Issue 31 – September 2011
World Standards Day is celebrated each year on 14 October to pay tribute to the efforts of the thousands of experts worldwide who collaborate with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and ITU (the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs) to develop Standards. These Standards facilitate trade, spread knowledge, and share technological advances. The theme for this year's World Standards Day on 14 October 2011 is 'International Standards – creating confidence globally'.
In today's world we need to have a high level of expectation that things will work the way we expect them to work. We expect that when we pick up the phone we will be able to instantly connect to any other phone on the planet. We expect to be able to connect to the internet and be provided with news and information… instantly. When we fall ill, we rely on the healthcare equipment used to treat us. When we drive our cars, we have confidence that the engine management, steering and braking, and child safety systems are reliable. We expect to be protected against electrical power failure and the harmful effects of pollution.
International Standards create this confidence by being developed in an environment of openness and transparency, where every stakeholder can contribute. Systems, products, and services perform as we expect them to because of the essential features specified in international Standards. It is the stated aim of the World Standards Cooperation (WSC) partners – the IEC, ISO, and ITU – facilitate this confidence globally, so as to connect the world with international Standards.
International Standards for products and services underpin quality, ecology, safety, reliability, interoperability, efficiency, and effectiveness. They do all of this while giving manufacturers confidence in their ability to reach out to global markets safe in the knowledge that their product will perform globally. Interoperability creates economies of scale and ensures users can obtain equal service wherever they travel. So, international Standards benefit consumers, manufacturers, and service providers alike. Importantly, in developing countries this accelerates the deployment of new products and services and encourages economic development.