A convenient, interactive online tutorial is available from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), explaining what consumers can gain from international Standards and how Standards benefit from consumer input.
The Consumers and Standards tutorial focuses on Standards produced by ISO and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and their national members. It is a basic training module in consumer participation, which can be completed in approximately four to five hours, and it is possible to do it in several sessions.
The tutorial on consumers and standardisation is designed to be used by representatives of consumer organisations, Standards bodies, or other types of organisation, both from developing and developed countries. It will be useful for:
- any person who is relatively new to the world of standardisation and consumer policy
- seasoned professionals from consumer organisations and Standards bodies, as a review of concepts and a repository of ideas and background sources.
ISO Secretary-General Rob Steele comments, 'Consumers are often the end users of goods and services influenced by ISO Standards. They value such characteristics as safety, quality, ease of use, and interoperability, which Standards help to ensure. For over 30 years, ISO has benefited from the views of consumer representatives who have identified new areas for standardisation and who have participated in technical committees producing Standards that influence consumer products. This tutorial will help both to broaden and intensify consumer participation in developing ISO Standards, by providing the basic tools and references needed to understand and take an active part in the partnership with ISO.'
The tutorial aims to:
- provide the user with a basic understanding of what Standards are and what they do
- explain how consumers can participate in Standards development and why they should do so
- demonstrate how adequate Standards can improve goods and services for consumers, using specific examples.
The tutorial covers the themes below.
- Standards in our world
- What are Standards and how do they help?
- National, regional, and international Standards and how they relate to regulatory regimes
- The ISO system and its partners
- How Standards are developed
- Reaching consensus
- ISO's actions and partners working for consumers
- How Standards benefit consumers
- Ensuring that consumers have their say in Standards-writing
- What are consumers' interests and how does ISO address them?
The tutorial contains a glossary of terms and definitions, selected useful reference materials, and a short description of these materials. Furthermore, the tutorial is easy to navigate, and text can be magnified for easy access by the visually impaired.
Access the Consumers and Standards tutorial at the ISO website. http://www.iso.org/sites/ConsumersStandards/index.htm