9 Ways  ISO Decides What Standards to Develop

9 Ways ISO Decides What Standards to Develop

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is renowned for developing and publishing international standards that span a wide range of industries and sectors. These standards help enhance the quality, safety, efficiency, and interoperability of products, services, and systems. But how does ISO determine which standards to develop? The process is rigorous and involves various stakeholders, industry experts, and careful consideration. In this article, we’ll explore the criteria and steps that ISO follows to decide what standards to develop.

1. Identifying Market Needs: The development of ISO standards typically begins with the identification of market needs. Various industries and sectors recognize the necessity for standardized processes, products, or services to achieve specific goals. Market needs can arise due to safety concerns, environmental considerations, quality improvement, or the need for harmonization.

2. Proposal Submission: ISO encourages its member bodies, industry associations, and experts to submit proposals for new standards. These proposals outline the objectives and scope of the standard, as well as the potential benefits of its development. Proposals can be submitted in response to market needs or as proactive efforts to standardize emerging technologies or practices.

3. Feasibility Study: Once a proposal is submitted, ISO conducts a feasibility study to assess the viability and relevance of the proposed standard. This study examines whether the standard aligns with ISO’s mission and scope. If the feasibility study results are positive, the process proceeds to the next stage.

4. Creation of a Working Group: ISO establishes a working group to develop the standard. This group comprises experts, stakeholders, and representatives from relevant industries or sectors. The working group collaboratively defines the standard’s scope, objectives, and technical details. Their work is essential in shaping the standard’s content.

5. Draft Development: The working group creates an initial draft of the standard, which undergoes multiple reviews, revisions, and amendments. The draft is shared with ISO member bodies and relevant committees to gather feedback, identify potential issues, and ensure that the standard is well-rounded and applicable.

6. Public Comment Period: ISO standards development follows a transparent process. The draft standard is made available for public comment, allowing individuals, organizations, and experts worldwide to provide feedback. Public comments are carefully reviewed, and necessary adjustments are made to enhance the standard’s quality.

7. Approval and Publication: After addressing all feedback and concerns, the final draft of the standard is put up for approval. ISO member bodies cast their votes, and the standard is approved if it receives the required level of support. Once approved, the standard is published and made available to the public.

8. Maintenance and Review: ISO standards are not static; they undergo regular maintenance and review to ensure they remain up to date and relevant. Standards are revised and updated based on advancements in technology, changes in regulations, or new market needs.

9. International Consensus: One of ISO’s core principles is achieving international consensus. ISO standards are developed through a collaborative process that involves stakeholders from various countries and backgrounds. This international consensus ensures that ISO standards are recognized and accepted globally.

In conclusion, ISO standards development is a meticulous and inclusive process that involves market-driven proposals, feasibility studies, working group collaboration, public feedback, and international consensus. ISO’s commitment to addressing market needs and maintaining the relevance of its standards helps promote global innovation, trade, and sustainability. As a result, ISO standards continue to play a crucial role in enhancing the quality and safety of products, services, and systems across the world.

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