ISO Symbol meaning & What are ISO standards

What is ISO : what does iso mean

The word ISO is the abbreviation of several words in English that refers to the International Organization for Standardization, which translates into Spanish the International Standardization Organization, which is responsible for shaping and promoting a system that allows the international standardization of a large number of products and that also covers various areas.

The birth of the International Organization for Standardization dates back to 1946, when several representatives from different countries, approximately twenty-five delegates, by virtue of globalization that was already looming for the date and the commercial exchange that already existed arises the need to adopt measures that regulate the standardization of various characteristics of products such as safety, environment, health, etc.

The organization is in charge of promoting the parameters and standards that the manufacturing, communication and trade of various industrial branches must comply with and that also serve for the quality of production processes, control of companies and international organizations that are dedicated to the improvement of the quality and safety of products in the world.

It is important to note that the application and adaptation of the standards and parameters relating to quality and safety in the production and marketing processes of goods and services are voluntary, that is, they are only applied by those industries and companies that really want to improve its production control and industrial safety, which in turn always provides added value to the final product, which allows it to enter the most diverse international markets, since they comply with said safety and production parameters and standards.

The various national normalization or standardization bodies located in the different countries of our planet, are in charge of issuing the certifications of compliance with ISO Standards or quality standards by the different participants in the industrial field, such is the case of AFNOR in France, EVS in Estonia, UNI in Italy, ICONTEC in Colombia, IRAM in Argentina, SENCAMER in Venezuela or INN in Chile, among others.

Currently, the organization is constituted by the union of 157 institutions or collaborators, it is also located in Switzerland specifically in the city of Geneva, where both delegations from various governments around the world work together, as well as private entities that are dedicated to specialization and improvement of production control, quality and safety standards of the different varieties of products that we can find in our universe.

ISO 9000 and 9001

The International Organization for Standardization is responsible for developing and promoting the standards that serve as parameters in the international field of quality in products, services, production systems and materials that serve for the evaluation of the finished product, as well as evaluation of the processes and the implementation of new procedures that provide greater safety and quality according to the materials of the product, good or service.

In this sense, ISO 9000 and ISO 9001 are a set of preventive actions, to guarantee a service or a product. What this translates is that the product, good or service that they are offering complies with the regulations related to quality and safety, which provides greater confidence and safety in the product since it followed what was established in the International Organization Committee of Standardization and is certified by the different organizations in the world that are dedicated to guaranteeing said compliance.

It should be noted that the ISO standards are already very common in our day to day, which means that their use, knowledge and / or application can be found in very basic contexts of our daily life, such as in an advertisement for a product , in the organizations in charge of protecting consumers in a specific country since this can make the difference between one product and another, specifically in its quality and consequently in its value or price for the general public.

What are ISO standards and what is their purpose?

Definition of ISO standards

The ISO standards are a set of rules designed to order the management of a company in its various fields. The high international competition accentuated by the globalizing processes of the economy and the market and the power and importance that the figure and the opinion of consumers have been taking has led to these standards, despite their voluntary nature, having gained great international recognition and acceptance.

ISO standards are established by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) , and are composed of standards and guides related to specific management systems and tools applicable in any type of organization.

Historical setting

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was created in 1947 and has 91 member states , which are represented by national standardization bodies. This body works to achieve a  common way of achieving the establishment of the quality system , which guarantees the satisfaction of the needs and expectations of consumers .

In the early 1980sISO appointed a series of technical committees to work on developing common standards that would be universally accepted. The result of this work was published seven years later through the ISO 9000 standard compendium, after the publication of the quality assurance-vocabulary standard (ISO 8402), which was released in 1986.

The development and diversification of ISO standards have been very important, splitting into different branches or families that deal with various aspects such as quality, the environment, occupational safety and risks, and social responsibility. The process is continuous and updates and new areas of treatment appear periodically .

Purposes and advantages of ISO standards

The ISO standards were created with the purpose of offering guidance, coordination, simplification and unification of criteria to companies and organizations in order to reduce costs and increase effectiveness , as well as  standardize the standards of products and services for international organizations.

ISO standards have been developed and adopted by many companies in many countries out of a need and desire to standardize the characteristics and parameters of quality and safety of products and services.

Advantages of ISO standards for companies

Based on this purpose and initial objective, and due to the great prestige and enormous monitoring achieved, ISO standards represent important benefits for companies , companies and organizations in general:

  • They provide elements so that an organization can achieve and maintain higher levels of quality in the product or service.
  • Help meet the needs of a customer increasingly demanding.
  • It allows companies to reduce costs, achieve more profitability and increase productivity levels .
  • It is one of the most effective means of gaining competitive advantage .
  • Reduce rejections or incidents in production or in the provision of services.
  • Implement continuous improvement processes .
  • Achieve greater and better access to large clients and administrations and to international markets.

The benefits go beyond the scope of companies and administrations and their clients, who are favored by a better service, also reaching governments , which thanks to ISO standards can:

  • Ensure that the goods and services comply with the mandatory requirements related to quality, safety or the environment, among other issues.
  • Control foreign trade with other countries.

The different families of ISO standards

There are many ISO standards and, as we have indicated, in addition to being updated, new ones appear periodically. For a better classification and identification, they are grouped by families or series,  each with a specific nomenclature . The three fundamental categories are:

Quality Management (ISO 9000 series)

Norms focused on homogenizing the quality standards of the products or services of public and private organizations, regardless of their size or activity.

Environmental management (ISO 14000 series)

They are a very clarifying and effective instrument for companies to organize all their activities within parameters of respect for the environment , complying with current legislation and responding to greater awareness and demands from society.

