The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Founded on 23 February 1947, the organization promotes worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and works in 162 countries.
ISO creates documents that provide requirements, specifications, guidelines or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose.
There are three main reasons why companies adopt an ISO management system:
- To increase success on public and private tenders
- To improve internal efficiency and reduce costs
- Subliminal marketing – being associated with ISO proves to your prospective clients you are credible.
The International Organization for Standardization, is an independent, non-governmental organization, the members of which are the standards organizations of the 162 member countries. It is the world’s largest developer of voluntary international standards and facilitates world trade by providing common standards between nations. Over 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.
ISO standards are developed by many technical committees. The people who serve on these technical committees come from many national standards organizations. Consequently, ISO standards tend to have worldwide support. ISO standards help to ensure that products, services, systems, and technologies work properly and are safe and effective. And to help ensure that organizations actually apply these standards, ISO’s technical experts have also developed several conformity assessment guides. These guides help organizations to verify that supplies, materials, products, processes, services, systems, tools, equipment, and personnel actually comply with ISO’s standards.
In short, ISO helps make things safer, simpler, and better. It helps all organisations to be more productive and prosperous. Businesses that want to compete as world‐class companies are increasingly expected to have ISO 9000 Certification at various levels. To gain certification in this family of quality standards, businesses must undergo a rigorous assessment by outside auditors to determine whether they meet ISO requirements. Increasingly, the ISO stamp of approval is viewed as a necessity in international business; the ISO certification provides customers with an assurance that a set of solid quality standards and processes are in place.