The number of ISO standards – it’s a numbers game

If you have been following Compleye for quite some time now – good on you – ISO 27001 is a term that you won’t be unfamiliar with. Question is whether you know that ISO 27001 has some brothers and sisters in the ISO-family. Well, some… Let’s actually make that a little more than some. We’ll fill you in. What are these ISO standards? 

Let’s start by refreshing your memory. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an independent and non-governmental organisation that develops the standards to ensure the efficiency, safety and quality of products, services and systems. So ISO standards. The standards include requirements, specifications, guidelines of characteristics that can be applied consistently within all types of industries. Do you remember?

The number of ISO standards

Great. Now fasten your seatbelt. The ISO currently holds over 24.000 – yes, twenty-four thousand – standards and related documents. Sometimes it can be hard to understand which ones are the most suitable for your business. While most ISO standards are product-specific or process-related, a lot of standards are generic and can be implemented into any organisation. These are also considered the most common, or most popular, ISO certifications.

The most popular ones

As mentioned above, there are some more and some less popular members within the ISO family. Take a look at 10 of the most used and useful ones:

  1. ISO 9001 (Quality Management)
  2. ISO 14001 (Environment)
  3. ISO 27001 (Information Security)
  4. ISO 22000 (Food Safety)
  5. ISO 50001 (Energy Management)
  6. ISO 31001 (Risk Management)
  7. ISO 26000 (Social Responsibility)
  8. ISO 20121 (Sustainability)
  9. ISO 17025 (Testing/FDA)
  10.  ISO 13485 (Medical Devices)

The ones you never thought about

Let’s have a bit more fun, shall we? There are, namely, so many ISO norms that you would never consider to be an ISO norm. From an ISO standard for Alpine Ski Boots (ISO 5355) – no joke – to one about Wine Glasses (ISO 3591) and Shoe Sizes (ISO ISO 9407). And our personal favorite: ISO 3103. It is about how to get a cup of perfect tea. The eight-page standard defines the size, material and shape of the teapot, the proportion of water, the time of infusion, the addition of milk and more.

Well, at least you have a new fun fact to tell on your next date.

To conclude, it’s always helpful for your business to have a go at ISO. There are companies who may only look at these standards as a way to attract ISO-conscious clients, or please ISO-conscious stakeholders, but ISO standards can be exceptional catalysts in showing that your organisation has developed, maintains and continuously improves its business processes. And if you don’t think that ISO could be helpful for you, at least you now know how to properly drink your cup of tea. You’re welcome.