International organization for standardization

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International Organization for Standardization

Organization logo
English name International Organization for Standardization
Seat of the organs Geneva , SwitzerlandSwitzerlandSwitzerland 
Official and working languages

February 23, 1947
Map with an indicator of the membership of the national standardization bodies in the ISO
  • Full members
  • Corresponding members
  • Observation status
  • other places with ISO-3166-1 country code that are not members of the ISO
  • The International Organization for Standardization  - ISO for short (from Greek ἴσος isos , German ` ` equal '' ) - is the international association of standardization organizations and develops international standards in all areas with the exception of electrics and electronics , for which the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is responsible, and with the exception of telecommunications , for which the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is responsible. Together these three organizations form the WSC (World Standards Cooperation).

    The ISO is an association under Swiss law (Art. 60 ZGB ).

    Origin of the abbreviation ISO

    Translations of the name Internationale Organization für Normung result in different abbreviations, depending on the language, for example: IOS (International Organization for Standardization) in English or OIN (Organization internationale de normalization) in French. This is why the uniform abbreviation ISO was chosen, which comes from the Greek word isos , which means 'equal'. This means that the abbreviation is the same in every country and language.


    From October 14 to 26, 1946, an international conference of national standardization organizations took place in London, attended by delegates from 25 countries. On this, the decision was taken to establish a new international organization that both the ISA - founded in 1926 organization had in 1942 ceased activity - as the well Standards Coordinating Committee of the United Nations - (UNSCC United Nations Standards Coordinating Committee to replace). This organization was to be based in Geneva , where the ISO began its work on February 23, 1947. The then Austrian Standards Institute , since 2009 Austrian Standards International (ASI), and the Swiss Standards Association were founding members.


    In the meantime (August 2020) 165 countries are represented in the ISO. Of these, 121 are  member bodies  (full members), 39  correspondent members (corresponding members) and 4  subscriber members  (have observation status). Each member represents one country, with only one member from each country. The German Institute for Standardization e. V. (DIN) has been a member of ISO for the Federal Republic of Germany since 1951 .

    There are technical (e.g. MP3 or phone cards ), classification (e.g. country codes such as "DE", "NL", "JP") and procedural standards (e.g. quality management according to ISO 9000 ).

    The official languages ​​of the ISO are English , French and Russian . While all ISO standards are published in English and most are also published in French, there are few standards in Russian as Russia is failing to meet its agreed obligations. The national standardization organizations are responsible for translations and national adoption of the standards.


    The ISO standardization process takes place in several steps.

    step Surname acronym
    00 Preliminary stage Preliminary project Preliminary work item PWI
    10 suggestion Application for standards New Work Item Proposal NWIP
    20th preparation Working paper Working draft WD
    30th Committee phase Committee draft Committee Draft CD
    40 exam draft Draft International Standard DIS
    50 approval Final draft Final Draft International Standard FDIS
    60 publication International standard International standard IS
    90 Verification Review
    95 retreat Withdrawal

    In addition to the IS, there are four other types of published results from the ISO, the production process of which is different.

    Surname acronym Lifetime
    Technical specification Technical Specification TS is to become IS as soon as development is sufficiently advanced
    Technical report Technical Report TR unlimited
    Publicly available specification Publicly Available Specification PAS 6 years
    International agreement International Workshop Agreement IWA 6 years


    Some standards are developed in cooperation with other international standardization organizations, e.g. B. the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), developed and published. In the names of these standards, the organizations involved are separated from one another by a slash, e.g. B. "ISO / IEC 8859".

    Furthermore, the ISO works together with CEN , which as the European standardization organization transfers a large part of the ISO standards into the European standard system . However, while the transfer of ISO standards into the respective national standardization structure is voluntary, all European standards must be implemented by the CEN members as national standards.

    See also


    Web links

    Individual evidence

    2. See Art. 18.2 of the ISO Statutes , accessed on March 22, 2017.
    3. members . The ISO membership (English).