"International Organization for Standardization"(ISO) derived from the Greek isos, meaning "equal".
- Make the development, manufacturing and supply of products and services more efficient, safer and cleaner.
- Facilitate trade between countries and make it fairer.
- Provide governments with a technical base for health, safety and environmental legislation, and conformity assessment.
- Share technological advances and good management practice.
- Disseminate innovation.
- Safeguard consumers, and users in general, of products and services.
- Make life simpler by providing solutions to common problems.
The ISO brand
Every full member of ISO has the right to take part in the development of any standard which it judges to be important to its country's economy. No matter what the size or strength of that economy, each participating member in ISO has one vote. Each country is on an equal footing to influence the direction of ISO's work at the strategic level, as well as the technical content of its individual standards.
ISO standards are voluntary. As a non-governmental organization, ISO has no legal authority to enforce the implementation of its standards. ISO does not regulate or legislate. However, countries may decide to adopt ISO standards - mainly those concerned with health, safety or the environment - as regulations or refer to them in legislation, for which they provide the technical basis. In addition, although ISO standards are voluntary, they may become a market requirement, as has happened in the case of ISO 9001 quality management systems, or of dimensions of freight containers and bank cards.
ISO has three general policy development committees that provide strategic guidance for the standards' development work on cross-sector aspects. These committees ensure that the specific technical work is aligned with broader market and stakeholder group interests. They are:
- CASCO (conformity assessment)
- COPOLCO (consumer policy), and
- DEVCO (developing country matters)