boost company confidence.

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ISOfocus

Published in English and French, six times per year, ISOfocus is your gateway to International Standards. Whether a multinational enterprise faced with major decisions or a small business looking for ideas, ISOfocus seeks to provide both the kind of overviews that strategic planners need and the little details that can make a big difference.

You will find international topics covering everything from IT and transport to personal stories and everything in between. Our goal is to bring you the highest-quality information and most up-to-date and internationally relevant material on standards in each issue.

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