Your bitesize guide to ISO terminology

Get a bit lost in the jargon? Get a bit confused between FDIS and ICE Directive? Worry no more because we have a bite-size guide to the common terminology used in ISO standards.




This is the Conformity Assessment Committee, the body responsible for conformity assessment standards.


ISO does not perform certification; therefore, certification is an independent body that gives assurance a product, service or system meets the requirement of a standard.

Code of conduct

Followed by people involved in ISO work, this is a set of principles that concerns ethics, practice and so on.


This is a published report from the International Standards Organisation. It can be an International Standard, a Technical Report, an International Workshop Agreement or a specification or guide that is publicly available.


This is a Final Draft International Standard and is a standard that has passed through the rigorous design and creation process. It is nearly a full-blown standard or revised standard that needs to be ratified by the working committee.

Global relevance

This is a policy stating that every ISO must be accessible and able to be used as broadly as possible by affected industries across the globe. Only projects that meet this requirement will be accepted

Living Lab

This is an ISO initiative through which different ideas can be tried out. The aim is to ultimately improve not only the standards and products ISO create, but also the process by which they are created too.


This is the web tool of ISO called the Online Browsing Platform. It can be used to access the standards, as well as other important tools such as symbols, glossaries and so on.

Project stage

This refers to the stage of a project’s development and can be split into;

  • Preliminary stage = Preliminary work item (PWI)
  • Proposal stage = New work item proposal (NP)
  • Preparatory stage = Approved work item (AWI) until there is a Working Draft (WD)
  • Committee stage = Committee draft (CD)
  • Enquiry stage = Enquiry draft (ISO/DIS)
  • Approval stage = Final Draft International Standard (ISO/FDIS)
  • Publication stage = International Standard (ISO)


A Standards Development Organisation is an organisation of which the main purpose is to develop, coordinate or issue mandatory or voluntary technical standards.


A UK-based consultancy company with many years’ experience of partnering with companies and organisations in their pursuit of an ISO standard that will propel their business onto the national, European or even the global trade stage.


A Task Force is a group set up to act on future plans and standards or to develop ideas in identified areas and so on. For example, a task force may look at the future global harmonisation of ISOs.

Vienna Agreement

This is an agreement between the ISO and CEN (European Committee for Standardisation)

to share information, attend each other’s meetings and collaborate on standards at both international and European level.

Are there more pieces of jargon or terminology surrounding ISO that you don’t understand?

How can we help you?

If you are in need of assistance with any aspect of ISO or GDPR compliance, here at Synergos we’d be delighted to help. Whether you have questions about the path to compliance or are looking for advice and support to maintain compliance, call 01484 666160 or Email and we’ll be happy to talk it over with you.


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Jenny Kilburn
Jenny Kilburn
Completed my Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in 2012 I was looking to start my own business. With over 10 years improving and streamlining business systems, I grasped an opportunity to assist a local business to improve their quality and communication processes by researching the requirements of a quality management system based upon ISO 9001 and conducted my first internal audit that resulted in 97 improvement recommendations. After a successful outcome, I was recommended again and again with glowing reviews and in February 2014, Synergos Consultancy was born. I now have the role of regularly reviewing and planning the strategic direction of the business to ensure that Synergos continues to develop, whilst at the same time, still actively working closely with some of our clients. In my spare time I love to attend the theatre to watch musicals, dance productions and plays. In 2019, I attended the theatre a whopping 24 times. I follow a plant-based diet which I absolutely love. A keen tick-tock follower, I have picked up a lot of interesting recipes. A firm favourite is Brussel sprouts and sriracha sauce baked in the oven. Delicious!
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