ISO was established in 1947 is the world’s largest developer of voluntary international standards – with over 23,500 developed to date! They facilitate world trade by providing common standards.
ISO Standards are internationally agreed by internationally respected experts drawn from 165 countries. Think of them as a formula that describes the perceived best way of doing something.
ISO standards are designed to be recognised throughout the world, but this is usually only when certifications are accredited by recognised national bodies; in the UK this is UKAS.
The holder of certifications is said to be certificated; the company that issues the certifications (the so-called certification body) are accredited i.e. by UKAS in the UK.
The benefits of obtaining certifications are numerous, and include providing a competitive advantage, and opening the door to working with larger clients. They also bring internal advantages, including enhanced knowledge management, driving organisational improvement, and cost savings.