About ISO 2

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The ISO brand

Democratic
Every full member of ISO has the right to take part in the development of any standard which it judges to be important to its country's economy. No matter what the size or strength of that economy, each participating member in ISO has one vote. Each country is on an equal footing to influence the direction of ISO's work at the strategic level, as well as the technical content of its individual standards.

Voluntary
ISO standards are voluntary. As a non-governmental organization, ISO has no legal authority to enforce the implementation of its standards. ISO does not regulate or legislate. However, countries may decide to adopt ISO standards - mainly those concerned with health, safety or the environment - as regulations or refer to them in legislation, for which they provide the technical basis. In addition, although ISO standards are voluntary, they may become a market requirement, as has happened in the case of ISO 9001 quality management systems, or of dimensions of freight containers and bank cards.

ISO itself does not regulate or legislate.

Market-driven
ISO only develops standards for which there is a market requirement. The work is mainly carried out by experts from the industrial, technical and business sectors which have asked for the standards, and which subsequently put them to use.

Consensus
ISO standards are based on international consensus among the experts in the field. Consensus, like technology, evolves and ISO takes account both of evolving technology and of evolving interests by requiring a periodic review of its standards at least every five years to decide whether they should be maintained, updated or withdrawn. In this way, ISO standards retain their position as the state of the art.

Globally relevant
ISO standards are technical agreements which provide the framework for compatible technology worldwide. They are designed to be globally relevant - useful everywhere in the world.

ISO standards are useful everywhere in the world.

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