Full Form of ISO

We all have come across the term ISO either by reading it on the back of packaging or shopkeeper ensuring that their product is ISO certified.  Before discovering more details about ISO, let’s cover what it stands for.

The full form of the abbreviation ISO is International Organization for Standardization.

This tutorial will briefly cover the definition, overviews, roles & responsibilities of ISO, different types of ISO membership, what are ISO standard, how standards are developed and other detailed information related to International Organization for Standardization or ISO.

What is ISO?

International Organization for Standardization or ISO is an independent, non-governmental, non-profitable, organization that issues international standards and has a membership of 165 national standard bodies. ISO is the world's highest formulator of international standards.

ISO is a voluntary organization recognized around the world for its proprietary, industrial, and commercial standards. The headquarter of ISO is based in Geneva in Switzerland. The official languages of ISO are English, Russian, and French. It has its membership in 165 member countries worldwide. It creates standards for products, medical packaging, and other services to make the world a safer place to live. These standards are trusted worldwide and label that the goods and services are secured, trustworthy, and of good quality. ISO has various education drives and contributes support to its members in this field.

  1. ISO established various teaching facts and matter.
  2. ISO works in collaboration with IEC and ITU and organizes the World Standards Cooperation academic days.
  3. ISO supports their members in developing cooperation between various standards bodies and education organizations.

The overviews of International Organization for Standardization or ISO are as follows:

Introduced at23 February 1947
Type of organizationNon-governmental independent organization
PurposeInternational standardization  
HeadquartersGeneva, Switzerland
Membership165 members
(39 correspondent and
4 subscriber)
Official languagesEnglishFrenchRussian  
PresidentEddy Njoroge

ISO: Roles & Responsibilities

ISO is responsible for leading thousands of documents through preparing, examining, voting and publication. Apart from this, ISO also offers various roles and responsibilities that are as follows

 1. ISO works and prepares strategic goals to uplift civic awareness of standards and standardization. They collaborate with various private and government organizations, unlike the IEC and ITU, to yield a yearly World Standards Day. World Standards Day is celebrated worldwide by various organizations and helps them address the challenges our society faces nowadays.

 2. ISO also engrosses the public at a wide level with the help of the COPOLCO (consumer committee on standards development) program.

 3. ISO encourages the teaching of standardization by joining in various mutual master programs. Thereby assisting the members in setting up alike programs and maintaining a database of resources per ISO standards in education followed at all stages.

 4. In addition to escalating awareness, ISO also encourages their members by conducting training sessions and act as a source to supply standards-related research and counseling.

ISO: Different types of ISO membership 

ISO is a voluntary organization formed of representatives from several international standards organizations. The different types of ISO membership are as follows:

  1. ISO Full members (or member bodies): These members look after and inspire ISO standards improvement. They strategize the standards, conducts policy meetings, and vote in ISO technical progress. Full members are also responsible for selling and endorse ISO Standards nationwide.
  2. ISO Correspondent members: Correspondent members observe ISO standards' progress and participate in ISO technical and policy meetings as witnesses. Correspondent members are public beings who are responsible for selling and endorsing ISO International Standards nationwide.
  3. Subscriber members: They keep the updated record of all ISO’s work and development, but they do not hold any power to participate in ISO meetings. Unlike the other two, they are not responsible for selling or endorsing ISO International Standards countrywide.

ISO: Standards and its definition

Standards are the infused wisdom of individuals with proficiency in their respective fields matter and are agreed by experts worldwide. These Standards help people and corporations increase productivity while cutting down the chances of mistakes and waste. The various ISO standards are as follows:

  1. Quality management standards: These standards enhance the work efficiency and reduce output waste and failures.
  2. Environmental management standards: These standards serve to subdue the environmental repercussions, decrease waste and promote sustainability.
  3. Health and safety standards: These standards are applied to prevent accidents in the corporate world.
  4. Energy management standards: These standards are useful to lessened energy consumption. Thus, it promotes energy saving.
  5. Food safety standards: These standards prevent food and edible products from being polluted.
  6. IT security standards: These ISO standards protect and safeguard confidential information.

ISO: How to develop standards?

Like a music chord, it requires a team of experts and intellectual people to develop an ISO standard where ISO’s function is similar to that of a composer and the musical instruments (unlike orchestra) behave the same way independent technical experts nominated by members. 

  1. ISO commences the process by developing a blueprint that satisfies a market demand within a specific domain. This blueprint is further shared in various technical and group meetings for commenting and analysis.
  2. The voting process is the key to standard agreement. If the majority approves the draft of members, it becomes an ISO standard. If most members deny, the draft will be revised further and will be voted on again.
  3. It usually takes about three years to propose, amend, develop and finalize an ISO standard.