World Economic Forum highlights benefits of ISO and IEC standards in new regulators’ toolbox

Standards play key role in helping policy makers meet current challenges.

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By Clare Naden
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Being agile and reactive in an increasingly fast-paced, changing world is now the greatest challenge being faced by governments everywhere. With this in mind, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has published a toolkit for regulators containing methods and techniques to respond to disruptive events and rapidly evolving technologies in what is currently known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Standards are one of the key tools recommended in the report to help governments wade their way through.

Agile Regulation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution: A Toolkit for Regulators, features a number of techniques to respond effectively to innovation and disruption. The use of standards, cites the guide, is one way of doing this and “can help in building trust or credibility of industry-led governance”.

“Standards may be particularly relevant for governments seeking to co-regulate, where assurance is needed about the process by which governance will be designed, implemented and reviewed. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) have produced guidance on using standards to support co-regulation.”

The WEF toolkit also recommends voluntary standards for enabling and stimulating innovation.

“While often more agile than regulation, they can also face challenges in keeping pace with technological innovation if they are not developed and reviewed in a timely and inclusive way. The ISO produces good-practice principles for how standards should be developed.”

Belinda Cleeland, ISO’s Head of Research and Innovation, says the new toolkit is exactly what is needed in today’s rapidly changing times.

“We are very pleased to have contributed to the WEF toolkit, and to demonstrate the role that standards play in enabling agile regulation. ISO, through its members, works closely with regulators to ensure International Standards are appropriate and effective tools to address public policy issues.”

See the WEF Website to download the toolkit.

Clare Naden
Clare Naden

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