ISO and social policy: a controversial trend

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Eckhard Metze, Head of the Employers’ Bureau in the Secretariat of the KAN and Vice-President of the DIN standardization committee on “Organizational Processes”, denounces the fact that the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is increasingly working on subjects of social and societal policy.

Since its creation in 1946, ISO says that it has produced more than 20,000 standards, mostly technical standards. These standards are important to ensure that the quality of technical products and services proposed is similar throughout the world. Moreover, technical standards contribute to the fact that these products are designed to offer a maximum of safety, both for consumers and for professional users.

But, in the past few years, ISO has launched standardization projects relating to subjects of social/societal policy, “which are clearly the responsibility of the legislator, the accident insurance organizations or the social partners” and “which have precisely nothing to do with conventional technical standardization”. Moreover, according to Mr Metze, “such ISO standards suggest substantial pressure in terms of certification”.

Read KanBrief 3/2016

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