What Are Some of the Most Popular ISO Standards?
Most of us have heard about ISO standards and ISO certification for companies, but may not know what it really means. Here’s a quick summary of the background of ISO and some of the more popular ISO standards.
ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world's largest developer and publisher of International Standards. ISO has developed over 18,500 International Standards on several different subjects. ISO is a network of national standards institutes across 162 countries. There is one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system.
ISO acts as a bridge between the public and private sectors. While ISO is not a government organization, many of its member institutes are part of the governmental structure of their countries, or are mandated by their government. Other members are from the private sector, organized by national partnerships of industry associations. ISO claims that their organization “…. enables a consensus to be reached on solutions that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society.”
Some of the most commonly used ISO standards are focused on quality management systems. These are covered by the ISO 9000 category of standards, which address what an organization does to meet its customers’ quality requirements and enhance customer satisfaction, adhere to regulatory requirements, and achieve overall continual improvement in pursuing these objectives. As an example of how popular this standard has become, ISO 9001:2008 has already been implemented by over a million organizations in 176 countries.
Another popular group of ISO standards are the ISO 14000 group of standards, focused on Environmental Management. This standard focuses upon what an organization does to minimize harmful effects on the environment caused by its activities, and to achieve continual improvement of its environmental performance. There is no doubt that our actions can have a significant impact on our fragile environment. These standards are now gaining popularity as consumers seek assurance that the companies with which they conduct business are acting in an environmentally responsible manner.
These two examples are only the tip of the iceberg for ISO standards. The ISO organization is extremely productive in serving its global community – about 1,100 new ISO standards are published every year! You will find a wealth of information about ISO standards on the official ISO website at www.iso.org.
Our two UK locations of CDG recently achieved certifications related to Quality, Environmental Management and Health and Safety Management Systems. Read the news release or contact us for more information about ISO standards and certifications.