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ISO Description and Analysis

International Standards Organization Questions:

Find out more about ISO 9000 from the Web. (
1. What is the ISO?
2. List six benefits of international standardization.
3. What are the latest changes in the ISO 9000?
4. How are ISO standards developed?
5. What are some of the technical committees?
6. Name some of the ISO National Standard Bodies.

Solution Preview

All of this information can be found on the ISO website. I've pulled together the points for you but I would strongly recommend you take a moment to peruse the site on your own to get a better understanding of the functions of ISO and can discuss them at length as required. Please be advised that you will need to rewrite this in your own words, I am merely providing the background information to save you the research.

1.What is the ISO?

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world's largest developer and publisher of International Standards.

ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 159 countries, one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system.

ISO 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 governmental structure of their countries, or are mandated by their government. On the other hand, other members have their roots uniquely in the private sector, having been set up by national partnerships of industry associations.

Therefore, ISO enables a consensus to be reached on solutions that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society.

2.List six benefits of international standardization.

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

3.What are the latest changes in the ISO 9000?

The four primary standards of the current ISO 9000 family are the following:

ISO 9000:2005 already published - no major changes expected for 2009
ISO 9001:2000 to be superseded by ISO 9001:2008
More significant changes are planned for ISO 9004 with a planned publication date of late 2009.
ISO 19011:2002 is currently beginning the revision process, with a new version expected in 2011.
The other standards and documents will be reviewed and updated as necessary

4.How are ISO standards developed?

An International Standard is the result of an agreement between the member bodies of ISO. It may be used as such, or may be implemented through incorporation in national standards of different countries.

International Standards are developed by ISO technical committees (TC) and subcommittees (SC) by a six-step process

Stage 1: Proposal stage
Stage 2: Preparatory stage
Stage 3: Committee stage
Stage 4: Enquiry stage
Stage 5: Approval stage
Stage 6: Publication stage

Stage 1: Proposal stage
The first step in the development of an International Standard is to confirm that a particular International Standard is needed. A new work item proposal (NP) is submitted for vote by the members of the relevant TC or SC to determine the inclusion of the work item in the program of work.

The proposal is accepted if a majority of the P-members of the TC/SC votes in favor and if at least five P-members declare their commitment to participate actively in the project. At this stage a project leader responsible for the work item is normally appointed.

Stage 2: Preparatory stage
Usually, a working group of experts, the chairman (convener) of which is the project leader, is set up by the TC/SC for the preparation of a working draft. Successive working drafts may be considered until the working group is satisfied that it has developed the best technical solution to the problem being addressed. At this stage, the draft is forwarded to the working group's parent committee for the consensus-building phase.

Stage 3: Committee stage
As soon as a first committee draft is available, it is registered by the ISO Central Secretariat. It is distributed for comment and, if required, voting, by the P-members of the TC/SC. Successive committee drafts may be considered until consensus is reached on the technical content. Once consensus has been attained, the text is finalized for submission as a draft International Standard (DIS).

Stage 4: Enquiry stage
The draft International Standard (DIS) is circulated to all ISO member bodies by the ISO Central Secretariat for voting and comment within a period of five months. It is approved for submission as a final draft International Standard (FDIS) if a two-thirds majority of the P-members of the TC/SC are in favor and not more than one-quarter of the total number of votes cast are negative. If ...

Solution Summary

A quick guide to how the International Standards Organization works, what it means and why it matters.