Technical Articles

Is ISO same as IEC?

In the world of technical standards and certifications, two commonly used acronyms stand out: ISO and IEC. Although they may seem similar, they actually represent two distinct organizations with different focuses and objectives. In this article, we will explore the differences between ISO and IEC and shed light on their individual roles in standardization.

ISO - International Organization for Standardization

ISO, which stands for the International Organization for Standardization, is an independent non-governmental organization that develops and publishes international standards. It brings together experts from various fields to create consensus-based global standards in areas such as technology, health, safety, and security. ISO standards ensure that products, services, and processes are safe, reliable, and of good quality.

IEC - International Electrotechnical Commission

The International Electrotechnical Commission, known as IEC, is another international standardization organization. Unlike ISO, IEC focuses primarily on standards related to electrical, electronic, and related technologies. Its standards cover a wide range of areas, including power generation, transmission, distribution, renewable energy, electronics, and telecommunications. IEC's work plays a crucial role in promoting global compatibility and interoperability in the field of electrotechnology.

Different Objectives, But Collaborative Efforts

Although ISO and IEC have different objectives and areas of expertise, they often collaborate and align their standards to ensure consistency and compatibility. This collaboration is especially important in sectors where their respective domains overlap. For example, ISO/IEC 17025 establishes the general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, integrating both organizations' expertise in testing and measurement.

Furthermore, ISO and IEC share similar practices in developing standards. Both organizations follow a consensus-based approach, involving stakeholders from different countries and industries. This ensures that the resulting standards are widely accepted and representative of global needs. Additionally, ISO and IEC also engage in the mutual adoption and referencing of each other's standards to enhance harmonization.


In conclusion, while ISO and IEC are both international standardization organizations, they have different focuses and areas of expertise. ISO concentrates on global standards across various fields, whereas IEC specializes in electrical and electronic technologies. Despite their differences, ISO and IEC work together to ensure compatibility and consistency, demonstrating their commitment to promoting safety, quality, and interoperability in both industrial and consumer sectors.



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