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Governance and operations

International Electrotechnical Commission
IEC's successful conformity assessment schemes build trust through the peer assessment
process and many of their participating certification bodies and testing laboratories are
assessed both by accreditation bodies and by their peers. Therefore the IEC works closely
with the international accreditation network in order to reduce costs for all stakeholders
in conformity assessment. Close cooperation relieves any duplication burden on business
whilst enhancing the assessment process overall.
Don Gray, Vice President
ISO’s orientation is guided by a Strategic Plan approved for a five-year period by the ISO members. The ISO members, ultimate representatives of ISO for their own countries, are divided in three categories: member bodies (full members), correspondent members and subscriber members. Only member bodies have the right to vote.
The General Assembly, which meets annually, consists of a meeting of the Principal Officers of ISO and delegates nominated by the member bodies. Correspondent members and subscriber members may attend as observers. The Principal Officers include the President who is a prominent figure in standardization or in business, the Vice President (policy), the Vice President (technical management), the Treasurer, and the Secretary-General. The General Assembly’s agenda includes, inter alia, actions related to the ISO annual report, the Strategic Plan with financial implications, and the Treasurer’s annual financial status report on the ISO Central Secretariat.
The ISO Statutes stipulate that, while the General Assembly is the ultimate authority of the Organization, most of the governance functions of ISO are performed by the Council in accordance with the policy laid down by the member bodies. The Council meets twice a year and its membership is rotated to ensure that it is representative of ISO’s membership. All member bodies are eligible for appointment/election to the Council. Under the Council, there are a number of policy development committees to provide strategic guidance for the standards’ development work on cross-sectoral aspects. They are: CASCO (conformity assessment); COPOLCO (consumer policy), and DEVCO (developing country matters). The policy development committees are open to all member bodies and correspondent members.
The Technical Management Board (TMB) reports to Council, and is itself responsible for the overall management of the technical work, including for a number of strategic and technical advisory groups. Member bodies are eligible for appointment/election to the TMB in accordance with a set of criteria established by the Council.
Operations are managed by the Secretary-General (chief executive officer) who reports to the Council. The Secretary-General is based at the ISO Central Secretariat in Geneva (Switzerland) with a compact staff which provides administrative and technical support to the ISO members, coordinates the decentralized standards’ development programme, and publishes the output. The ISO Central Secretariat also acts as the secretariat of the governing bodies, policy development committees and their subsidiary bodies.