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ISO Standards Fairness & Strict Rules

ISO Standards Fairness & Strict Rules

ISO standards (ISO9001 and ISO14001) are developed according to strict rules to ensure that they are transparent and fair. The reverse side of the coin is that it can take time to develop consensus among the interested parties, and for the resulting agreement to go through the public review process in the ISO member countries. For some users of standards, particularly those working in fast-changing technology sectors, it may be more important to agree and publish a technical specification quickly, before going through the various checks and balances needed to win the status of a full International Standard. Therefore, to meet such needs, ISO has developed a new range of “deliverables”, or different categories of specifications, allowing publication at an intermediate stage of development before full consensus. E.G TS 16945.

Take a look at the graphical symbols on the dashboard of your car or at the pictorial symbol on a package marked with handling instructions such as “This way up”. Various ISO technical committees have developed or adopted hundreds of carefully researched signs and symbols that convey clear-cut messages which cross language boundaries. On the inside cover of nearly every book, there is something called an ISBN number. ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. Publishers and booksellers are very familiar with ISBN numbers, since they are the keyway that books are ordered and bought. Try buying a book on the Internet, and you will soon learn the value of the ISBN number – there is a unique number for the book you want! And, it is based on an ISO standard.

Yet another example: the chair that you’re probably sitting on, or the desk your computer is perched on, are held together by bolts and screws. Humble bolts and screws also hold together our children’s bicycles – and also the aircraft we trust our lives to during business trips or holiday travel. The diversity of screw threads used to represent big problems for industry, particularly in maintenance, as lost or damaged nuts and bolts could not easily be replaced. A global solution is supplied in the ISO standards for metric screw threads.

Also, the credit card you may have used to buy your computer can be used worldwide because all its basic features are based on ISO standards. We are so familiar with many objects, like credit or telephone cards, that we tend to assume they just “fell out of the sky”. In fact, the ease with which we can use them can be traced back to an ISO standard. So if you are considering why obtain certification to ISO9001, ISO14001, ISO27001 etc, you now know how and why they are developed.

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