Meanings of International Organization for Standardization

By | October 25, 2021

International Organization for Standardization is abbreviated as ISO according to Abbreviationfinder. It is the body in charge of promoting the development of international manufacturing, trade and communication standards for all industrial branches except electrical and electronics. Its main function is to seek the standardization of product and safety standards for companies or organizations at an international level.


The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a worldwide federation made up of national standardization bodies from 153 countries, one for each country.

ISO is a non-governmental organization established in 1947. The mission of ISO is to promote the development of standardization and related activities in the world with a view to facilitating the exchange of services and goods, and to promote cooperation in the intellectual, scientific, technological and economic sphere..

All the works carried out by ISO result in international agreements which are published as International Standards.

Origin of the ISO name

Many people will have noticed the lack of correspondence between the supposed acronym in English of the Organization and the word “ISO”. So it would be, but ISO is not the acronym.

Indeed, “ISO” is a word, derived from the Greek “isos”, which means “equal”, which is the root of the prefix “iso” which appears in countless terms. From “equal” to “standard” it is easy to follow this line of thought that was what led to choosing “ISO” as the name of the Organization.

Historical Setting

The concepts on which modern quality assurance standards are based are those used by artisans in ancient times, that is, they planned their tasks, developed their tools, obtained their raw materials, did the work and verified their results. The need to use quality standards became present in the mid- nineteenth century when mass production began to develop.

The International Organization for Standardization was founded in 1946, has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and is made up of 138 countries. It has 224 technical committees that have edited more than 19,000 standards. It arises as a need for European industries, as it was intended to unify quality criteria so that they could apply them as a single model. At first, the institutions did not accept it, since they did not believe it was convenient to regulate it under the same international model.

In Europe, by 1982 there were more than 20,000 institutions certified with ISO 9000. In the United States in 1995 there were more than 5,000 industries that had acquired the aforementioned certification

The evolution takes place very quickly from the beginning of the century, deserving to highlight the following milestones:

  • 1900, Inspection as an activity. 1930
  • 1930, Statistical sampling.
  • 1950, Quality assurance practices in companies. 1970
  • 1970, Idem at the national level. 1979
  • 1979, Standards for quality assurance, BS 5750.
  • 1987, Based on BS 5750, the ISO 9000 series standards are published. 1994
  • 1994, A revision of the basic norms is carried out.
  • 2000, The last revision of the base standards is carried out

The ISO 9000 series standards have been widely disseminated and applied throughout the world. In recent years there has been a significant shift regarding the use of ISO 9000 standards as a quality assurance management model. They have been adopted in more than seventy (70) countries and around 100,000 companies are already certified.


  • Adequacy to the Administration of the processes
  • Focus on the Institution’s results
  • Integration with other Quality Management systems
  • Includes continuous improvement processes
  • Adaptable to the needs of the students
  • Focus on the needs of learners and stakeholders.

Structure of the organization

The ISO Organization is made up of three types of members:

  • Simple members, one per country, with representation falling to the most representative national body.
  • Corresponding members of the organizations of developing countries and that do not yet have a national standardization committee. They do not take an active part in the standardization process but are promptly informed about the work that interests them.
  • Subscribed members, countries with reduced economies that are required to pay lower rates than the corresponding ones.


Green Color: Simple Members

Yellow Color: Corresponding Members

Red Color: Subscribed Members

Color Black: Other ISO 3166-1 classified states, non-ISO members


The standards developed by ISO are voluntary, understanding that ISO is a non-governmental body and does not depend on any other international body, therefore, it has no authority to impose its standards on any country. The content of the standards is protected by copyright and to access them the common public must buy each document, which is valued in Swiss francs.

Standards development

The International Organization for Standardization stipulates that its standards are produced according to the following principles:

  1. Consensus: The views of all stakeholders are taken into account: manufacturers, vendors, users, consumer groups, analysis laboratories, governments, specialists and research organizations.
  2. Global Industrial ApplicationGlobal solutions to satisfy global industries and customers.
  3. Voluntary: International standardization is market driven and therefore based on the voluntary commitment of all market stakeholders.

Main standards

Some standards are as follows:

  • ISO 16: 1975 – Standard tuning frequency: 440 Hz
  • ISO 216 – Paper sizes: eg ISO A4
  • ISO 639 – Names of languages
  • ISO 690: 1987 – Regulates bibliographic citations (corresponds to the UNE 50104: 1994 standard)
  • ISO 690-2: 1997 – Regulates bibliographic citations of electronic documents
  • ISO 732 – 120 spool format
  • ISO 838 – Standard for paper punches
  • ISO 1007 – 135 reel format
  • ISO 1171-Standard for sieves
  • ISO / IEC 1539-1 – Fortran programming language
  • ISO 3029 – Reel format of 126
  • ISO 3166 – Country codes
  • ISO 4217 – Currency codes
  • ISO 7811 – Technique of engraving on identification cards
  • ISO 8601 – Representation of time and date. Adopted on the Internet using the W3C Date and Time Formats using UTC
  • ISO / IEC 8652: 1995 – Ada programming language
  • ISO 8859 – Character encodings that include ASCII as a subset (One of them is ISO 8859-1, which allows encoding the original languages ​​of Western Europe, such as Spanish)
  • ISO 9000 – Quality Management Systems – Fundamentals and vocabulary
  • ISO 9001 – Quality Management Systems – Requirements
  • ISO 9004 – Quality Management Systems – Guidelines for performance improvement
  • ISO / IEC 9126 – Software Quality Factors
  • ISO 9660 – CD- ROM file system
  • ISO 9899 – C programming language
  • ISO 10279 – BASIC programming language
  • ISO 10646 – Universal Character Set
  • ISO / IEC 11172 – MPEG-1
  • ISO / IEC 11801 – Multipurpose telecommunication cabling systems
  • ISO / IEC 12207 – Information technology / Software life cycle
  • ISO 13450 – 110 spool format
  • ISO 13485 – Sanitary products. Quality Management Systems. Requirements for regulatory purposes
  • ISO / IEC 13818 – MPEG-2
  • ISO 14000 – Environmental Management Standards in production environments
  • ISO / IEC 14496 – MPEG-4
  • ISO 14971 – Medical devices. Application of risk management to medical devices
  • ISO / IEC 15444 – JPEG 2000
  • ISO / IEC 15504 – Improvement and evaluation of software development processes
  • ISO 15693 – Standard for “neighborhood cards”
  • ISO / IEC 17025 – General requirements regarding the competence of testing and calibration laboratories
  • ISO / IEC 20000 – Information technology. Service management
  • ISO 22000 – Food safety
  • ISO 26300 – OpenDocument
  • ISO / IEC 26300 – OpenDocument Format (.odf)
  • ISO / IEC 27001 – Information Security Management System
  • ISO / IEC 29119 – Software Testing
  • ISO 32000 – Portable Document Format (. Pdf)
  • ISO 5218 – Representation of the human sexes.

International Organization for Standardization