The ISO brand has several features that characterize the development process and nature of its standards. Some of these features have been enumerated below:
1. Democratic: Every member of the ISO is entitled to participate in the developmental procedure of all standards that are considered important by the member for the economy of its country. Regardless of the strength or size of that country’s economy, every member of the ISO has a vote. Thus, every country has an equal footing in terms of being able to influence the practical content of ISO’s individual standards as well as the course of ISO’s efforts at a strategic level
2. Market-driven: ISO develops only those standards that have some market requirement. Thus, most work is performed under the surveillance of professionals from the technical, business, and industrial sectors which require standards, and which are subsequently going to put them into practice.
3. Voluntary: ISO resembles a non-governmental organization in that it has no lawful authority to impose its standards. It does not legislate or regulate. However, nations may decide to accept ISO standards – mostly those concerning health, environment, or safety – either as policies or use them for providing a technical basis to the legislation.
4. Globally Relevant: ISO standards can be considered technical agreements that offer a framework for technology that is compatible all over the world. Thus, they have been specifically planned to be useful everywhere i.e. be globally applicable.
5. Consensus: ISO standards have been developed after obtaining international consensus from experts in every field. Like technology, consensus also continues to evolve and hence, ISO takes both into consideration – the evolving interests and evolving technology by taking a periodic evaluation of all its standards every five years in order to plan whether they must be updated, withdrawn, or maintained.