What is an ISO Standard?

An ISO Standard is document that has been developed by standards bodies from various participating countries. Standards can be a management systems standards or technical standards. Some standards are regulated as mandatory in each country (particularly where safety is involved).


The standards document consists of ‘normative text’ (the main text) and annexes which generally include guidance for implementing the standard. The standard sets out specifications and procedures to ensure that a product, service or system is:

-       Safe

-       Reliable

-       Performs consistently in the way they were intended to

-       Attains established quality and safety criteria

ISO stands for the International Organisation for Standardization (http://www.iso.org/iso/home.html). It is comprised of a network of the national standards institutes of member countries.  Australia is represented by Standards Australia, the country’s peak non-government Standards organisation. International Standards are developed by ISO in response to identified needs by different sectors. In order for a Standard to be of international relevance it must meet certain criteria and be suitable for implementation on a broad worldwide basis.