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ISO - International Organization for Standardization

East Bright Technology Limited | Updated: Aug 08, 2016

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various nationalstandards organizations. 

Founded on 23 February 1947, the organization promotes worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and as of 2015 works in 196 countries. It was one of the first organizations granted general consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, is an independent, non-governmental organization, the members of which are the standards organizations of the 164 member countries. It is the world's largest developer of voluntary international standards and facilitates world trade by providing common standards between nations. Nearly twenty thousand standards have been set covering everything from manufactured products and technology to food safety, agriculture and healthcare. 

Use of the standards aids in the creation of products and services that are safe, reliable and of good quality. The standards help businesses increase productivity while minimizing errors and waste. By enabling products from different markets to be directly compared, they facilitate companies in entering new markets and assist in the development of global trade on a fair basis. The standards also serve to safeguard consumers and the end-users of products and services, ensuring that certified products conform to the minimum standards set internationally. 

The organization today known as ISO began in 1926 as the International Federation of the 

National Standardizing Associations (ISA). It was suspended in 1942 during World War II, but after the war ISA was approached by the recently formed United Nations Standards Coordinating Committee(UNSCC) with a proposal to form a new global standards body. In October 1946, ISA and

UNSCC delegates from 25 countries met in London and agreed to join forces to create the new International Organization for Standardization; the new organization officially began operations in February 1947. 

ISO's main products are international standards. ISO also publishes technical reports, technical specifications, publicly available specifications, technical corrigenda, and guides. 

International standards

These are designated using the format ISO[/IEC] [/ASTM] [IS] nnnnn[-p]:[yyyy] Title, where nnnnn is the number of the standard, p is an optional part number, yyyy is the year published, andTitle describes the subject. IEC for International Electrotechnical Commission is included if the standard results from the work of ISO/IEC JTC1 (the ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee). ASTM(American Society for Testing and Materials) is used for standards developed in cooperation with ASTM International. yyyy and IS are not used for an incomplete or unpublished standard and may under some circumstances be left off the title of a published work.

Technical reports

These are issued when a technical committee or subcommittee has collected data of a different kind from that normally published as an International Standard, such as references and explanations. The naming conventions for these are the same as for standards, except TR prepended instead of IS in the report's name.

For example:

•ISO/IEC TR 17799:2000 Code of Practice for Information Security Management

•ISO/TR 19033:2000 Technical product documentation — Metadata for construction documentation

Technical and publicly available specifications

Technical specifications may be produced when "the subject in question is still under development or where for any other reason there is the future but not immediate possibility of an agreement to publish an International Standard". A publicly available specification is usually "an intermediate specification, published prior to the development of a full International Standard, or, in IEC may be a 'dual logo' publication published in collaboration with an external organization". By convention, both types of specification are named in a manner similar to the organization's technical reports.

For example:

•ISO/TS 16952-1:2006 Technical product documentation — Reference designation system — Part 1: General application rules

•ISO/PAS 11154:2006 Road vehicles — Roof load carriers

Technical corrigenda

ISO also sometimes issues "technical corrigenda" (where "corrigenda" is the plural of corrigendum). These are amendments made to existing standards due to minor technical flaws, usability improvements, or limited-applicability extensions. They are generally issued with the expectation that the affected standard will be updated or withdrawn at its next scheduled review. 

ISO guides

These are meta-standards covering "matters related to international standardization". They are named using the format "ISO[/IEC] Guide N:yyyy: Title".

For example:

•ISO/IEC Guide 2:2004 Standardization and related activities — General vocabulary

•ISO/IEC Guide 65:1996 General requirements for bodies operating product certification

A standard published by ISO/IEC is the last stage of a long process that commonly starts with 

the proposal of new work within a committee. Here are some abbreviations used for marking a standard with its status: 

•PWI – Preliminary Work Item

•NP or NWIP – New Proposal / New Work Item Proposal (e.g., ISO/IEC NP 23007)

•AWI – Approved new Work Item (e.g., ISO/IEC AWI 15444-14)

•WD – Working Draft (e.g., ISO/IEC WD 27032)

•CD – Committee Draft (e.g., ISO/IEC CD 23000-5)

•FCD – Final Committee Draft (e.g., ISO/IEC FCD 23000-12)

•DIS – Draft International Standard (e.g., ISO/IEC DIS 14297)

•FDIS – Final Draft International Standard (e.g., ISO/IEC FDIS 27003)

•PRF – Proof of a new International Standard (e.g., ISO/IEC PRF 18018)

•IS – International Standard (e.g., ISO/IEC 13818-1:2007)

Abbreviations used for amendments: 

•NP Amd – New Proposal Amendment (e.g., ISO/IEC 15444-2:2004/NP Amd 3)

•AWI Amd – Approved new Work Item Amendment (e.g., ISO/IEC 14492:2001/AWI Amd 4)

•WD Amd – Working Draft Amendment (e.g., ISO 11092:1993/WD Amd 1)

•CD Amd / PDAmd – Committee Draft Amendment / Proposed Draft Amendment (e.g., ISO/IEC 13818-1:2007/CD Amd 6)

•FPDAmd / DAM (DAmd) – Final Proposed Draft Amendment / Draft Amendment (e.g., ISO/IEC 14496-14:2003/FPDAmd 1)

•FDAM (FDAmd) – Final Draft Amendment (e.g., ISO/IEC 13818-1:2007/FDAmd 4)

•PRF Amd – (e.g., ISO 12639:2004/PRF Amd 1)

•Amd – Amendment (e.g., ISO/IEC 13818-1:2007/Amd 1:2007)

Other abbreviations: 

•TR – Technical Report (e.g., ISO/IEC TR 19791:2006)

•DTR – Draft Technical Report (e.g., ISO/IEC DTR 19791)

•TS – Technical Specification (e.g., ISO/TS 16949:2009)

•DTS – Draft Technical Specification (e.g., ISO/DTS 11602-1)

•PAS – Publicly Available Specification

•TTA – Technology Trends Assessment (e.g., ISO/TTA 1:1994)

•IWA – International Workshop Agreement (e.g., IWA 1:2005)

•Cor – Technical Corrigendum (e.g., ISO/IEC 13818-1:2007/Cor 1:2008)

•Guide – a guidance to technical committees for the preparation of standards

International Standards are developed by ISO technical committees (TC) and subcommittees (SC) by a process with six steps: 

•Stage 1: Proposal stage

•Stage 2: Preparatory stage

•Stage 3: Committee stage

•Stage 4: Enquiry stage

•Stage 5: Approval stage

•Stage 6: Publication stage

The TC/SC may set up working groups (WG) of experts for the preparation of a working drafts. Subcommittees may have several working groups, which can have several Sub Groups (SG). 

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