International Organization for Standardization is a non-governmental and voluntary setting-body for standards. These standards include quality management, environmental management, and risk management among others.
The ISO standards are among, if not the most, competent organizations that publish, develop, and manufacture standards for business sectors with an arising need for the existence of a certain standard. Furthermore, it governs that products and services alike will not be compromised regarding their quality and safety prior to their purchase.
However, are these standards global? As a matter of fact, yes: ISO standards are recognized all across the globe.
Why they are Globally Recognized
ISO standards are recognized across the world due to their voluntary members being recognized authorities as well – with each one representing their respective countries. Many of their member institutes belong to some part of the governmental structure or may have been mandated by their own government.
In addition, other members may have had experiences originating in the private sector with national partnerships of industry associations having been established. The setting-body also interconnects with a network of standards instituted from 164 different countries. Because of this, the standards must have been agreed upon prior to its release.
The consensus for a certain standard undergoes different committees. The International Organization for Standardization consists of 2700 technical committees, subcommittees, and working groups. A Secretariat belonging to one of the member organizations leads each of the committees and subcommittees.
With the availability of different committees, the quality of each standard they manufacture is ensured. Moreover, the standards the ISO releases are first agreed upon by the general consensus of each member organization. The interests of the businesses, manufacturers, and different establishments must be represented and taken into account.
Process for Global Standards
Each of these standards undergoes a six-stage process before its release and publishing to adhere according to the standard of the organization itself. The first of which is the proposal stage through which the need for a standard is observed.
The preparatory stage is commenced thereafter. In this stage, a working draft for the standard is created. Next is the committee stage in which the completed working draft is distributed to each committee for further inspection.
The Draft International Standard (DIS) will be the result of all these stages. The DIS will be voted upon among each member body in the inquiry stage. Should it pass the percentage mark, it will follow to be a Final Draft International Standard which will undergo another inquiry stage. Once it passes the percentage mark of 75%, it will be approved and forwarded to the ISO Central Secretariat for publication.
However, if the DIS fails to pass the first inquiry stage, the standard will downgrade back to the other lower stages through which the standard will be revised.
To make the process effective and immediate, a Fast Track procedure is in place within the ISO community due to the fast pace environment of certain technologies. With this procedure, the standard that has been approved in the market shall enter the approval process at the inquiry stage.