Role of International Standards: ISO an overview

What is the ISO?

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a non-governmental platform that supervises and controls the public as well as private sector providing standardisation processes across the array of products in the world. The ISO establishes some guidelines in the market which help facilitate trade and focus on delivering better quality and safety in several areas. The steps are adopted to ensure the safety and health of the consumers. It develops a wide range of industrial, commercial and proprietary standards as well as publishes them. The main goal of ISO is to maintain fair world trade by providing standardised goods and services. In addition, ISO also produces standards in technical specifications and other related fields to secure the environment.

History

The organization was founded in 1946 in London under the idea of 25 countries and officially came into existence in 1947 with 67 technical committees. In 1920, the organization first came into existence named as International Federation of the National Standardizing Associations (ISA). Its first office was set up in Geneva in the early 1950s with five staff members and the Secretariat of Central. The ISO also published monthly information about its technical committee and various standards and guidelines to its members. Time after time the organisation expand and started to include new countries. At the start of 2012, the organisation had 49 correspondent members. Since 1971, ISO has engaged in many environmental projects and focused on subjects like soil quality, renewable energy and environmental management. Soon after there was an increase in active participation from countries such as Japan, China and Australia. The decade of 2000 was very fruitful for the organisation from its first website to selling its standards online, now the organisation is engaged in providing guidelines for social responsibility. Now they have established an anti-bribery management system to combat bribery risk to reduce corporate risk and costs.

Objectives

The ISO was founded in 1947 and its headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland. It plays an important role in providing common standards by facilitating fair trade among different countries. The organisation also focuses on healthcare and technology to maintain the security of the environment. Every year meeting is held to discuss the strategic objectives of the organisation which provides guidance and governance. Additionally, many of its members are part of the governmental structure of their countries. Some members have their roots uniquely in the private sector, having been set up by national partnerships of industry associations. ISO enables a consensus to be reached on solutions that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society.

Activities performed under the ISO

The ISO provides standards for a variety of products to maintain fair trading among the countries. The organisation has broken down into various segments such as health care, jewellery, paint, civil engineering, agriculture, railway and aircraft. In addition, they also publish technical reports annually and specifications. They have over 24,362 standards today. These standards ensure product safety, quality and reliability for the satisfaction of end consumers. The groups classified are known as registrars where the certification process with auditing is performed to ensure that the process complies with the current ISO standard.

Scope of ISO in Business Management

There are two popular standards under ISO named 9001 and 14001 where the former provides quality management control and the latter provides criteria for environmental management systems. The goal of 9000 was to maintain quality standards and focus on customer focus and relationship management. The members of the organisation involve 162 countries and each member has an equal vote in approving standards. ISO has published 18,000 international standards or more under activities including information technology, good business, agriculture, environmental and safety practices.

ISO Certification

ISO does not certify any group rather it performs the task of auditing and certifying quality management systems. The businesses seek registration with iso and the third-party organisation has to ensure compliance with the standards. The process of certification involves a registration process to perform the operations in compliance with the standards. The funding comes from the subscribers from the sale of standards. To become certified there is a need for a third-party contractor that will audit and determine whether there is a need to process or not and then the criteria for ISO has to be fulfilled. Most companies begin with ISO 9001 which also varies according to the size of the company. The organisations that are provided with such certification have standards to adhere to the ISO Committee on Conformity Assessment (CASCO). After the certification process from the certifying agency then bidding for contracts will take place. ISO deals with eight primary business principles:

  • Customer focus
  • Leadership
  • Process approach
  • Factual approach to decision making
  • System approach to management
  • People involvement

Other standards include:

  • ISO 13485 for medical devices  
  • ISO/TS 29001 for the Oil and gas industry
  • ISO/IEC 90003 for software engineering
  • ISO 17582 for government electoral organizations
  • ISO 18091 for local governments

ISO Complaint process

If a company under ISO registration follows the rules and regulations, it is said to be an ISO complaint. Once the certification process is confirmed with the ISO then guidelines are set by the business. The rules set have to be obliged by the companies and the complaints regarding the ISO 9001:2008 must be achieved by the companies. The decision under internal compliance indicates that the company’s workforce is trained and encouraged to follow the rules and regulations set up by the ISO. Now ISO 14001 and ISO 13485 each have increased by 6% with an increase of ISO/TS 16949.

Conclusion

The organization plays a vital role with different issues such as ranging from different products, health, technology, sustainable development, food safety, etc. the standards are guidelines which improve the business’s credibility to the customers and general public. They help to harmonise the environment by developing their guidelines. Today more than 1 million companies have been certified to ISO 9001:2015 in more than 170 countries.

Investopedia https://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/international-organization-for-standardization-iso.asp

ISO https://www.iso.org/about-us.html

IOE https://www.ioe-emp.org/international-organisations/international-organization-for-standardization

Small business https://smallbusiness.chron.com/explanation-international-standards-organization-431.html 

9000Store https://the9000store.com/articles/who-is-iso/

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