ISO and ISO Code of Conduct for the technical work

GJ Comments.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a successful standards-setting body headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. ISO standards are developed around three principles--Consensus, Industry-wide, and Voluntary. Each standards setting process can be divided into three phases--(1) need and scope; (2) negotiated detailed specification/consensus building; (3) formal approval (my terms) that take the form of six steps (proposal, preparatory, committee, enquiry, approval and publication).[4] Various interim documents are published in the different points in time. [1] See also the graphic, "Schematic representation of ISO deliverables." [3]

The ISO's standards development work is "governed" by a "Technical Management Board," responsible for establishing technical committees that conduct the work. It is this "Technical Management Board" that oversees the rules, guidelines and performance requirements of the organization (my words)--it keeps the standards work on track.

During a 2010 and 2011 ISO review, the organization developed two documents I think of as the rules and guidelines for those who participate in establishing and maintaining ISO's rules and guidelines. These two documents, listed below, are discussed on ISO's website--see "Governance of technical work." Both of the documents are downloadable from the ISO's website.

With the express permission of the ISO, [2] which retains its copyright, the "ISO Code of conduct for the technical work" has been reproduced below.

The ISO website includes a nice series about the organization and the benefits of standardization (see About ISO). ISO publishes ISO Focus+, a magazine freely available from the organization website. See ISO Focus+. The July 2011 ISO Focus+ issue contained a special section on how ISO develops standards, "Cooking up successful standards."

[1], "How are ISO standards developed?"
[2] Christopher Thomson, Assistant to the [ISO] Director, to GeneJ, e-mail of 12 October 2011.
[3] The ISO also has a variant formula, "International Workshop Agreement" (IWA). This work is conducted outside of the full ISO technical committee process. A sample schematic is available as "ISO's International Workshop Agreements (IWAs)." The latter link also includes a one page discussion of the IWA process.
[4], "Stages of the development of International Standards."


ISO Code of Conduct for the technical work

This Code of Conduct (Code) is to facilitate ISO's work which is carried out in an international, multi-stakeholder, multi-sector environment. It applies to people who choose to participate in an ISO committee, working group or other consensus group. The Code is an obligation for participation in the above groups that work in the framework of the ISO/IEC Directives.

As participants in ISO work, we acknowledge the responsibility and value of participating in developing International Standards. We therefore adhere to this Code in accordance with the terms below.
Work for the
 net benefit of the international community
We recognize that the development of International Standards is for the net benefit of the international community, over and above the interests of any individual or organization. We are committed to advancing International Standards within their agreed scope and we will not hinder their development.
Uphold consensus and governance
We will uphold the key principles of International Standardization: consensus, transparency, openness, impartiality, effectiveness, relevance, coherence and the development dimension.
Agree to a clear purpose and scope
We are committed to having a clear purpose, scope, objectives, and plan to ensure the timely development of International Standards.
actively and manage effective representation
We agree to actively participate in standards development projects. We will make our contributions to the work through the official procedures in accordance with the ISO/IEC Directives.
Escalate and resolve disputes
We will identify and escalate disputes in a timely manner to ensure rapid resolution. We will uphold the agreed dispute resolution processes.
Behave ethically

We will act in good faith and with due care and diligence. We will avoid collusive or anticompetitive behaviour. We will promote a culture of fair and ethical behaviour.
Respect others in meetings
We are committed to respecting others and the professional culture of international standardization within ISO. In meetings we are committed to:
  • conducting ourselves in a professional manner
  • respecting others and their opinions
  • accepting group decisions
  • ensuring that the views of all (including those whose first 
language is not that of the meeting) are heard and understood