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The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an
international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm Norm, the Norm or NORM may refer to: In academic disciplines * Norm (geology), an estimate of the idealised mineral content of a rock * Norm (philoso ...
-setting body composed of representatives from various national
standards organization A standards organization, standards body, standards developing organization (SDO), or standards setting organization (SSO) is an organization whose primary function is developing, coordinating, promulgating, revising, amending, reissuing, interpr ...
s. Founded on 23 February 1947, the organization develops and publishes worldwide technical, industrial and commercial
standards Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification Norm, convention or requirement * Standard (metrology), an object that bears a defined relationship to a unit of ...
. It is headquartered in
Geneva Geneva ( ; french: Genève ; frp, Genèva ; german: link=no, Genf ; it, Ginevra ; rm, Genevra) is the List of cities in Switzerland, second-most populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich) and the most populous city of Romandy, the French-spea ...

Geneva
, Switzerland and works in 165 countries.


Overview

The International Organization for Standardization is an independent, non-governmental organization, the members of which are the standards organizations of the 165 member countries. It is the world's largest developer of voluntary international standards, and it facilitates world trade by providing common standards among nations. More than 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.


History

The organization began in the 1920s as the International Federation of the National Standardizing Associations (ISA). It was suspended in 1942 during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved World War II by country, the vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the gr ...
, 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.


Language use

The three official languages of the ISO are
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
, , and
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
.


Name and abbreviations

The name of the organization in French is ' and in Russian, ('). ''ISO'' is not an
acronym An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguistics), meaning. In many la ...
. ISO gives this explanation of the name: "Because 'International Organization for Standardization' would have different acronyms in different languages (IOS in English, OIN in French), our founders decided to give it the short form ''ISO''. ''ISO'' is derived from the Greek word ' (, meaning "equal"). Whatever the country, whatever the language, the short form of our name is always ''ISO''." During the founding meetings of the new organization, the Greek word explanation was not invoked, so this meaning may have been coined later as a
backronym A backronym, or bacronym, is an acronym formed from a word that existed prior to the invention of the backronym. Unlike a typical acronym, in which a new word is constructed from a phrase, the phrase corresponding to the backronym is selected to fi ...
. (page 20) Both the name ''ISO'' and the ISO logo are registered trademarks and their use is restricted.


Structure

ISO is a voluntary organization whose members are recognized authorities on standards, each one representing one country. Members meet annually at a General Assembly to discuss the strategic objectives of ISO. The organization is coordinated by a central secretariat based in
Geneva Geneva ( ; french: Genève ; frp, Genèva ; german: link=no, Genf ; it, Ginevra ; rm, Genevra) is the List of cities in Switzerland, second-most populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich) and the most populous city of Romandy, the French-spea ...

Geneva
. A council with a rotating membership of 20 member bodies provides guidance and governance, including setting the annual budget of the central secretariat. The technical management board is responsible for more than 250 technical committees, who develop the ISO standards.


Joint technical committee with IEC for information technology standards

ISO has a joint technical committee (JTC) with the
International Electrotechnical Commission The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC; in French language, French: ''Commission électrotechnique internationale'') is an international standards organization that prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, e ...
(IEC) to develop standards relating to information technology (IT). Known as JTC 1 and entitled "Information technology", it was created in 1987 and its mission is "to develop worldwide Information and Communication Technology (ICT) standards for business and consumer applications". There was previously also a JTC 2 that was created in 2009 for a joint project to establish common terminology for "standardization in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources". It was later disbanded.


Membership

ISO has 165 national members. ISO has three membership categories, * ''Member bodies'' are national bodies considered the most representative standards body in each country. These are the only members of ISO that have voting rights. * ''Correspondent members'' are countries that do not have their own standards organization. These members are informed about the work of ISO, but do not participate in standards promulgation. * ''Subscriber members'' are countries with small economies. They pay reduced membership fees, but can follow the development of standards. Participating members are called "P" members, as opposed to observing members, who are called "O" members.


Financing

ISO is funded by a combination of: * Organizations that manage the specific projects or loan experts to participate in the technical work * Subscriptions from member bodies, whose subscriptions are in proportion to each country's
gross national product The Gross National Income (GNI), previously known as Gross National Product (GNP), is the total domestic and foreign output claimed by residents of a country, consisting of Gross Domestic Product ( GDP), plus factor incomes earned by foreign ...
and trade figures * Sale of standards


International Standards and other publications

International standards are the main products of ISO. It also publishes technical reports, technical specifications, publicly available specifications, technical
corrigendaAn erratum or corrigendum (plurals: errata, corrigenda) (comes from la, wikt:errata corrige, errata corrige) is a correction of a published text. As a general rule, publishers issue an erratum for a production error (i.e., an error introduced during ...
, and guides.The ISO directives are published in two distinct parts: * * International standards : These are designated using the format ''ISO
IECIEC may refer to: Businesses and organisations * International Electrotechnical Commission The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC; in French: ''Commission électrotechnique internationale'') is an international standards organizati ...

