ISO 37000 Guidance for the Governance of Organizations

In November 2016, ISO/ TC309 decided to explore the opportunity for a new international guidance standard on the governance of organizations.

In September 2017, work on the new standard ISO 37000 “Guidance for the Governance of Organizations” was assigned to ISO/TC 309 Working Group 1 (WG1).

WG1 is developing the Draft International Standard (DIS) which is due for wider consultation among national member bodies and external liaisons in Q2 of 2020.  The standard is scheduled for publication in 2021.

Intent of the standard

Governance of an organization is the next upcoming challenge for organizations.

Governance of an organization helps to:

  • Reflect the identity, mission or purpose of the organization with respect to society and its stakeholders.
  • Increase organizational effectiveness, sustainability, accountability and fairness.
  • Fulfil the organization’s purpose.
  • Avoid major incidents.

There is a steady flow of major or adverse incidents and perceived abuses of authority. Enron, Lehman Brothers, FIFA, and other high- profile organizational failures demonstrate just how essential governance is to organizations.

The ISO 37000 standard is developed for any type or size of organization.

The starting definition of governance for ISO/TC 309 Working Group 1 (WG1) is "the system by which the whole organization is directed, controlled and held accountable to achieve its core purpose over the long term" (BS 13500).

Scope of the standard

The scope of ISO/NP 37000 is defined as follows:

This document gives guidelines for the governance of organizations. It provides key principles, relevant practices and a framework to guide the governance of organizations in how to meet their responsibilities so that organizations can fulfil their purpose. 

It is applicable to all organizations, regardless of type, size, location, structure or purpose."


The ISO 37000 standard is aimed at:

  • Clarifying the distinction between the governance realm and the management realm.
  • Supporting existing national legislation, policy, regulation, or guidance (*).
  • Considering existing international guidance relating to the governance of organizations (*).
  • Proposing a consistent set of recommendations (definitions, framework, practices) for organizations to cope with different environments and stakeholders.
  • Facilitating the setup of a clean and complete design of the governance of an organization, as a system.

(*) which are sometimes limited to particular industries, interest groups, fora, or specific kinds of organizations.



Timeline & process

The Committee is working with the following target dates:

  • committee draft (CD) for TC309: Q3 2019
  • enquiry draft (DIS) for TC309 and ISO national member bodies: Q3 2020
  • approval draft (FDIS) for TC309 and ISO national member bodies: Q4 2020
  • availability of published standard: Q2 2021.


WG1 Leadership

The ISO/TC 309/WG1 co-convenors are Victoria Hurth (UK) and Axel Kravatzky (Trinidad & Tobago).

The Secretariat is held by David Adamson, BSI (UK) - please contact at for further information.


Want to get involved?

Standards are developed by the people who need them – that could mean you. Technical committees include experts from both standards and industry and these experts are put forward by ISO’s national members. If you want to help shape future standards in your field, contact your national member

External liaison organizations may also apply to be involved in the work, provided they meet certain criteria (e.g. not for profit, membership based with a process for stakeholder engagement and consensus decision-making). Please contact TC309 Secretary for more information.


Dr. Victoria Hurth
Dr. Victoria Hurth
Co-Convenor, TC309/WG1
Please contact via the WG1 Secretary
Dr. Axel Kravatzky
Dr. Axel Kravatzky
Co-Convenor, TC309/WG1
Please contact via the WG1 Secretary
David Adamson
David Adamson
Secretary, TC309/WG1
BSI Group