ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 167 national standards bodies.
Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market relevant International Standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges.
Central Secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland.
The ISO story began on October 14, 1946 when delegates from 25 countries met at the Institute of Civil Engineers in London and decided to create a new international organization ‘to facilitate the international coordination and unification of industrial standards’ (World Standards Day is celebrated around the world every year on October 14 to mark this event). On 23 February 1947 the new organization, ISO, officially began operations.
Since then, there have been over 24506 International Standards published covering almost all aspects of technology and manufacturing.
Today ISO has members from 167 countries and 809 technical committees and subcommittees to take care of standards development. More than 135 people work full time for ISO’s Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.
Because 'International Organization for Standardization' would have different acronyms in different languages (IOS in English, OIN in French for Organisation internationale de normalisation), the founders decided to give it the short form ISO. ISO is derived from the Greek isos, meaning equal. Whatever the country, whatever the language, the organization is always ISO.