Published on March 11, 2014
International Organization for Standardization Worldwide federation of national standards bodies Presently comprising of 170 member countries Promotes development of standardization and related activities across the world Objective is to facilitate exchange of goods and services and development of cooperation in intellectual, scientific, technological and economic activities. 2
International standardization began in the electrotechnical field : the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) was created in 1906. Pioneering work in other fields was carried out by the International Federation of the National Standardizing Associations (ISA), which was set up in 1926. The emphasis within ISA was laid heavily on mechanical engineering. ISA's activities ceased in 1942, owing to the Second World War. Following a meeting in London in 1946, delegates from 25 countries decided to create a new international organization "the object of which would be to facilitate the international coordination and unification of industrial standards". The new organization, ISO, began to function officially on 23 February 1947. The first ISO standard was published in 1951 with the title, " Standard reference temperature for industrial length measurement ". 3
Standards are documented agreements containing technical specifications or other precise criteria to be used consistently as rules, guidelines, or definitions of characteristics, to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose. 4
Industry-wide standardization is a condition existing within a particular industrial sector when the large majority of products or services conform to the same standards. It results from consensus agreements reached between all economic players in that industrial sector - suppliers, users, and often governments. They agree on specifications and criteria to be applied consistently in the choice and classification of materials, the manufacture of products, and the provision of services. 5
The aim is to facilitate trade, exchange and technology transfer through : enhanced product quality and reliability at a reasonable price, improved health, safety and environmental protection, and reduction of waste, greater compatibility and interoperability of goods and services, simplification for improved usability, reduction in the number of models, and thus reduction in costs, increased distribution efficiency, and ease of maintenance. 6
Users have more confidence in products and services that conform to International Standards. Assurance of conformity can be provided by manufacturers' declarations, or by audits carried out by independent bodies. 7
The existence of non-harmonized standards for similar technologies in different countries or regions can contribute to so-called "technical barriers to trade". Export-minded industries have long sensed the need to agree on world standards to help rationalize the international trading process. This was the origin of the establishment of ISO. 8
International standardization is now well- established for very many technologies in such diverse fields as information processing and communications, textiles, packaging, distribution of goods, energy production and utilization, shipbuilding, banking and financial services. It will continue to grow in importance for all sectors of industrial activity for the foreseeable future. 9
The main reasons are: Worldwide progress in trade liberalization Interpenetration of sectors Worldwide communications systems Global standards needs for emerging technologies Developing countries 10
A member body of ISO is the national body "most representative of standardization in its country". It follows that only one such body for each country is accepted for membership. The member bodies have four principal tasks: informing potentially interested parties in their country of relevant international standardization opportunities and initiatives, organizing so that a concerted view of the country's interests is presented during international negotiations leading to standards agreements, 11
ensuring that a secretariat is provided for those ISO technical committees and subcommittees in which the country has an interest, providing their country's share of financial support for the central operations of ISO, through payment of membership dues. A correspondent member is usually an organization in a country which does not yet have a fully developed national standards activity. Correspondent members do not take an active part in the technical work, but are entitled to be kept fully informed about the work of interest to them. 12
The scope of ISO is not limited to any particular branch; it covers all standardization fields except electrical and electronic engineering, which is the responsibility of IEC. The work in the field of information technology is carried out by a Joint ISO/IEC Technical Committee(JTC 1). 13
m, kg, s, A, K, mol, cd are the symbols representing the seven base units of the universal system of measurement known as SI (Système international d'unités). The SI system is covered by a series of 14 International Standards. Paper sizes. The original standard was published by DIN in 1922. Now used worldwide as ISO 216. A well-designed symbol conveys a clearcut message in a multilingual world. The same symbols for automobile controls are displayed in cars all over the world, no matter where they are manufactured. 14
Safety of wire ropes : used on oil rigs, on fishing vessels, in mines, in all types of building operations, for lifts and cable cars, etc. ISO International Standards systematically define basic characteristics such as size, surface finish, type of construction, tensile grade of the wire, minimum breaking load and linear mass. The ISO international codes for country names, currencies and languages help to eliminate duplication and incompatibilities in the collection, processing and dissemination of information. As resource-saving tools, universally understandable codes play an important role in both automated and manual documentation. The ISO film speed code, among many other photographic equipment standards, has been adopted worldwide making things simpler for the general user. 15
The internationally standardized freight container enables all components of a transport system - air and seaport facilities, railways, highways, and packages - to interface efficiently. The diversity of screw threads for identical applications used to represent an important technical obstacle to trade. It caused maintenance problems, and lost or damaged nuts or bolts could not easily be replaced. A global solution is supplied in the ISO standards for ISO metric screw threads. 16
ISO standards are developed according to the following principles: Consensus - The views of all interests are taken into account: manufacturers, vendors and users, consumer groups, testing laboratories, governments, engineering professions and research organizations. 17
Industry-wide - Global solutions to satisfy industries and customers worldwide. Voluntary - International standardization is market-driven and therefore based on voluntary involvement of all interests in the market-place. 18
The need for a standard is usually expressed by an industry sector, which communicates this need to a national member body. The latter proposes the new work item to ISO as a whole. Once the need for an International Standard has been recognized and formally agreed, the first phase involves definition of the technical scope of the future standard. This phase is usually carried out in working groups which comprise technical experts from countries interested in the subject matter. © Anupam Kumar 2011 19
Once agreement has been reached on which technical aspects are to be covered in the standard, a second phase is entered during which countries negotiate the detailed specifications within the standard. This is the consensus-building phase. The final phase comprises the formal approval of the resulting draft International Standard (the acceptance criteria stipulate approval by two-thirds of the ISO members that have participated actively in the standards development process, and approval by 75 % of all members that vote), following which the agreed text is published as an ISO International Standard. 20
Most standards require periodic revision. Several factors combine to render a standard out of date: technological evolution, new methods and materials, new quality and safety requirements. To take account of these factors, ISO has established the general rule that all ISO standards should be reviewed at intervals of not more than five years. On occasion, it is necessary to revise a standard earlier. To accelerate the standards process (handling of proposals, drafts, comment reviews, voting, publishing, etc.) ISO makes use of information technology and programmed management methods. 21
* ISO and IEC ISO does not work alone in international standardization. It collaborates very closely with its partner, the International Electrotechnical Commission, IEC. An agreement reached in 1976 defines responsibilities: the IEC covers the field of electrical and electronic engineering, all other subject areas being attributed to ISO. When necessary, attribution of responsibility for work programmes to ISO or IEC is made by mutual agreement. In specific cases of mutual interest, joint technical bodies or working groups are set up. Common working procedures ensure efficient coordination and the widest possible global application.
ISO and IEC are not part of the United Nations, but have many technical liaisons with the specialized UN agencies. Several are actively involved in international standardization such as the International Telecommunication Union, the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, etc.
- 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. Conformity to International Standards helps reassure consumers that products are safe, efficient and good for the environment.
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What are the benefits of ISO International Standards? ISO International Standards ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality.
Internationale Organisation für Normung ISO; Logo der Organisation: Englische Bezeichnung: International Organization for Standardization: Sitz der Organe
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