ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world’s largest developer of the voluntary International Standards which was founded in 1947, and since then it has published 21586 International Standards and it covers almost all the aspects of technology and business. Today it has members from 162 countries and also about 135 people generally work full time for our Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.

ISO doesn’t certify organizations or businesses itself, you need to contact the third party who will audit your company or organization. They will determine that whether processes, products, and services fulfill the ISO criteria or not. Most companies start with the basic certification which is ISO 9001 certification. The cost depends on the size of the company.

Since the generation has moved on, so do the technology, the ISO standards have also evolved over time. The article below talks about the same.

In London, in 1946, 65 delegates from 25 countries had met in order to discuss the future of the  International Standardization. In 1947, ISO officially came into existence with 67 technical committees with a group of experts who had focused on a specific subject.

In 1949, ISO moved into offices in a small, private house in Geneva and in the early 1950s the Central Secretariat had  5 members of staff.

In 1951, the first ISO standard which was called Recommendations at that time, ISO/R 1:1951 Standard reference temperature for the industrial length measurements, was published. Since then, this standard had been updated several numbers of times.

Since its creation, ISO has however published monthly information about its technical committees, the standards that have been published and the administrative changes to the organization and its members.

In 1955, the ISO members had gathered in Stockholm for the 3rd General Assembly. At the beginning of 1955, ISO had 35 members and 68 standards which were called as recommendations.

In 1960, ISO had published the standard ISO 31 on quantities and the units (which has however since been replaced by ISO 80 000).

ISO 31 is however based on SI (Système International d’unités). The SCI sets out one unit for each kind of quantity. The objective of the SI system is, however,  to reach world-wide uniformity in the units of measurement.

After that, ISO 80 000 had set out these units and had also set out as to how they were being used.

During the 1960s ISO had worked to include more developing countries in its International Standardization work.

For this purpose, In 1961 it had established  DEVCO, a committee for developing of the country matters, and in 1968 it had introduced  Correspondent membership. This had allowed the developing countries to be informed of the International Standardization work without the full costs of the ISO membership.

In 1968, ISO had published its first standard on the freight containers. Freight and packaging are one of the areas where ISO has however been particularly active, changing the way the goods now, however, travel across the world.

In 1969 Olle Sturen became the  Secretary-General of ISO. In one of his first speeches, he said that  International Standardization is now the end of the  ‘technical nationalism’.

In 1971, ISO had  created  its first two technical committees in the environmental field which was:

  1. Air quality
  2. Water quality

Today, these committees have however been joined by other groups of the environmental experts which focus on many subjects including soil quality, environmental management, and the renewable energy.

In 1987, ISO had also published its first quality management standard. Standards  ISO 9000   is the most common and basic, most companies start with this certification. However, this certification family has gone on to become some of the most well known and the best selling standards.

In 1995, ISO had launched its first website which is  which has been updated several times by now. Five years later, in 2000, ISO started selling its standards online.

In 1996, ISO had launched its environmental management system standard which was  ISO 14001. The standard provided for tools for the companies and the organizations to help them in order to identify and the control of their environmental impact.

In 2005, ISO and IEC’s had joint the technical committee JTC1 had launched  ISO/IEC 27001, a management system standard on the information security. As the businesses become increasingly reliant on the information technology, the securing the system and minimizing the risks is however ever more important. ISO 27001:2005 has, however, become one of the  ISO’s most popular standards.

In 2010, ISO had launched  ISO 26000, which is the first International Standard for providing the guidelines for the purpose of social responsibility.

With energy becoming one of the most critical challenges in facing the international community, ISO 50001, however,  provides for the public and private sector organizations with the management strategies in order to increase the energy efficiency, reduce the costs and also to improve energy performance.

ISO 37001 is, however, the first international anti-bribery management system standard which has been designed in order to help the organizations in order to combat bribery risk in their own operations and also throughout their global value chains. It, however,  has the potential in order to reduce the corporate risk and the costs that are related to bribery by providing a manageable business framework for the purpose of preventing, detecting and addressing the bribery.

ISO standards have come a  long way since 1947, and in 2018, it has now 163 members and also a total of over 22,000 standards. Over 71 years the family of ISO standards has however grown substantially, and today it covers almost all aspects of technology and business.

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