'Because "International Organisation for Standardisation" would have different acronyms in different languages ("IOS" in English, "OIN" in French for Organisation Internationale de Normalisation), its founders decided to give it also a short, all-purpose name. They chose "ISO", derived from the Greek isos, meaning "equal". Whatever the country, whatever the language, the short form of the organization's name is always ISO.' www.iso.org
ISO is the world's largest developer and publisher of International Standards and is made up of a network of 163 national standards institutes from around the world with one member from each participating country. ISO Central Secretariat is based in Geneva Switzerland, where it coordinates the development of systems with representation from each of the member countries.
ISO is a non-governmental organisation and is designed to act as an impartial conduit between the public and private sectors. This ensures ISO is able to reach a rounded consensus on most outcomes that meet both the needs of business and the wider requirements of society.
ISO Standards are recognised internationally, as the name suggests, and are used as a respected and trusted bench mark for standardising of service, process, regulation and production all over the world.
A very common mistake (when people are talking about getting certified to an ISO standard) is the use of the phrase 'ISO Certification' which implies that ISO offer Certification.
This is in fact a myth and one strongly challenged by ISO themselves.
You may be surprised to know that there is actually NO such thing as 'ISO' Certification.
ISO do not issue Certification,
ISO do not publish Certificates,
ISO do not recognise any Certifications
ISO do not recognise or recommend any Certifications Bodies.
Despite this fact, many Certification Bodies allude to offering 'ISO Certification' and do not choose to argue or explain the mistake to 'uninformed' enquirers, due to the confusion it can cause when challenged.
The Audit People issue Certification to verify that an organisations systems have been independently and impartially assessed and audited and meet the defined requirements of the ISO Standards that the organisation has chosen to be tested against.