The ISO, or to give it it’s longer name “International Organization for Standardisation” (in French “Organisation internationale de normalisation”), is an international standard setting organisation and the world’s largest publisher of industrial and commercial standards.
International Organization for Standardisation
Based in Geneva the ISO consists of a network of National Standards Institutions from 162 member countries, including Britain and The British Standards Institute ( BSI ). Although ISO is a nongovernmental organization many of the member institutions have charters or mandates from their own governments. This, added to its history of setting standards that often become law, gives the ISO a unique position between the public and private sectors, enabling a consensus to be reached to meet the needs of both the public and business communities.
Formed shortly after the war in 1946, ISO officially began operating from Geneva on 23rd February 1947, and was established to expand the use of industrial and commercial standards throughout the world and to this date has published more than 17,000 international standards.
Membership of the ISO consists of three membership categories; Member Bodies, Correspondent Members and Subscriber Members. Each type of membership has its own rights and responsibilities.
Member Bodies, such as BSI , are the only members to have full voting rights on policy committees within the ISO . Only one organisation per country is accepted for ISO membership, and is the national body that ISO considers to be “most representative of standardisation in that country”.
Correspondent Members are individual countries that have membership of ISO but do not have their own fully developed national standards organisation. Correspondent members are always informed about all of ISO 's work that interests them, but do not actively contribute to the production of ISO standards.
Subscriber Members are usually smaller countries with small economies that are able to follow the activities of ISO and the development of standards whilst enjoying reduced membership fees.
The main products of ISO are its International Standards; but it also publishes Technical Reports or Specifications, and sometimes collaborates with other organisations such as the IEC “International Electrotechnical Commission”, ASTM International “American Society for Testing and Materials”, or the BSI “ British Standards Institution ”.
An ISO number has a distinct format i.e. ISO 9001:2008 , ISO [as the publisher] 9001 [the standard number] :2008 [the year of publication]. Some standards may start ISO /IEC as with ISO/IEC 15423:2005 , this would indicate that a standard has been developed by the JTC1 “Joint Technical Committee” of the ISO and IEC.
Apart from a few “freely available ISO standards” a charge is made by the ISO for most of its publications. This charge, and the fees paid by member institutions, produces the funding to enable ISO to develop and improve both new and existing international standards. The ISO rigorously protects and enforces its copyrighted of any such products.
" Thanks for your advice and help. All updated to latest versions.
P J Osbourne - 4th Jul 2013