A Quick Guide to ISO Standards

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An international standard is a set of requirements and specifications that is recognized by multiple countries and industries. The ISO provides the framework for the establishment, development, management and application of worldwide industrial and commercial standards. These can be used by manufacturers to ensure they produce parts or items that will work in different markets around the world without needing to produce different pieces for each individual country or region. 

Standardization

The history of standardization goes as far back as human history. However, a lot of developments in the field of standardization happened during wars (unfortunately). These developments came in the form of standardization of rail tracks, ammunition, rifles parts etc.

The purpose of standardization is to make sure that all products are made according to an agreed-upon set of rules and specifications so that they can be used interchangeably by different manufacturers and consumers.

In recent human history, globalization has also played a very significant role in promoting standardization. We can also say that globalization is the outcome of standardization. In the absence of standardization, globalization of the economy would not have been possible.

What is the full form of ISO?

The full form of ISO is the " International Organization for Standardization." It was founded on 23 Feb 1947 as an international organization to promote global standards.

What does ISO Stand for?

The name "ISO " is not an acronym but was derived from the Greek word "isos" meaning "equal." (The relation to standards is that if two objects meet the same standard, they should be equal.) This name eliminates any confusion that could result from the translation of the " International Organization for Standardization" into different languages, which would lead to different acronyms.

ISO ( International Organization for Standardization) is the world's largest developer and publisher of technical, industrial and commercial standards.

ISO 9001

ISO 9001 is the most popular international standard published by ISO. Its main purpose is to provide a framework for organizations to develop their own quality management systems. The system provides a set of requirements and processes that must be followed by all organizations that want to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction with their products or services.

ISO 9001:2015

The first edition of ISO 9001 was published in 1987. The latest version is ISO 9001:2015. Here is the list of revisions:

  • ISO 9001:1987 - The first edition
  • ISO 9001:1994
  • ISO 9001:2000
  • ISO 9001:2008
  • ISO 9001:2015 - The latest edition

As you could see from the above list, ISO 9001 gets revised every 7 to 8 years. ISO 9001:2015 was expected to be revised in 2021. However, the technical committee TC176/SC2 responsible for updating ISO 9001 decided to accept the 2015 version without any change. That means this standard is not expected to get revised until around 2030.

 ISO 9000 Family of Standards

ISO 9001 is one standard in the family of ISO 9000 standards. It is the most popular standard published by ISO. The ISO 9000 family of standards contains a few other standards as well. This includes

  • ISO 9000 (Quality management systems Fundamentals and vocabulary)
  • ISO 9001 (Quality management systems - Requirements)
  • ISO 9004 (Quality management Quality of an organization Guidance to achieve sustained success)
  • ISO 19011 (Auditing Management System).

 

Other Popular ISO Standards:

ISO has published more than 22,000 standards and related documents. Here is a list of the other popular standards published by ISO.

  • ISO 13485 MEDICAL DEVICES
  • ISO/IEC 17025 TESTING AND CALIBRATION LABORATORIES
  • ISO 22000 FOOD SAFETY MANAGEMENT
  • ISO 26000 SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY RISK MANAGEMENT
  • ISO 37001 ANTI-BRIBERY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
  • ISO 45001 OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY
  • ISO 50001 ENERGY MANAGEMENT
  • ISO/IEC 27001 INFORMATION SECURITY MANAGEMENT
  • ISO 6 - This is one of the earliest ISO standards. ISO 6 allowed photographers to select the right film for their subject, considering the target's light and speed being photographed.

Stages of Publishing a Standard

Any standard published by ISO goes through these stages:

  • 1. Proposal Stage - An NP (New Project) is under consideration
  • 2. Preparatory stage - A WD (Working Draft) is under consideration
  • 3. Committee stage - A CD (Committee Draft) is under consideration
  • 4. Enquiry stage - An DIS (Draft International Standard) is under consideration
  • 5. Approval stage - An FDIS (Final Draft International Standard) is under consideration
  • 6. Publication stage - International Standard is being prepared for publication


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