Directives and Policies

The ISO/IEC Directives define the basic procedures to be followed in the development of International Standards and other publications.

There are, however, other documents containing guiding principles for standards development, which can also be found below.

Contact us

For questions about the ISO Directives please contact us on directives@iso.org

For any general questions on drafting ISO standards, please contact us on draftingstandards@iso.org

Official Rules

Here are the official rules that state how to develop an ISO standard:

Supplementary Documents

Here are some supplementary documents that may help guide the standards development process:

  • Cooperation with CEN (the Vienna Agreement)
    Committees cooperating with CEN under the Vienna Agreement will need to refer to details on this agreement.
  • Global Relevance
    Guidance for how to make sure an International Standard can be implemented as broadly as possible.
  • Patent Policy
    Contains guidance for technical committees in case patent rights matters arise.
  • Supporting Public Policy Initiatives (PDF)
    Principles for developing ISO and IEC standards related to or supporting Public Policy Initiatives.
  • Normative References (login required)
    Individuals developing standards are given access to the standards or normative documents referred to in the ISO/IEC Directives.


Here is some information about Guides, which provide advice to standards writers and national standards bodies: