Who is ISO?

Posted in General Questions

ISO is a non-governmental organization (International Organization of Standards) established in 1947.

The mission of ISO is to promote the development of standardization and related activities in the world with a view to facilitating the international exchange of goods and services, and to develop cooperation in the field of intellectual, scientific, technological and economic activity.

Also - ISO is a Greek word meaning equal.

Below is a brief history of ISO.

In London, in 1946, 65 delegates from 25 countries meet to discuss the future of International Standardization. In 1947, ISO officially comes into existence with 67 technical committees (groups of experts focusing on a specific subject).

In 1949, ISO moves into offices in a small, private house in Geneva. In the early 1950s the Central Secretariat has 5 members of staff.

In 1951, the first ISO standard (called Recommendations at this time), ISO/R 1:1951 Standard reference temperature for industrial length measurements, is published. Since then, the standard has been updated numerous times and is now ISO 1:2002 Geometrical Product Specifications (GPS) - Standard reference temperature for geometrical product specification.

Since its creation ISO has published monthly information about its technical committees, the standards published and administrative changes to the organization and its members.
This is the cover of the ISO Journal from May 1952.

In 1960, ISO publishes the standard ISO 31 on quantities and units (which has since been replaced by ISO 80 000).

ISO 31 is based on SI (Système international d'unités). The SI sets out one unit for each quantity, for example, the metre for distance and the second for time. The objective of the SI system is to reach world-wide uniformity in units of measurement.

In 1968, ISO publishes its first standard on freight containers. Freight and packaging is one of the areas where ISO has been particularly active, changing the way goods travel across the world.

During the 1970s, ISO's Secretary General Olle Sturen focuses on turning ISO into a truly international organization.

While ISO's members come from all over the world, in the early 1970s relatively few are fully active in the development of International Standards. Sturen's visits to members result in active participation from countries such as Australia, Japan and China. The Central Secretariat also reflects this international feel, with an average of 25 nationalities represented.

In 1987, ISO publishes its first quality management standard. Standards in the ISO 9000 family have gone on to become some of the most well known and best selling standards.

In 1995, ISO launches its first website.

Five years later, in 2000, ISO starts selling its standards online.

In 2005, ISO and IEC's joint technical committee JTC1 launches ISO/IEC 27001, a management system standard on information security. As businesses become increasingly reliant on information technology, securing the system and minimizing risks is ever more important. ISO 27001:2005 has become one of ISO's most popular standards.

In 2010, ISO 26000, the International Standard providing guidelines for social responsibility, is launched.

At the start of 2012, ISO has 163 members and has a total of over 19 000 standards.
Today, ISO International Standards cover almost all aspects of technology and business.Request a quote for a review or an ISO standards audit

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