The difference between ISO and standard
The difference between ISO and standard is a question that is asked a lot, but the point is that there is no difference; In fact, ISO is one of the sub-branches of standards. ISO standards are divided into two categories: ISO product and ISO management systems.
To better understand this concept, it is necessary to familiarize yourself with the definition of ISO and standard and the types of standards:
What is the standard?
The standards address the quality, safety and other technical characteristics of each product; In fact, they are considered a technical guide that can be used to produce a product that is safe, efficient and compatible with the environment.
These standards establish accepted practices, technical requirements, and terminology for various industries, and since they are easily identifiable and referenced, they enable companies to manufacture and sell their products safely.
We have many standards for products that can be specific to the country or internationally. For example: every country uses a standard to check product quality, which for Islamic countries can be referred to as the halal mark.
What is ISO ?
As we said, a standard can be considered a set of requirements that have been agreed upon by many experts. ISO standards are the same; In order for an ISO standard to be created, it must be approved by a number of experts from different organizations.
When a company follows an ISO standard, it is actually following a standard that more than a thousand organizations have adopted as the best possible guideline for managing processes.
Classification of standard types
- factory standard or company standard
- society standards
- natonal standards
- Regional standards
- international standards
Some commonly used standard examples
Some examples of the most commonly used standard categories include:
Compilation of this standard started in 1911 after the occurrence of several explosions of steam boilers and in 1914 its first edition was published. This standard is used in many countries as the main reference for the design of pressure vessels.
The American Petroleum Institute was founded in 1919 in Columbia. In 1924, this institute became one of the most important centers for maintenance and development of oil and gas industry standards in the world. The API standard has helped the industry a lot in order to satisfy the consumers as well as produce and innovate quality products.
The American Society of Automotive Engineers is a US-based organization for professional engineers in the aerospace, automotive, and commercial machinery industries. Association standards are based on best practices identified and described by SAE committees and task forces consisting of professional engineers in their respective fields.
The American Welding Society has published various documents on the use and quality control of welding processes. These documents include guidelines, specifications, recommended practice, classifications, methods and guides.
The field of activities of the ISO organization does not have any restrictions and includes all specialized branches and does not work only in the field of electricity and electronics, which is the responsibility of IEC. As of 2020, ISO has published more than 23,000 copies.
Advantages of using ISO international standards
Despite the slight difference between ISO and standard, using ISO international standards can ensure that safe, reliable and high-quality products and services are produced.
ISO is a strategic tool for business that reduces costs by minimizing waste and errors and increasing productivity; It also helps companies to access new markets and provides free and fair global trade for developing countries.
Benefits of understanding the difference between ISO and standard
If you are familiar with the difference between ISO and standard, you can be sure that your manufacturer will supply the highest quality products to your market.
Products that comply with the standards are suitable for import to many countries, allowing you to expand your target audience and grow your business.
Mandatory and optional standards
Mandatory or optional is not related to the difference between ISO and standard. For some products, standards and certifications are mandatory and for some optional; However, if necessary, the products must still comply with the official laws of the country.
Mandatory standards mean that you can legally import your goods into a certain region only by complying with the requirements and obtaining the desired standard certificate.
Obtaining a certificate of voluntary or optional standards gives you a competitive advantage and is a sign of the quality of your products. This sign gives the customer confidence in you and their satisfaction.
Choosing the right standard according to the difference between ISO and standard
Now that you are familiar with the difference between ISO and standard, it is necessary to know that you should first choose the appropriate standards for your product when applying for them. Next, you must go through the following steps:
1- Specify the field of your activity
Sometimes, similar product categories may have different regulations. That’s why it’s important to be sure of your industry category.
2- Check the specific mandatory standards of the country
You can view a list of harmonized standards to find the right standard for your product.
If you are looking to import to the EU you can:
- Check out the official EN Journal
- Check the IEC standards in the CE directives
- Check EU national standards
If you are looking to import into the United States you can:
- Check out the CPSC standards for baby products and household items
- Check FCC standards for electronics
- Review FDA standards for medical products and food contact
- Check ASTM standards for general guidance
3- Check the relevant voluntary standards
You should also determine which voluntary requirements may apply to your product. Once this is determined, you can use standards to cover these requirements.
4. Check labeling requirements
Proper labeling is an important part of importing your goods. In some cases you must have quality marks, safety labels, warnings, etc. You can check the CE or FTC guidelines for labeling.
Country-specific product standards
Many countries with standard institutions have their own regulations and laws. You should be familiar with the difference between ISO and standard, and if you have a specific country in mind that you want to export your product to, check the official websites of those countries.
You can find specific trade guides and import standards for each country. ISO has about 24,000 international standards from which you can find the right one.
Contents of product standards
Depending on the difference between ISO and standard, each product standard includes several parts:
- The official name of the product standard
- Product standard description is a short summary of the purpose and nature of the product standard.
- Conformance requirements define quality conditions using concepts specific to your standard type.
- The operating environment describes where and under what conditions the product is designed to operate.
- Overarching standards are the standards on which a given product standard is based.
- Conformance indicators are tests performed during quality control.
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