ISO 9000 & 14000

ISO 9000 & 14000

International Organization for Standardization

International Organization for Standardization is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations.

ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 164 national standards bodies.

Organization promotes worldwide proprietary, industrial, and commercial standards.

Founded: 23 February 1947

Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

They have published 23010 International Standards covering almost all aspects of technology and business. Today they have members from 164 countries and about 160 people work full time for Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.


The organization today known as ISO, began in the 1920s as the International Federation of the National Standardizing Associations (ISA).

It was suspended in 1942 during World War II, but after the war ISA was approached by the recently-formed United Nations Standards Coordinating Committee (UNSCC) with a proposal to form a new global standards body.

In October 1946, ISA and UNSCC delegates from 25 countries met in London and agreed to join forces to create the new International Organization for Standardization.

The new organization officially began operations in February 1947.

The ISO story

In London, in 1946, 65 delegates from 25 countries meet to discuss the future of International Standardization. In 1947, ISO officially comes into existence with 67 technical committees (groups of experts focusing on a specific subject).


Because 'International Organization for Standardization' would have different acronyms in different languages (IOS in English, OIN in French for Organisation internationale de normalisation)

Founders decided to give it the short form ISO. ISO is derived from the Greek isos, meaning equal. Whatever the country, whatever the language, we are always ISO.

Developing standard

The experts form a technical committee that is responsible for a specific subject area.

 They begin the process with the development of a draft that meets a specific market need. This is then shared for commenting and further discussion.

The voting process is the key to consensus. If that’s achieved then the draft is on its way to becoming an ISO standard.

If agreement isn’t reached then the draft will be modified further, and voted on again.

From first proposal to final publication, developing a standard usually takes about 3 years.

The ISO 9000 family

       ISO 9001 is the standard that gives the requirements for a quality management system.

       ISO 9001:2015 is the latest, improved version.

       It is the only standard in the ISO 9000 family that can be used for certification.

       There are 16 other standards in the family that can help an organization on specific aspects such as performance improvement, auditing, training…

The ISO 14000 family

       ISO 14001 is the standard that gives the requirements for an environmental management system.

       ISO 14001:2015 is the latest, improved version.

       It is the only standard in the ISO 14000 family that can be used for certification.

       The ISO 14000 family includes 21 other standards that can help an organization specific aspects such as auditing, environmental labelling, life cycle analysis…

The ISO Survey

       The worldwide total of certificates to ISO 9001:2001 at the end of 2007 was 951 486.

       This was increase of 6 % over 2006 when the total was 896 929 certificates.

       Certificates had been issued in 175 countries compared to 170 the previous year.

       The worldwide total of ISO 14001 certificates at the end of 2007 was 154 572.

       This was an increase of 21 % over 2006 when the total was 128 211.

       Certificates had been issued in 148 countries compared to 140 the year before. 

Benefits of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001

       International, expert consensus on state-of-the-art practices for quality and environmental management.

       Common language for dealing with customers and suppliers worldwide in B2B.

       Increase efficiency and effectiveness.

       Model for continual improvement.

       Model for satisfying customers and other stakeholders.

       Build quality into products and services from design onwards.

       Address environmental concerns of customers and public, and comply with government regulations.

       Integrate with global economy.

       Sustainable business

       Unifying base for industry sectors

       Qualify suppliers for global supply chains

       Technical support for regulations

       Transfer of good practice to developing countries

       Tools for new economic players

       Regional integration

       Facilitate rise of services

More information

       ISO 9000/ISO 14000 section on ISO Web site:


       ISO Management Systems magazine


       IMS Alerts free electronic newsletter



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