Presentation on theme: "ISO History (brief) and basic facts You would never know how much this affects your life."— Presentation transcript:
ISO History (brief) and basic facts You would never know how much this affects your life
In the beginning…. ISA-International Federation of the National Standardizing Associations, established in New York, 1926 and administered from Switzerland. UNSCC-United Nations Standards Coordinating Committee, established 1944 and administered from London. ISO-International Organization for Standardization (from Greek word “isos” for equal), formed October 14-26, 1946 in London by joining ISA and UNSCC.
ISA did not fulfill early expectations but….. ISA was primarily a “metric” organization for continental Europe, although Britain joined in the 1930’s. The organizational structure of ISA served as a template for ISO. Many (early) ISO statutes and procedures were adopted from ISA. Most of the 67 Technical Committees (these are the guys who really run the important things) which ISO set up in 1947 were originally ISA committees.
UNSCC The UNSCC was formed in 1944 by the U.S., Britain and Canada to bring the benefits of standardization to the war effort and later reconstruction. Continental countries joined as they were liberated. UNSCC was administered out of the offices of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in London. IEC founded in 1908.
What is “Standardization” and what is it for? The first things to consider are things that are important in the context of world trade. Measurement Systems: How are things measured? For us it is primarily the Quality Characteristic of interest. How are things transported? What is a “container”? How do you standardize processes and procedures? For us it is the QMS.
So at the time…. ISA was “mothballed” in Geneva during the war (at the time it was basically run by Mr. Huber-Ruf, a Swiss engineer who ran it out of his house with his family). UNSCC was active but “immature” in the sense that there was not a mature administrative structure in place. As the war ended, there was a need for reconstruction and trade (“make trade not war” $$$$$$).
The right time and place for…. The Secretary of the IEC during the Second World War was a British engineer, Charles Le Maistre. He was “…very much the gentleman. Very diplomatic. He knew everybody.”,etc. Yeah, ok, he got the job at UNSCC. He knew about the ISA and asked them if they would like to join. So in October 1946, he “opportunistically” convened a meeting of the UNSCC in Paris at the same time the ISA was meeting there. They reconvened both organizational meetings in the same location in Paris, dissolved the UNSCC as soon as ISO became operational (the ISA decided they were no longer functional as of 1942) and ISO was born.
Details, details….. They argued about a name (of course). But ISO was chosen. ISO is short, catchy (at least as far as technical types are concerned), Greek for “equal”, and they did want to operate by some sort of consensus. Official languages: French and English were the international languages of the time (BTW, Le Maistre spoke both) so they were chosen. The Soviets also wanted Russian and volunteered to do all of the translating. The Soviets wanted “no distinction between Russian, English and French” so this was conceded (as long as nobody knew what this was supposed to mean).
Location, location, location…. Paris, Montreal, Geneva and other cities were proposed for the location of the headquarters. After a number of votes, Geneva was chosen by a one vote majority. Geneva is still the central location and all official documents are published in English and French (as well as other languages depending upon the document).