ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 157 countries, on the basis of one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system. ISO is a non-governmental organization: its members are not, as is the case in the United Nations system, delegations of national governments. Nevertheless, ISO occupies a special position between the public and private sectors. This is because, on the one hand, many of its member institutes are part of the governmental structure of their countries, or are mandated by their government. On the other hand, other members have their roots uniquely in the private sector, having been set up by national partnerships of industry associations.
ISO 9000 Standards: this is a set of quality standards developed in 1987 by the International Organization for Standardization. The three major areas of certification are as follows:
ISO 9002: covers everything except design and development.
ISO 9001: covers all the processes of a company from design and development to procurement, production, testing, installation and service.
ISO 9003: covers only inspection and testing.