ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 164 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.

You'll find our Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland. Learn more about our structure and how we are governed.

Contact ISO

International Organization for Standardization
ISO Central Secretariat
Chemin de Blandonnet 8
CP 401 - 1214 Vernier, Geneva, Switzerland

Tel.: +41 22 749 01 11
Fax: +41 22 733 34 30

Visiting ISO [PDF, 1.29 MB]

Our Story begins in 1946

Friendship among equals

The ISO story began in 1946 when delegates from 25 countries met at the Institute of Civil Engineers in London...

Read more about the first 50 years of ISO (1947 - 1997) in the book:

Friendship among equals [PDF, 1.32 MB]

It's all in the name

Because 'International Organization for Standardization' would have different acronyms in different languages (IOS in English, OIN in French for Organisation internationale de normalisation), our founders decided to give it the short form ISO. ISO is derived from the Greek 'isos', meaning equal. Whatever the country, whatever the language, we are always ISO.

ISO Today

International Standards covering almost all aspects of technology and manufacturing.


Members representing ISO in  their country. There is only one member per country.


Technical committees and subcommittees to take care of standards development.

How did we do in 2018?

How many projects did we begin? Which sectors were most active? How many documents did we publish?

Find our key achievements in figures at a single glance.


Annual Report 2018

2018 saw renewed emphasis on our strong network of ISO members that helps to make ISO standards more globally known. We also invested in the standards capabilities, the know-how and the talent to continue creating value for the international community.

ISO Strategy 2016-2020
The ISO Strategy outlines our priorities for the next five years. It provides guidance and strategic direction, helping us to respond to a future where constant change will require us to continually improve the ISO system.
ISO Membership Manual
Learn how to get the most out of ISO membership
ISO in brief
An introduction to the ISO system, how it works and how ISO standards benefit the world.