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Education about standards

International Standards bring technological, economic and societal benefits. They help to harmonize technical specifications of products and services, making industry more efficient and breaking down barriers to international trade. International Standards also contribute effectively to sustainability, by providing good practices on the use of technologies and the management of processes affecting economic, social and environmental aspects.

Educational institutions are increasingly recognizing these benefits and international standardization features in many curricula. We recognize the vital contribution educational institutions bring to raising awareness of standardization and its benefits, and are keen to support their work.

Some of the actions we have taken are highlighted below:

student at the forefront of a classroom

Resources and teaching materials

We have put together a collection of resources on standards and education. This collection includes both teaching materials as well as resources that describe how standardization can be integrated into education.

ISO repository of teaching materials

The ISO repository of teaching materials is a list of existing teaching materials on standardization, with details of the authors and publishers. This materials have been divided into two groups:

Teachers and standards professionals can use this tool to access information that can help them in designing and delivering courses on standards matters. In addition, the repository will help optimize the use of resources, facilitate the re-use of existing materials and highlight new subject matters to be addressed in the future.

Initiatives on standardization in education systems

This section contains a collection of articles, policy documents, academic research articles that describe how standardization is integrated into education in various countries. Additionally, it comprises an overview of initiatives related to educational initiatives, training and awareness raising on standardization and related topics.

Repository of standards and innovation

This section contains a collection of articles, policy documents, academic research about standards, innovation and related issues such as standards and research and development, intellectual property rights, etc..

Please note, the majority of material in these repositories is not published by ISO. Please contact the publisher in order to find out more about how to use this material, licensing fees etc.

ISO repositories - Data entry

You can submit information related to the ISO repositories by clicking the link below.
ISO will review the information provided by you before making it available to the public.

Data entry

More resources:

APEC standards education initiative

CEN/CENELEC's repository of materials on Education about Standardization

WSC Academic Day

The WSC Academic Days are designed to promote dialogue between universities and the international standards community, to raise awareness and to foster cooperation and joint initiatives.

This year's event was 'Encouraging the next generation of standards experts', in Ottawa, Canada, on 15 August in collaboration with the Standards Council of Canada.

Past Academic Day Events

WSC Academic Day is an annual event.

Promoting cooperation between standards bodies and education institutions

As part of our work with members in developing countries we aim to better integrate standardization into educational curricula. (For more information on this and other objectives see ISO's Action Plan for Developing Countries).

In order to do this we:

Teaching Standards provides an overview of the key reasons why standardization should be part of university programmes and describes the approaches followed by universities in addressing standards-related topics in different disciplines (providing a number of specific examples). It presents the various forms of cooperation between national standards bodies and universities and proposes a roadmap that national standards bodies can follow to develop or strengthen collaboration with universities (highlighting key success factors and obstacles to be removed).

The regional workshops "Enhancing collaboration between national standards bodies and academia" which have been instrumental in the development of “Teaching Standards”, are described below.

The first one was organized in Bali (Indonesia), on 7-9 May 2012 and hosted by BSN (the national standards body of Indonesia).  The workshop covered the South Asia and South-East Asia regions, and was co-sponsored by ISO and the national standards body of the Republic of Korea, KATS. Find out more in the summary of the outcome of the workshop.

The second one was organized in São Paulo (Brazil), on 15-17 April 2013 and hosted by ABNT (the national standards body of Brazil). The workshop covered the South America and Caribbean and Central America regions, and was co-sponsored by ISO and the national standards body of the Republic of Korea, KATS. View the workshop's materials and outcome.

The third one was organized in Centurion (South Africa), on 19-21 November 2013 and hosted by SABS (the national standards body of South Africa). The workshop covered the South and South East Africa regions, and was co-sponsored by ISO and the national standards body of the Republic of Korea, KATS. View the workshop's materials and outcome.

The fourth one was organized in Belgrade (Serbia) on 8-10 October 2014 and hosted by ISS (the national standards body of Serbia). The workshop covered Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia and was co-sponsored by SIDA, ISO and the national standards body of the Republic of Korea, KATS. View the workshop’s materials and outcome.

Additional information was gathered at the ISO General Assembly 2012, held in San Diego (USA) from 17-22 September, through a break-out session devoted to Education and Standardization.

This publication provides an overview of standardization as part of university programmes and the approaches they follow.




Contribution to postgraduate courses

We also contribute to the University of Geneva Masters' programme Standardization, Social Regulation and Sustainable Development. The masters is an interdisciplinary programme including sociology, management and economics. It is developed in partnership by the University of Geneva, ISO and SNV (the Swiss national standards body).

The programme focuses on sustainable development and in particular the idea that development processes need the active involvement of all parties likely to contribute to or to be affected by them. It underlines the importance of the participatory processes involving public and private actors at various levels ('social regulation'), including the standard-setting practices that provide essential voluntary agreements supporting the dissemination of knowledge, best practices and monitoring tools.

All teaching materials developed by ISO for this programme are available to the ISO members.

ISO also cooperates with the Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC) of the University of Geneva and the Haute École de Gestion (HEG) of the Haute École Spécialisée de la Suisse Occidentale (HES-SO), on the Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) on Sustainable Management.

University of Geneva

ISO contributes to a masters programme in partnership with the University of Geneva (UNIGE).

ISO Award for Higher Education

The ISO Award for Higher Education was run between 2007 and 2011 to kick-start the ISO initiatives targeting Education. It helped to promote higher education institutions running successful programmes that raise awareness of the benefits of International Standards.

The winner - a higher education institution leading the way in education about standards - was chosen by a selection panel, including representatives from academia, economics and the media.

Past winners

Prof. F. Coallier and Mr. S. Takeda

Prof. François Coallier, of the Ecole de technolgie supérieure, receives the ISO Award for Higher Education in 2011. Presented by ISO Vice-President (policy), Mr. Sadao Takeda.