Risk and security management (ISO 22000, OHSAS 18001, ISO 27001, ISO 22301 and others)

Standards and systems developed in order to avoid or minimize the different risks related to the different threats originated by business activity.

Social responsibility management (ISO 26000 standard)

The focus of these rules is to help the company to have a transparent and ethical behavior at all times that is an indissoluble part of its general management model.

Annex SL

Annex SL is the main basis for reviewing the main ISO standards . It is a necessary tool, since it facilitates the integration of ISO standards, improves the work of companies and auditors.
A suitable framework needs to be provided to ensure an optimal outcome of the entire ISO development process.
It facilitates the synchronization of the different ISO standards, serves to adopt a common language that facilitates the integration of management systems and eliminates duplication of documents.

ISOTools platform facilitates system integration

The Technological Platform allows the integration of standardized systems of the different families of ISO standards , as well as the implementation of management and excellence models. ISOTools is a tool designed to make the handling of documentation more effective, improve communication and reduce time and costs.

ISO Symbols For Packaging

In this new post, we will talk about the symbols on the packaging, something very important considering that most damage to goods occurs during transport, especially when loading or unloading. These universal pictograms, duly placed in the boxes, serve as a guide for the perfect handling of the load, since they are not accompanied by written words and are understandable anywhere in the world. Furthermore, they are standardized according to ISO 780: 1997.

Marking / labeling instructions.

The most appropriate is always to paint the symbols on the packaging using a template, although some prefer to put labels. It is not mandatory to frame them.

As for the color, before marking the background must be smoothed or prepared for degreasing in the case of a metallic background. Metallic and synthetic marking/inscription plates are accepted as long as they are resistant to light, weather and not sensitive to seawater and UV radiation. Normally the color black is used for these symbols, but in case the color of the packaging does not allow the correct identification of the pictograms, a lighter background, usually white, should be placed under the symbols. The paint must be washable and resistant to the aforementioned external factors.

The marking must be carried out clearly and sharply, open and parallel to the bottom edge, as well as legible during the foreseen storage period. The size of the symbols should not exceed 10 x 15 x 20 centimeters.
We must also know, according to the ADR (European Agreement on the International Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road) , other types of  signs indicated for the transport of dangerous goods, which are organized according to the type of cargo to be transported.

With this we have defined the main types of ISO symbols and mentioned the different markings required by the ADR regulations for the transport of dangerous goods by road, in the next post we will talk about the main types of adhesive tape , as well as the main characteristics of the adhesive and tape.

ISO quality certification or accreditation? Differences

During the last years, ISO regulations have been gaining relevance and therefore, more companies have become interested in obtaining certifications. However, there is a lot of confusion around the two terms that are often mentioned around ISO standards: certification and accreditation. Courses for accredited and certified leading auditors other than the official ones have even been appearing, which has created many doubts among the population. The main difference that is worth understanding is what is accreditation and what is certification. With this, you can understand a little about everything the market offers and have more tools to defend ourselves against possible deception or companies that do not have what it takes to issue ISO certificates.

ISO quality accreditation or certification, what is the difference?

Let’s start by defining each of the terms. An accreditation is, in terms of ISO / IEX 17011 on conformity assessment, ‘the attestation of a third party in relation to a conformity assessment body that constitutes the formal demonstration of its competence to carry out specific assessment tasks of conformity ‘. The term accreditation, for its part and following the same rule, refers to the «third party attestation relating to a product, process, system or people». Already from here we can intuit some important differences.However, in order to recognize whether the ISO 9001 certification that a company received is reliable, we must contact the body that issued the certificate, so that we can find out if it was accredited by an accrediting body to issue it. In all the countries where ISO operates, there is a body (public or private) that accredits the certifying bodies; If a body is not accredited by these bodies, it does not have the capacity to certify companies. In Spain, for example, there is AENOR; in the United States they have the ANSI-ASQ; in Costa Rica the ECA, in Mexico the EMA, etc. Thus, each country has its own entity that gives “permission” to the certifiers to execute the certifications, worth the redundancy.Now, these bodies have this capacity because, among other things, they carry out evaluations to the certifiers with ISO 17021, which ensures that they have the competencies to carry out conformity evaluations, or what is the same, to be able to carry out audits of certification. So, to make it clear, accreditation is a higher level than certification and is like a license to provide certification services. Without accreditation, the certificates issued by certifying companies or organizations are not recognized as those issued when they do have accreditation.Therefore, the important thing when trying to take the step towards ISO standards and certification is to know if the certifying body has the accreditation or if it has been withdrawn due to some type of non-compliance, which would make them all lose value. the certificates it issued.

ISO 9001 quality accreditation

In the case of ISO 9001, if an organization has the accreditation to certify that a company complies with the international standard, it does not mean that it can also certify other standards such as ISO 14001, or OHSAS 18001.In addition, we must pay attention to the sector in which we operate as some accredited organizations that certify ISO standards cannot do so in all sectors. The companies in charge of accreditation must have the power to do so in each industrial sector, a detail that sometimes escapes the knowledge of the companies and therefore makes prior research really necessary. For this reason, before choosing the certifying body, it is advisable to find out all these details, especially those related to the scope of the certification they will issue.

There are also some standards that are accredited but not certified , although colloquially the term used is “certify”; for example, ISO 17025. We invite you to stay informed about the international ISO standards by keeping up to date with our next posts and if you want to improve your professional profile and expand your knowledge in this regard, we recommend that you always review the UOC Xtended Studies training offer with our flexible and proven online methodology. Until next time!

ISO file

An ISO is an informational file where a CD or DVD image of a file is stored. The ISO image is one of the most popular formats for distributing files over the internet since it facilitates the download and future recording of data.

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