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What types of ISO standards are there?

The International Organization for Standardization ISO has published more than 22,000 standards in a wide range of areas, some of them related to processes and others related to products. It is known that two or more compatible ISO standards can be applied to the activities of a single organization.


Some of the most popular categories of ISO standards are as follows:


1. information security and IT – the ISO 27000 group of standards. This includes ISO 27001, a popular standard that helps ensure that an organization does everything possible to protect the security of information. The standard details best practices for developing information security management systems and, like 9001, can be certified by a third-party audit.


2. Quality management. ISO 9001 for QMS is the gold standard for organizations seeking to optimize controls, standard operating procedures and quality assurance policies. ISO 9001 is certified by a third-party auditor and covers QMS design and implementation, including compliance of quality assurance documentation with quality management practices.


3. Health and safety. Health and safety standards, from ISO 22000 for food safety to ISO 45001 for health and safety, are among the most popular and best known ISO standards. These standards help to prevent occupational hazards, worker injuries and the spread of disease in the workplace. They also ensure product safety.


4. Environmental management. The ISO 14000 family of standards spells out how organizations can best interact with and protect the environment.


5. Tourism and events. Tourism and large-scale events can put pressure on a region's resources, workforce and environment. ISO standards for event management help to ensure that events are conducted safely, ethically, efficiently and sustainably.


6. Management of energy and natural resources. As the world adapts to a changing environment, companies are increasingly looking to improve sustainability. ISO offers standards for sustainable resource management and energy use, including ISO 50001, which provides guidance to organizations in developing effective energy management systems.


7. Social responsibility. ISO 26000 offers guidance on how companies can become socially responsible, which covers sustainability, human rights, labour practices and economic development.


8. Medical technology and practice. ISO has issued a number of standards for medical facilities and operations, including ISO 60601, the standard for the use of electrical equipment in medical settings.


9. Industry and manufacturing. ISO is known for a range of standards related to product design, manufacture and distribution. ISO has also created a number of highly specialised standards.


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