ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world's largest developer and publisher of International Standards.ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 162 countries, one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system.ISO is a non-governmental organization that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors. On the one hand, many of its member institutes are part of the governmental structure of their countries, or are mandated by their government. On the other hand, other members have their roots uniquely in the private sector, having been set up by national partnerships of industry associations.Therefore, ISO enables a consensus to be reached on solutions that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society.
▷ Why standards matter
Standards make an enormous and positive contribution to most aspects of our lives. Standards ensure desirable characteristics of products and services such as quality, environmental friendliness, safety, reliability, efficiency and interchangeability - and at an economical cost. When products and services meet our expectations, we tend to take this for granted and be unaware of the role of standards. However, when standards are absent, we soon notice. We soon care when products turn out to be of poor quality, do not fit, are incompatible with equipment that we already have, are unreliable or dangerous. When products, systems, machinery and devices work well and safely, it is often because they meet standards. And the organization responsible for many thousands of the standards which benefit the world is ISO.

Why conformity assessment is important
"Conformity assessment" means checking that products, materials, services, systems, processes or people measure up to the specifications of a relevant standard or specification.Today, many products require testing for conformity with specifications orcompliance with safety, or other regulations before they can be put on manymarkets. ISO guides and standards for conformity assessment represent an international consensus on best practice. Their use contributes to theconsistency of conformity assessment worldwide and so facilitates trade.
What "international standardization" means
When the large majority of products orservices in a particular business or industry sector conform to InternationalStandards, a state of industry-wide standardization exists. The economicstakeholders concerned agree on specifications and criteria to be appliedconsistently in the classification of materials, in the manufacture and supplyof products, in testing and analysis, in terminology and in the provision ofservices. In this way, International Standards provide a reference framework,or a common technological language, between suppliers and their customers.This facilitates trade and the transfer of technology.
ISO 9001
The ISO Survey of Management System Standard Certifications - 2013
Executive summary
ISO has just released the results of its 2013 Survey of Certifications*. This is an annual study showing the number of certificates issued to management system standards in the past year.
A summary of the statistics is shown in the table below.


