World Standards Day – October 14, 2021

World Standards Day, celebrated on October 14 every year, raises awareness about the need for the global standardization of products and its importance to the world economy. On this day, members of the International Electrotechnical Commission (I.E.C.), the International Telecommunication Union (I.T.U.), and the International Standards Organization (I.S.O.) pay tribute to the concerted efforts of thousands of experts around the globe who formulate the voluntary technical agreement (an agreement among countries, institutes, and people as to what a product or process is, what it should look like, and what it should do or accomplish) published as the International Standards.

History of World Standards Day

The history of World Standards Day goes back to a 1946 meeting in London, which birthed the creation of the International Organization for Standardization in the following years. On October 14 each year, the members of the I.E.C., I.S.O., I.T.U., other international standardization organizations, and people all around the world celebrate the collaborative efforts of experts, volunteers, and indeed all who engage in standardization activities worldwide, drawing people’s attention to the importance of written standards on the global economy.

As the world continues to experience rapid globalization, where markets in different corners are increasingly becoming open, national boundaries are disappearing, and new challenges are emerging, a technical standard applicable to all nations and people has become pertinent. In the U.S., World Standards Day is celebrated by the standardization community in Washington, D.C., where an exhibition event is held, with a reception and a dinner gala.

In other parts of the world, events are also held in respect of World Standards Day, including educational seminars and conferences and the usual World Standard Cooperation contest held each year to celebrate the day.

According to I.S.O., which merely acts as a conductor in an orchestra consisting of delegates from its member states, the process of adopting a proposal as part of the International standard begins from the development of a draft that meets a certain market need in a specific area. Once developed, members deliberate and then cast votes on the proposal. This process could take up to about three years.

World Standards Day timeline

1946
Delegates Meet in London

Delegates from 25 countries meet in London to discuss creating an international organization focused on fostering world standardization.

1947
I.S.O is Created

The international organization saddled with the regulatory and facilitating responsibility of standardization is created, as a result of the London meeting in the previous year.

1970
First World Standards Day

World Standards Day is first celebrated.

The 1980s
The Transition from Technical to Process Standards

After 40 years of developing technical standards for products and technologies, I.S.O. transitions to process standards, the first of which become known as the I.S.O. 9000 Quality Management system standards.

World Standards Day FAQs

What is the purpose of international standards?

The criteria it proposes ensure that materials, products, processes, services, systems, or persons are fit for their intended purpose.

How many international standards are there?

I.S.O. has published more than 22,700 standards for businesses.

What is QMS?

Quality Management System is a standardized system that documents processes, procedures, and responsibilities for achieving quality policies and objectives.

World Standards Day Activities

  1. Reflect on how standards help

    Think about how different international standards have improved your life. Most of us take standards for granted even when most of our everyday experiences wouldn’t be protected without them. Read about how international standards for products and services affect your life.

  2. Support national and international standards-making organizations

    Yes! Within the standards organizations, thousands of brilliant minds and stunning personalities work tirelessly to enact, revise and evolve policies that protect us. Support them in any way you can.

  3. Talk about standards on the internet

    Make a post about World Standards Day on social media. Talk about the interesting proposal for revision of certain standards you read about. Remember to use the hashtag #WorldStandardsDay.

5 Important Facts About The International Standards Organization

  1. I.S.A. a precursor of I.S.O.

    The organization that metamorphosed into I.S.O. started in 1926 as the International Federation of the National Standardization Association (I.S.A).

  2. The name is borrowed from Greek

    The name ‘I.S.O.’ is also derived from the Greek word 'isos,' meaning 'equal.'

  3. I.S.O.'s large membership

    The organization has members from 165 countries and more than 3,000 technical bodies responsible for developing standards.

  4. Headquartered in Geneva

    I.S.O. has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

  5. Largest developer of voluntary standards

    As an independent, non-governmental membership organization, I.S.O. stands as the world's largest developer of voluntary standards.

Why We Love World Standards Day

  1. It encourages the makers of standards

    Yes! It is important to encourage and honor the efforts of experts who are behind the standards that we enjoy. And World Standards Day helps us do just that.

  2. It helps to set international trade guidelines

    Picture what the world would look like where there are no international organizations making standards that help facilitate international trade.

  3. It helps the world to reflect

    World Standards Day helps the world to reflect on the standards that have had the most impact on us, from national to international standards.

World Standards Day dates

YearDateDay
2021October 14Thursday
2022October 14Friday
2023October 14Saturday
2024October 14Monday
2025October 14Tuesday

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.