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    Background of ISO and getting ISO Certification

    1. Introduction 

    ISO is an independent international standard setting body which issues standards in various areas such as manufacture, technology, agriculture, hospitality etc. ISO was formed with an objective to facilitate world trade by providing common standards between various nations. 

    1. Background of ISO 

    Formation: ISO began its journey in 1926 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 United Nations Standards Coordinating Committee (UNSCC) with a proposal to form a new global standards body. Finally, ISO was formed on 23rd February 1947, headquartered at Geneva, Switzerland. 

    Operation: ISO operates in 161 countries with English, French and Russian as recognised languages. 

    The Abbreviation: ISO stands for International Organisation for Standardization (ISO). ISO is not an acronym. As ISO have three official languages, the organisation would have different acronyms (IOS in English, OIN in French) and hence the founders have decided to name it as ISO.It adopted the name ISO with reference to the Greek work “isos” meaning equal. 

    1. Operations at ISO 

    Composition: ISO was composed by representatives from various national standards organisation. The body has three membership categories: 

    • Member bodies: Member bodies (or full members) influence ISO standards development and strategy by participating and voting in ISO technical and policy meetings. Full members sell and adopt ISO International Standards nationally. (India is a member body). There are 119-member bodies. 
    • Correspondent members: Correspondent members observe the development of ISO standards and strategy by attending ISO technical and policy meetings as observers. Correspondent members can sell and adopt ISO International Standards nationally. There are 39 correspondent members. 
    • Subscriber members: Subscriber members are countries with small economies. They pay reduced membership fees. Subscriber members keep up to date on ISO’s work but cannot participate in it. They do not sell or adopt ISO International Standards nationally. There are 3 subscriber members. 

    Financing: ISO is funded by a combination of: 

    • Members of the ISO pay subscription fee that meet the operational cost of the body. The subscription paid by each member is in proportion to the country's Gross National Income and trade figures. 
    • Costs related to specific standard development projects and technical work are borne by member bodies and business organizations that allow their experts to participate in the development process. 
    • Another source of income is by way of sale of standards. 
    1. Role of ISO in standardization 
    • ISO is primarily responsible for drafting standards covering everything from manufactured products and technology to food safety, agriculture and healthcare. 
    • Currently there are 22,041 standards, which can be purchased from the ISO members (standard setting organisations in respective country) or the ISO store.
    1. How to get ISO certification 
    • ISO certification is provided by the external certification bodies.
    • Thus, ISO cannot certify any process of the company or organisation. 
    1. Selection of certification body 
    • Evaluate various certification bodies available in the locality.
    • Check if the certification body uses the relevant CASCO standard* issued by ISO. 
    • Check if it is accredited (authorised). Accreditation is not compulsory, and non-accreditation does not necessarily mean it is not reputable, but it does provide independent confirmation of competence. Accreditation in India is given by “National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies” 
    • The list of accredited organisations can be checked in the website 
    • CASCO standard - ISO's Committee on Conformity Assessment (CASCO) has produced a number of standards related to the certification process, which are used by certification bodies.
    1. Why certification 
    • Certification from renowned body adds credibility to the business by demonstrating to the public that the product or service meets the standards.
    • For some industries / projects, getting ISO certification is legal or contractual requirement.
    • Standards help businesses increase their productivity and minimizing errors and waste. 
    1. Displaying the certificate 
    • ISO certification shall be displayed in full form.
    • The wrong way – “ISO certified”, “ISO Certification”
    • The correct way – “ISO 9001:2015 certified” or “ISO 9001:2015 certification” 
    1. Using the ISO logo
    • The ISO logo is a registered trademark and cannot be used by anyone outside of ISO, unless authorised. 
    1. Popular ISO Standards 
    • ISO 31000 – Risk Management
    • ISO 9001 – Quality Management
    • ISO/IEC 27001 – Information Security Management
    • ISO 14001 – Environmental Management
    • ISO 37001 – Anti-bribery management systems 
    1. Standard setting body in India 
    • Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the standard setting body in India established by the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986. 
    • BIS came into effect on 23rd December 1986.
    • BIS was formerly known as Indian Standards Institution (ISI).
    • The Bureau of Indian Standards Bill, 2015 was passed in Rajya Sabha on 08thMarch 2016and the same has repealed the existing BIS Act, 1986 from the appointed day i.e., 12th October 2017. 
    1. Synopsis 

    ?ISOwilldraft the standards based on the recommendations from its members. 

    ?BISwillpaythe membership fee to ISO and will subscribe to the standards from ISO.

    ?BISwillsalethe standards to the local certification bodies.

    ?Organisations who seek ISO certificate shall apply for certification from local bodies. 

    ?Localcertification body shall evaluate the standards incorporated by the entity and issue ISO certificate.

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