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International Organisation for Standardization (ISO)

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International Organisation for Standardization (ISO)

What comes to your mind when you see or hear of an ISO certification on a good or for service? The majority of us know and would say that it establishes and specifies the efficiency, authenticity, and quality of that products or services. But have you ever thought, who is ISO, that sets these standards for businesses? On which criteria do the products and services get certified by them? Or, why ISO certification is so important and relevant for businesses in this day and age? If these queries arise in your mind too then this article is for you, which will help you learn more about ISO and ISO certification. 

History: 

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was established on February  27th, 1947 in consideration of a proposal by the United Nations Standards Coordination  Committee (UNSCC) for the necessity of a new international standards institute, after the cessation of the International Federation of the National Standardizing Association (ISA)  during the World War II. 

The International Organization for Standardization is a non-governmental organization,  which comprises of standards institutes from 165 countries working together as a  network across the globe. Its headquarter is in Geneva, Switzerland and is currently being headed by the Chairman of Telkom Kenya & Proctor and Allan, Mr. Edward Njoroge. 

Objectives and Work Process: 

The term ISO was derived from a Greek, work “isos”, which means equivalent. The term itself defines the very idea for which the organization was formed, to maintain the best quality practices for international trade by providing equal standards. The International  Organization for standardization (ISO) develops, amends, and issues global technical,  industrial, and commercial standards. It also issues technical reports, specifications, and guidelines. The member institutes of ISO’s General Assembly have representatives of both types, countries with institutes, which are part of their respective administrative structure, and countries with institutes structured by their private sectors/commerce associations. This helps ISO to achieve solutions, which facilitate both the commercial as well as social requirements.  

The inclusion of a new ISO standard is a systematic process that goes through several  steps, which have been explained in sequential order below: 

1. The initial step for the development of a new standard starts with a proposition from the consumer forums/groups or different commerce associations based on their requirements, the necessity of which is determined by the ISO committee after proper scrutiny.

2. The following step is the preparation of a draft for the new standard, which is managed by a committee comprised of industry professionals/connoisseurs and shareholders.  This draft is then examined by the authority, which the draft committee is accountable, and with their consent, the draft is then forwarded to the next stage. 

3. The next stage is where the draft standard is being presented to the ISO members for  their remarks, and eventually their approval in the form of a vote. The draft at this stage is called as “Draft International Standard” (DIS). If a DIS gets approved without any changes by the members, ISO issues the DIS as a standard. If not, then DIS is re-evaluated and proposed as the “Final Draft International Standard” (FDIS) to the members, who then decide on their votes, whether or whether not the FDIS would be a new standard. For an FDIS to get an international standard tag, it requires 2/3rd votes in favor and not more than 1/4th against votes of the total participating members. 

4. The last step is the declaration or the publication of an FDIS/DIS as an international standard by the International Organization for Standardization. 

As per general perception, we think ISO certifies businesses directly, whereas in reality various certification groups/registrars do this task of examining and certifying the businesses’ quality management systems. These registrars themselves have to be certified by an issued standard, ISO/IECTS17021. The registrars audit the operations of organizations/businesses in accordance with the norms of ISO 9001:2015 standards and based on the reports/conclusions of these audits the organizations/businesses are expected to improve their quality management structure for getting certified. 

Apart from sole certification, ISO works with many other standard bodies for maintaining better quality measures. One such standard body is IEC, International  Electrotechnical Commission, which deals with electronic technology. The prefix used for the identification of the combined standard is “ISO/IEC”, they set up standards for information security management systems. 

A few popular standards which ISO and IEC collectively issued are • ISO/IEC 27000, standards set for information technology security techniques. 

ISO/IEC 31000, standards set with guidelines to manage risk associated terms for businesses/individuals/organizations. 

What makes ISO certification a necessity for both Consumers and Businesses? 

ISO adds a lot of value to businesses/organizations. It not just improves the quality of services and products but also improves the credibility of a business altogether, that too not just at domestic but even at international level. By following the standards and 

maintaining good quality services and product gives recognition to medium-size businesses, which comprise the majority of the global market. It helps businesses to explore opportunities beyond geographical boundaries, grow as organizations and generate more and more revenue.  

On the social front, these standards ensure quality for consumers without compromising with their requirements. Better standards not just help businesses become more reliable and help them grow but, also aids to the living standards of people of a social construct and in a broader perspective, this stability only boosts an economy.

Also, read- iso certification online

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