ISO Standards

  • What is an ISO standard? Open or Close

    A standard is a document that provides requirements, specifications, guidelines or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose.

  • Why is there a charge for standards? Open or Close

    Developing, publishing and maintaining ISO standards incurs a cost, and revenues from selling them helps ISO and its members to cover an important part of these costs. Charging for standards allows us to ensure that they are developed in an impartial environment and therefore meet the needs of all stakeholders for which the standard is relevant. This is essential if standards are to remain effective in the real world. ISO and its members offer a number of options to access ISO standards. Contact us or your national ISO member to find the best option for your needs.

  • How does ISO decide what standards to develop? Open or Close

    Working through the ISO community, it is the people who need the standards that decide. The need for a standard is felt by an industry or business sector, which communicates the requirement to one of ISO's national members. The idea is then proposed to ISO as a whole. If accepted, the project is assigned to an existing technical committee. Proposals may also be made to set up technical committees to cover new scopes of technological activity. In order to use resources most efficiently, ISO only launches the development of new standards for which there is clearly a market requirement.

    If you feel there is a need for a standard in your sector, please contact your ISO member.

  • Are ISO standards mandatory? Open or Close
    ISO standards are voluntary. ISO is a non-governmental organization and it has no power to enforce the implementation of the standards it develops. A number of ISO standards - mainly those concerned with health, safety or the environment - have been adopted in some countries as part of their regulatory framework, or are referred to in legislation for which they serve as the technical basis. However, such adoptions are decisions by the regulatory authorities or governments of the countries concerned. ISO itself does not regulate or legislate. Although voluntary, ISO standards may become a market requirement, as has happened in the case of ISO 9000 quality management systems, or ISO freight container dimensions.

  • Technology moves on - what about ISO standards? Open or Close

    ISO standards represent, by an international consensus among experts in the technology concerned, the state of the art. To ensure that ISO standards retain this lead, they are reviewed at least every five years after their publication. The technical experts then decide whether the standard is still valid, or whether it should be withdrawn or updated. In some fields, the pace of development is such that when an ISO standard is published, the experts who developed it are already thinking about the next version!

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Mr. Joseph Martinez - Customer Services ISO
Joseph Martinez
Customer Services

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