An ISO standard is a vital instrument for standardizing processes, products, and services at the international level. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a globally recognized organization that develops and publishes standards to promote global cooperation and trade while ensuring the safety and quality of products and services. But how exactly is an ISO standard created? In this article, we shall delve into the process of ISO standardization.
Step 1: Identification of the Need
The first step in the creation of an ISO standard is the identification of a need in society or the economy. This need can arise from various sources, such as government agencies, industry associations, consumer protection organizations, or other interest groups. The need may be driven by technical, economic, social, or environmental factors.
Step 2: Proposal and Establishment of a Technical Committee (TC)
Once the need has been identified, a proposal for the development of a new ISO standard is usually submitted. This proposal is evaluated by national standards organizations (NSOs) or ISO members. If there is sufficient support for the proposal, a Technical Committee (TC) is established. The TC comprises experts from ISO member countries who possess extensive knowledge and experience in the relevant field.
Step 3: Formation of the Drafting Committee
The TC appoints a Drafting Committee (DK) consisting of experts from selected ISO members who actively engage in crafting the standard. This body creates a draft of the standard based on the collective insights, experiences, and expertise of the specialists.
Step 4: Consultation and Comments
The prepared draft is then released for consultation to gather feedback and comments from interest groups, professionals, industry associations, and the general public. This feedback is crucial to refine the standard, address any shortcomings, and ensure widespread acceptance.
Step 5: Voting and Revision
Following the consultation phase, the received comments are assessed, and the draft is accordingly revised. Members of the TC then vote on the final draft. Approval by two-thirds of the participating ISO members is required to adopt the standard.
Step 6: Publication of the ISO Standard
Once the standard is approved, it is published by ISO and made publicly accessible. The standard is also included in the respective national collections of ISO members. This facilitates the application of the standard in different countries, fostering global uniformity.
Step 7: Monitoring and Updating
An ISO standard typically remains valid for a specific period. During this time, the Technical Committee monitors its application and effectiveness. If necessary, the standard is updated to align with current developments and requirements.
The creation of an ISO standard is a complex yet crucial process that demands collaboration and consensus from experts across different countries and disciplines. This process ensures that ISO standards have broad consensus, international recognition, and contribute to enhancing products, services, and processes. ISO remains committed to continuously developing relevant and high-quality standards to meet the needs of the global society.