Number of 2013 certificates

Number of 2012 certificates


Evolution in %


























ISO/TS 16949















* Despite our best efforts to display consistent results, there are fluctuations in the number of certificates from year to year due to:
□ The variability in numbers of certificates reported each year by individual certification bodies
□ Inconsistent participation of some certification bodies that contribute to the survey one year but not the next
□ The participation of new certification bodies
Main trends
The 2013 edition once again demonstrates comprehensive growth for all seven ISO management systems standards covered by the survey, with a 4 % increase in numbers of certificates issued worldwide. On trend from last year, three sectors exhibit steady growth, in particular information security management (ISO/IEC 27001) and food management (ISO 22001), respectively boasting a healthy 14 % and 15 % increase in certification, while the medical devices sector (ISO 13485) similarly shows a 15 % increment. Strikingly, the US tops the certification charts for medical devices, a field otherwise dominated by Europe which claims a substantial 60 % share of the market. ISO's flagship standards are holding up well although these markets, which took off in the early 1990s, are gradually reaching maturity. ISO 9001, the leading standard on quality management, continued to show very respectable growth (3 %) while ISO 14001 for environmental management registered 6 %, a 3 % drop on last year. Despite modest progress, however, ISO 9001 remains popular with an increased catchment area of 187 countries.
On the upswing, ISO 16949 for the automotive sector records a stable 7 % increase, while energy management standard ISO 50001 is still in huge demand after its impressive 2012 growth spurt, with a robust progression of 116 %. As in the past, the market for this sector is largely dominated by Europe, most prominently Germany.
Detailed findings
The Asian market still leads the way this year, dominated by China and, to a lesser extent, Japan, while Europe comes a close second, headed predominantly by Italy and Germany. As Asia's largest economy, China remains faithful to established management system standards, topping the league for numbers of certificates issued to ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 22000 and ISO/TS 16949. Certifications to motor industry standard ISO/TS 16949 went from strength to strength with Asia claiming over 60 % of certificates issued, reflecting the region's healthy market for automotive parts. Similarly, information security standard ISO/IEC 27001 performed well in both Japan and India, the new technological powerhouse. Underscoring world environmental concerns, ISO 14001 for environmental management records a 20 % increase in several regions - with a pollution-choked China in the lead for numbers of certificates issued - suggesting lasting potential for growth in years to come. Equally promising, ISO 22000 for food management showed good performance in all regions, with a remarkable 17 % growth rate in Europe. Finally, as energy shortages loom on the global horizon, ISO 50001 shows encouraging growth for the second year running. Europe soars ahead with an 82 % market share, led by Germany still heavily influenced by national energy regulations. This year's ISO Survey reflects a status quo in global economic trends, confirming the buoyancy of Asian markets relative to a more stable Europe. But figures also indicate growing enthusiasm among lower-cost labour markets, once again led by India. With 1 564 448 certificates issued worldwide, slightly up on 2012, the survey confirms that ISO management systems standards continue to fill a need where the market needs it most. Here is a summary of the principal results:
ISO 9001:2015
ISO 9001:2015 gives the requirements for quality management systems. Certification to the standard is used in global supply chains to provide assurance about suppliers' ability to satisfy quality requirements and to enhance customer satisfaction in supplier-customer relationships. Up to the end of December 2013, at least 1 129 446 certificates had been issued in 187 countries and economies, three more than in the previous year. The 2013 total represents an increase of 3 % (+32 459) over 2012. The top three countries for the total number of certificates issued were China, Italy and Germany, while the top three for growth in the number of certificates in 2013 were Italy, India and the USA.
ISO 14001:2015
ISO 14001:2015, which gives the requirements for environmental management systems, retains its global relevance for organizations wishing to operate in an environmentally sustainable manner. Up to the end of December 2013, at least 301 647 ISO 14001:2015 certificates, a growth of 6 % (+16 993), had been issued in 171 countries, four more than in the previous year. The top three countries for the total number of certificates issued were China, Italy and Japan, while the top three for growth in the number of certificates in 2013 were China, Italy and India.
Documented performance capability
It is not only the quality of individual services that determines the success or failure of an organisation. Readiness and ability to react flexibly and fast to changes and preferences of customers and markets are just as important. An effective quality management system is essential in order to meet these complex demands.
Globally recognised proof of competence
All over the world, the EN ISO 9000 family of quality management standards form the basis for quality assurance and quality management. They are the most extensively used of all the standards issued by ISO (International Organisation for Standardization). At both national and international levels, a quality management system certified according to EN ISO 9001 is considered ideal proof of competence and performance capability. Among other things, the certification is concerned with
•    Continual improvement and nonconformity prevention
•    Reduction of waste, increased concentration on important issues
•    Determination and monitoring of quality-related costs
•    Product liability and product safety
•    Product and process development
•    Interdisciplinary cooperation
Update expected for 2015
The current version of the Standard was issued in 2008. However, an amended version is expected for 2015, which will take account of the increasing complexity of the environment within which organisations have to work and also focus more strongly on the special features and needs of service providers. It can also be assumed that a new High Level Structure will create greater harmony between ISO 9001 and other management system standards. A further aspect will be that the responsibility and autonomy of organisations will be much more strongly emphasised; the same applies to the importance of the process approach and handling of risks. What will not change: ISO 9001 will continue to be the only non sector specific certification standard for quality management systems and will still maintain its most important quality objectives following amendment, such as customer satisfaction and generation of compliant products and services.
Certification according to DIN EN ISO 9001 by BRILLIANT CERTIFICATION offers the following benefits:
•    Sustainable quality assurance
•    Indication of possibilities for improvement and savings potentials
•    Greater satisfaction of customers and employees
•    Enhanced image
•    Risk minimisation
•    Increased cost-effectiveness through process improvement
•    Increase in competitiveness
•    Fulfilment of specific customer requirements
•    Can be implemented regardless of sector
•    Worldwide comparability