IEC
ASTM ASTM International, formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials, is an international standards organization A standards organization, standards body, standards developing organization (SDO), or standards setting organization ( ...
nnnnn yyyTitle'', where ''nnnnn'' is the number of the standard, ''p'' is an optional part number, ''yyyy'' is the year published, and ''Title'' describes the subject. ''IEC'' for ''
International Electrotechnical Commission The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC; in French language, French: ''Commission électrotechnique internationale'') is an international standards organization that prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, e ...
'' 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 ASTM International, formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials, is an international standards organization A standards organization, standards body, standards developing organization (SDO), or standards setting organization (SS ...
. ''yyyy'' and ''IS'' are not used for an incomplete or unpublished standard and, under some circumstances, may 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
corrigendumAn erratum or corrigendum (plurals: errata, corrigenda) (comes from la, wikt:errata corrige, errata corrige) is a correction of a published text. As a general rule, publishers issue an erratum for a production error (i.e., an error introduced during ...
). 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
IECIEC may refer to: Businesses and organisations * International Electrotechnical Commission The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC; in French: ''Commission électrotechnique internationale'') is an international standards organizati ...

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


Document copyright

ISO documents have strict copyright restrictions and ISO charges for most copies. , the typical cost of a copy of an ISO standard is about or more (and electronic copies typically have a single-user license, so they cannot be shared among groups of people). Some standards by ISO and its official U.S. representative (and, via the U.S. National Committee, the
International Electrotechnical Commission The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC; in French language, French: ''Commission électrotechnique internationale'') is an international standards organization that prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, e ...
) are made freely available.


Standardization process

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. Some abbreviations used for marking a standard with its status are: * 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 are: * 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 are: * 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 group A working group, or working party, is a group of experts working together to achieve specified goals. The groups are domain-specific and focus on discussion or activity around a specific subject area. The term can sometimes refer to an interdis ...

working group
s (WG) of experts for the preparation of a working drafts. Subcommittees may have several working groups, which may have several Sub Groups (SG). It is possible to omit certain stages, if there is a document with a certain degree of maturity at the start of a standardization project, for example, a standard developed by another organization. ISO/IEC directives also allow the so-called "Fast-track procedure". In this procedure a document is submitted directly for approval as a draft International Standard (DIS) to the ISO member bodies or as a final draft International Standard (FDIS), if the document was developed by an international standardizing body recognized by the ISO Council. The first step—a proposal of work (New Proposal) is approved at the relevant subcommittee or technical committee (e.g., SC29 and JTC1 respectively in the case of
Moving Picture Experts Group The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) is an alliance of working groupWorking Group may refer to: * Working group, an interdisciplinary group of researchers; or * Working Group (dogs), kennel club designation for certain purebred dog breeds; ...
– ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29/WG11). A working group (WG) of experts is set up by the TC/SC for the preparation of a working draft. When the scope of a new work is sufficiently clarified, some of the working groups (e.g., MPEG) usually make open request for proposals—known as a "call for proposals". The first document that is produced, for example, for audio and video coding standards is called a verification model (VM) (previously also called a "simulation and test model"). When a sufficient confidence in the stability of the standard under development is reached, a working draft (WD) is produced. This is in the form of a standard, but is kept internal to working group for revision. When a working draft is sufficiently solid and the working group is satisfied that it has developed the best technical solution to the problem being addressed, it becomes a committee draft (CD). If it is required, it is then sent to the P-members of the TC/SC (national bodies) for ballot. The committee draft becomes final committee draft (FCD) if the number of positive votes exceeds the quorum. Successive committee drafts may be considered until consensus is reached on the technical content. When consensus is reached, the text is finalized for submission as a draft International Standard (DIS). Then the text is submitted to national bodies for voting and comment within a period of five months. It is approved for submission as a final draft International Standard (FDIS) if a two-thirds majority of the P-members of the TC/SC are in favour and if not more than one-quarter of the total number of votes cast are negative. ISO will then hold a ballot with National Bodies where no technical changes are allowed (yes/no ballot), within a period of two months. It is approved as an International Standard (IS) if a two-thirds majority of the P-members of the TC/SC is in favour and not more than one-quarter of the total number of votes cast are negative. After approval, only minor editorial changes are introduced into the final text. The final text is sent to the ISO central secretariat, which publishes it as the International Standard.


International Workshop Agreements

International Workshop Agreements (IWAs) follow a slightly different process outside the usual committee system but overseen by the ISO, allowing "key industry players to negotiate in an open workshop environment" in order to shape the IWA standard.ATG Access Ltd.
What is IWA 14?
published 11 March 2020, accessed 18 August 2020


Products named after ISO

On occasion, the fact that many of the ISO-created standards are ubiquitous has led to common use of "ISO" to describe the product that conforms to a standard. Some examples of this are: *
Disk images A disk image, in computing, is a computer file A computer file is a System resource, computer resource for recording Data (computing), data in a Computer data storage, computer storage device, primarily identified by its file name. Just as words ...
end in the
file extension A filename extension, file extension or file type is an identifier specified as a suffix to the name A name is a term used for identification by an external observer. They can identify a class or category of things, or a single thing, either un ...

