Universally or widely accepted, agreed upon, or established means of determining what something should be. Major classifications of this term include: (1) Material or substance whose properties are known with a level of accuracy that is sufficient to allow its use as a physical reference in calibrating or measuring the same properties of another material or substance. (2) Concept, norm, or principle established by agreement, authority, or custom, and used generally as an example or model to compare or measure the quality or performance of a practice or procedure. (3) Written definition, limit, or rule approved and monitored for compliance by an authoritative agency (or professional or recognized body) as a minimum acceptable benchmark. This is the usual meaning of the plural term (standards).
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What is quality standards?
The operational techniques and the activities that sustain the quality of a product or service in order to satisfy given requirements. It consists of qualityplanning, data collection, data analysis, and implementation, and is applicable to all phases of the product life cycle: design, development,manufacturing, delivery and installation, and operation and maintenance.
What is a standard?
A standard is a document that provides requirements, specifications, guidelines or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose. We published over 19 500 International Standards that can be purchased from the ISO store or from our members.
What are the benefits of ISO International Standards?
ISO International Standards ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality. For business, they are strategic tools that reduce costs by minimizing waste and errors, and increasing productivity. They help companies to access new markets, level the playing field for developing countries and facilitate free and fair global trade.
ISO standards in action
We also have information about how ISO standards work in the real world. For example, ISO Standards in action: Water explains how ISO standards help solve the global water challenge.
Learn more about ISO standards in action