ISO is an independent, non-governmental organization made up of members from the national standards bodies of 168 countries.

Our members play a vital role in how we operate, meeting once a year for a General Assembly that decides our strategic objectives. Our Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, coordinates the system and runs day-to-day operations, overseen by the Secretary General.

Trilingual document in English, French and Russian, of the complete text of ISO Statutes.

The General Assembly

The General Assembly is the overarching organ and ultimate authority of the Organization. It is an annual meeting attended by our members and our Principal Officers.

The ISO Council

The ISO Council is the core governance body of the Organization and reports to the General Assembly. It meets three times a year and is made up of 20 member bodies, the ISO Officers and the Chairs of the Policy Development Committees CASCO, COPOLCO and DEVCO. The Council has direct responsibility over a number of bodies reporting to Council:

  • The President’s Committee advises Council on matters decided by Council.
  • Council Standing Committees address matters related to finance (CSC/FIN), strategy and policy (CSC/SP), nominations for governance positions (CSC/NOM), and oversight of the Organization’s governance practices (CSC/OVE).
  • Advisory Groups provide advice on matters related to ISO’s commercial policy (CPAG) and Information Technology (ITSAG).
  • CASCO - provides guidance on conformity assessment
  • COPOLCO - provides guidance on consumer issues
  • DEVCO - provides guidance on matters related to developing countries

Membership to the Council is open to all member bodies and rotates to make sure it is representative of the member community.

Technical Management Board (TMB)

The management of the technical work is taken care of by the Technical Management Board, which reports to Council. This body is also responsible for the technical committees that lead standard development and any strategic advisory boards created on technical matters.


ISO is a network of national standards bodies that represent ISO in their country.

There are three member categories, each enjoying different levels access and influence over the ISO system. This helps us to be inclusive while also recognizing the different needs and capacities of each member.

Read more about ISO membership.


If you have any questions about ISO members or becoming an ISO member, please contact our membership team.


ISO governance structure

Principal officers

Please note: The figures in brackets show the year at the end of which the term of office expires.

Past Principal Officers of ISO

John Walters
John Walter

ISO President

Eddy Njoroge
Eddy Njoroge

ISO President-elect

Scott Steedman
Scott Steedman

ISO Vice-President (policy)
United Kingdom

Sauw Kook Choy
Sauw Kook Choy
ISO Vice-President (technical management)
Mitsuo Matsumoto
Mitsuo Matsumoto

ISO Vice-President (finance)

Dominique Christin
Dominique Christin
ISO Treasurer
Sergio Mujica
Sergio Mujica
ISO Secretary-General (Chief Executive Officer)
ISO Central Secretariat


We work closely with two other international standards development organizations, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and International Telecommunication Union (ITU). In 2001, ISO, IEC and ITU formed the World Standards Cooperation (WSC) in order to strengthen the standards systems of the three organisations. The WSC also promotes the adoption and implementation of international consensus-based standards worldwide.

In addition, we also have a close relationship with the World Trade Organization (WTO) which particularly appreciates the contribution of International Standards to reducing technical barriers to trade.

ISO also works with United Nations partners. For example, we liaise with UN specialized agencies that do technical harmonization or technical assistance, including the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

In total, ISO collaborates with over 700 international, regional and national organisations. These organisations take part in the standard development process as well as sharing expertise and best practices.

How is ISO financed?

Our national members pay subscriptions that meet the operational cost of the Central Secretariat. The subscription paid by each member is in proportion to the country's Gross National Income and trade figures. Another source of revenue is the sale of standards.

However, the operations of ISO's Central Secretariat represent only about one fifth of the cost of the system's operation. Other costs are related to specific standard development projects and technical work. These costs are borne by member bodies and business organizations that allow their experts to participate and pay their travel costs.

The ISO Strategy outlines our priorities for the next five years. It provides guidance and strategic direction, helping us to respond to a future where constant change will require us to continually improve the ISO system.
ISO's Action Plan maps out how ISO aims to contribute to improving developing countries' economic growth and access to world markets and helping to achieve sustainable development.
2018 saw renewed emphasis on our strong network of ISO members that helps to make ISO standards more globally known. We also invested in the standards capabilities, the know-how and the talent to continue creating value for the international community.