file extension
"
ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task w ...
" to signify that they are using the
ISO 9660 ISO 9660 is a file system In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer h ...
standard file system as opposed to another file system—hence disc images commonly being referred to as "ISOs". * The sensitivity of a photographic film to light (its "
film speed Film speed is the measure of a photographic film Photographic film is a strip or sheet of transparent coated on one side with a containing microscopically small light-sensitive crystals. The sizes and other characteristics of the cryst ...
") is described by
ISO 6 Film speed is the measure of a photographic film Photographic film is a strip or sheet of transparent film base coated on one side with a gelatin photographic emulsion, emulsion containing microscopically small light-sensitive silver halide ...
,
ISO 2240 Film speed is the measure of a 's , determined by and measured on , the most recent being the system. A closely related ISO system is used to describe the relationship between exposure and output image in digital cameras. Relatively insensit ...
and ISO 5800. Hence, the speed of the film often is referred to by its ISO number. * As it was originally defined in ISO 518, the flash
hot shoe Canon EOS 350D Hot shoe Proprietary hot shoe used by Minolta and older Sony cameras (Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D) A hot shoe is a mounting point on the top of a camera to attach a flash (photography), flash unit and other compatible accessories. I ...
found on cameras often is called the "ISO shoe". *
ISO 11783 ISO 11783, known as Tractors and machinery for agriculture and forestry—Serial control and communications data network (commonly referred to as "ISO Bus" or "ISOBUS") is a communication protocol A communication protocol is a system of rules tha ...
, which is marketed as ISOBUS. *
ISO 13216 The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an -setting body composed of representatives from various national s. Founded on 23 February 1947, the organization develops and publishes worldwide technical, industrial and comme ...
, which is marketed as ISOFIX.


Criticism

With the exception of a small number of isolated standards, normally ISO standards are not available free of charge, but for a purchase fee, which has been seen by some as unaffordable by small
open source Open source is source code that is made freely available for possible modification and redistribution. Products include permission to use the source code, design documents, or content of the product. The open-source model is a decentralized model ...
projects. The
ISO/IEC JTC1 ISO/IEC JTC 1 is a joint technical committee (JTC) of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Its purpose is to develop, maintain and promote standards in the fields of info ...
fast-track procedures ("Fast-track" as used by OOXML and "PAS" as used by
OpenDocument The Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF), also known as OpenDocument, is an open standard An open standard is a standard that is publicly available and has various rights to use associated with it and may also have vario ...
) have garnered criticism in relation to the standardization of Office Open XML (ISO/IEC 29500). Martin Bryan, outgoing convenor of
ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34, Document description and processing languages is a subcommittee of the ISO/IEC JTC1 ISO/IEC JTC 1 is a joint technical committee (JTC) of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrote ...
WG1, is quoted as saying:
I would recommend my successor that it is perhaps time to pass WG1’s outstanding standards over to OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards), where they can get approval in less than a year and then do a PAS submission to ISO, which will get a lot more attention and be approved much faster than standards currently can be within WG1. The disparity of rules for PAS, Fast-Track and ISO committee generated standards is fast making ISO a laughing stock in IT circles. The days of open standards development are fast disappearing. Instead we are getting "standardization by corporation".
The computer security entrepreneur and
Ubuntu Ubuntu ( ) is a based on and composed mostly of . Ubuntu is officially released in three editions: ', ', and ''Core'' for devices and s. All the editions can run on the computer alone, or in a . Ubuntu is a popular for , with support for ...
founder,
Mark Shuttleworth Mark Richard Shuttleworth (born 18 September 1973) is a South African-British entrepreneur who is the founder and CEO of Canonical, the company behind the development of the Linux-based Ubuntu Ubuntu ( ) is a Linux distribution based on ...

Mark Shuttleworth
, commented on the Standardization of Office Open XML process by saying: "I think it de-values the confidence people have in the standards setting process", and alleged that ISO did not carry out its responsibility. He also noted that
Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multination ...

Microsoft
had intensely lobbied many countries that traditionally had not participated in ISO and stacked technical committees with Microsoft employees, solution providers, and resellers sympathetic to Office Open XML:
When you have a process built on trust and when that trust is abused, ISO should halt the process... ISO is an engineering old boys club and these things are boring so you have to have a lot of passion … then suddenly you have an investment of a lot of money and lobbying and you get artificial results. The process is not set up to deal with intensive corporate
lobbying In politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status. The branch of socia ...

lobbying
and so you end up with something being a standard that is not clear.


See also

* * * * * * for sustainability information and linking up with reporting on their 17# GlobalGoals indicators * , a set of technical standards maintained by the Euro-Asian Council for Standardization, Metrology, and Certification * * * , the Interface Marketing Supplier Integration Institute * * * * * * * * * * * ISO divisions ** "Terminology and other language and content resources", a fundamental ISO standardization committee ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **


References


Further reading

* *
''MIT Innovations and Entrepreneurship Seminar Series''


External links

* *

with free access to a small subset of the standards. *
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