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International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

05-APR-2016 15:13

    International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the world’s largest developer and publisher of the International standards. It was founded in 1947 as a non-governmental federation of national standards bodies. It is a network of the national standard institutes of 163 countries, one member one country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system.  Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market relevant International Standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges.


    It is a non-governmental organization that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors. On the one hand, many of its member institutes are part of the government structure of their government or are mandated by their government. On the other hand, other members have their roots uniquely in the private sector, having set up by national partnerships of industry associations.

    Governing Structure of ISO

    ISO is a voluntary organization whose members are recognized authorities on standards, each one representing one country. Members meet annually at a General Assembly to discuss ISO's strategic objectives. The organization is coordinated by a Central Secretariat based in Geneva.


    The General Assembly is the ultimate authority for the organization. It is an annual meeting attended by our members and our Principal Officers.

    The ISO Council: The ISO Council takes care of most governance issues. It meets twice a year and is made up of 20 member bodies, the ISO Officers and the Chairs of the Policy Development Committees CASCO, COPOLCO and DEVCO. Under the Council are a number of bodies that provide guidance and management on specific issues:

    • The President’s Committee - advises Council and oversees the implementation of the decisions taken by the Council and the General Assembly.

    • CASCO - provides guidance on conformity assessment

    • COPOLCO - provides guidance on consumer issues

    • DEVCO- provides guidance on matters related to developing countries

    • Council Standing Committees - advise on financial and strategic matters

    • Ad hoc Advisory Committees - can be established to advance the goals and strategic objectives of the organization
    Membership to the Council is open to all member bodies and rotates to make sure it is representative of the member community.

    Technical Management Board (TMB):  The management of the technical work is taken care of by the Technical Management Board. This body is also responsible for the technical committees that lead standard development and any strategic advisory boards created on technical matters.

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