ISO has put together groups of experts that represent every sector imaginable from soaps to spacecraft, MP3 to coffee. In fact there are more than 250 technical committees. You can find out what they do here.
ISO members can choose whether they want to be part of a particular TC, and their level of involvement. O-members can observe the standards that are being developed, offering comments and advice. While P-members actively participate by voting on the standard at various stages of its development.
In most cases, the experts that develop ISO Standards work in the field. They may have expert knowledge but they’re not isolated professors of theory. They understand and anticipate the challenges of their sector, using standardization as a tool to create a level playing field that benefits everyone.
It is possible to see a member’s participation in technical committees by clicking on the relevant entry in the member list.
All of ISO’s technical work, including the technical committees, is managed by the Technical Management Board (TMB). Some of the TMB’s tasks include setting up technical committees, appointing chairs and monitoring the progress of technical work. The TMB reports to the ISO Council.
Making sure everyone's voice is heard
More than three quarters of ISO members are from developing countries. The knowledge and expertise reflected in International Standards help developing countries realize their potential and getting involved in the development work makes sure that their needs are taken into account. ISO supports the participation of developing countries in standardization through its Committee on Developing Country Matters (DEVCO).
Read more about ISO and developing countries.
Twinning relationships is one of the actions ISO has taken to support participation from developing country members. A twinning relationship means that members can work together to build capacity of a developing country. For more information please read the Guidance on Twinning or contact the Technical Management Board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views of consumers also need to be taken into account when developing standards. Standards often shape product characteristics. If consumers play an active role in developing standards, the characteristics of a product or service are more likely to meet their needs. This creates a win-win situation for the consumer and manufacturer or service provider.
Consumers have a voice in the development of ISO International Standards through the participation of the NGO Consumers International and the consumer representatives of national members in the technical committees. ISO also has a Committee on Consumer Policy (COPOLCO) that drives ISO policy in support of greater consumer involvement.