Each national standards body manages its own collection of standards and has
access to the collections of other institutes. It places this collection at the
disposal of the economic players and proposes a range of services. These may
free information tools or services for identifying standards or for announcing
new standards: catalogues, newsletters, Web servers, etc.;
chargeable services for access to the normative texts in different forms:
subscription, hardcopy form, CD-ROM, etc.;
notification or subscription services for regular information;
technical assistance, including to exporters.
To facilitate access to standards information and services,
WSSN maintains direct links to the Web sites of organizations in the
A world map with listing of the above sites by region and by country is also
In turn, the national members of ISO and IEC maintain links to related national
organizations and, where applicable, to national standards-related networks,
such as NSSN (a resource for US, international and regional standards
information in the USA, accessible through the Web site of ANSI - American
National Standards Institute), SISC (Standards Information Service of Canada,
accessible through the Web site of SCC - Standards Council of Canada), etc.
The WSSN structured index provides a means of easy access to specific pages of
the Web sites of WSSN members, such as contact information, catalogues, etc.
Information about organizations falling into the above categories which do not
have Web sites may be obtained as follows:
International standardizing bodies - the ISO/IEC Directory of international
standardizing bodies contains information on some 45 international bodies with
recognized standardization activities. Available from national members of ISO.
National members of ISO
National committees of IEC
ISO and IEC Web sites
ISO and IEC Web sites provide detailed information on activities of these
organizations and their products and services including general information
about the organizations, information on membership and technical committees,
technical programmes of work, catalogues of international standards and
publications, access to standards and publications, information on new
developments in standardization and related areas, etc.
ISODOC server is designed for access to ISO working documents, in PDF
format, related to the activities of the ISO General Assembly, Council, policy
development committees (CASCO, COPOLCO and DEVCO), TMB, their groups and ITSIG.
Access to the server is password protected and is reserved for ISO members and
the ISO Central Secretariat. The original access to ISODOC is provided via ISO
Online. However, for the convenience of the staff members of the national
standards organization, it is also provided via the home page of this Web site.
Other sources of information
ISONET: the information centres of a number of national standards bodies,
regional standardizing bodies and international standardizing bodies cooperate
within the framework of ISONET, the ISO Information Network. ISONET is an
agreement between standardizing bodies to combine their efforts in order to
make information on standards, technical regulations and related matters
readily available whenever it is required. ISONET members agree to share
experience and exchange information as required with each other, enabling
information about foreign national standards and regulations to be obtained
through the local ISONET member. Contact information for ISONET members and
information on the services they provide is given in the
WTO TBT and WTO SPS enquiry points: these WTO Agreements* foresee the
establishment of national enquiry points to provide information and assistance
about relevant technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment
procedures. For countries where there is an ISONET member, contact information
for relevant WTO TBT and WTO SPS national enquiry points is included in the
ISONET Directory. Complete listings of WTO TBT and WTO SPS national enquiry
points are maintained by the WTO.
* WTO TBT: World Trade Organization Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade;
WTO SPS: World Trade Organization Agreement on Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary
Free versus chargeable information services
Depending on the type of information being sought, the response provided may be
free or may enter into the framework of a chargeable service.
As a rule, information on standardization and certification systems, the
identification of information concerning the standards, products and services
offered by each member of WSSN will be free. Similarly, the catalogue service
of WSSN members, allowing identification of the references of standards in
force in each country and the document ordering service will also usually be
offered free of charge.
The publications of the standards bodies (standards, handbooks, hardcopy
catalogues, etc.) are chargeable, and each body has its own tariffs.
The document services (databank, normative watch service in hardcopy form,
CD-ROM and online services, added-value services) will also be chargeable.
International Classification for Standards
Inasmuch as an ever-growing number of standards catalogues are structured in
accordance with the ICS, the users of standards benefit from a common access
key to many of the standards collections of the world. Users have a more
comprehensive view over their fields of interest thanks to a multiple
classification of the standards and are better guided in their search. ICS
comprises 40 fields, subdivided into 389 groups, 133
of the 389 groups further subdivided into 879 subgroups.