ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world’s largest developer and publisher of International Standards. ISO is a network of national standards bodies of 162 countries, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.
ISO standards are voluntary and we don’t regulate or legislate, although countries may decide to adopt our standards as regulations or refer to them in legislation. We have more than 21000 standards in our portfolio. Our programme ranges from standards for traditional activities, such as agriculture and construction, through mechanical engineering, manufacturing and distribution, to transport, medical devices, the environment, safety, information and communication technologies and to standards for good practice and for services.
More than 100 of our members are from developing countries and every full member has the right to take part in standards development, no matter what the size or strength of their economy. At the end of 2011, the ISO standards-development system comprised 3,335 technical bodies including 224 ISO technical committees.
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From the Greek isos, meaning equal. Whatever the country, whatever the language, the short form of our name is always ISO.
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