The International Standards Organisation (ISO) is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 163 national standards bodies. The purpose of ISO is to lead, through designated committees made up of its members, the development of international standards through drafting, review, voting to publication.

ISO also offer a range of other services, such as raising the awareness of standards and standardisation, promoting the teaching of standardisation and provide teaching and resources to ISO members for research.

For more information, see

What standards do

ISO standards:

  • 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

ISO regularly updates its standards, using the input of the member countries to ensure its standards continue to promote excellence as well as remaining relevant to evolving industry, safety and quality requirements.

Why standards matter

Standards make an enormous and positive contribution to most aspects of everyday life. Standards ensure desirable characteristics of products and services such as quality, environmental friendliness, safety, reliability, efficiency and interchange ability – and at an economical cost.

Products that do not adhere to agreed standards are more likely to be of poor quality, be incompatible with existing equipment, or be unreliable or dangerous.

For more information about the importance of standards in all aspects our work and personal lives, Please see the ISO video ‘What ISO standards do for you.