Technical Articles

Is ISO the same as IEC?


In the world of technical standards, ISO and IEC are two widely recognized organizations that play crucial roles in setting global standards. Many people often confuse ISO (International Organization for Standardization) with IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) or assume that they are the same entity. In this article, we will dive into the similarities and differences between ISO and IEC, shedding light on their individual contributions to various industries.

ISO: Setting Global Standards

ISO, founded in 1947, is an independent organization that aims to develop and publish international standards across various disciplines. It brings together experts from different countries to create a consensus on best practices, specifications, and guidelines. ISO standards cover a broad range of areas, including technology, healthcare, manufacturing, services, and more. These standards ensure compatibility, efficiency, safety, and quality in products, processes, and services worldwide.

IEC: Focusing on Electrotechnology and Electronics

IEC, established in 1906, specializes in standards related to electrotechnology, electronics, and similar fields. It collaborates with industry leaders, governments, and international organizations to promote innovation, safety, and compatibility in the electrical and electronic sectors. The IEC's publications encompass a wide spectrum of areas, such as power generation, renewable energy, communication systems, consumer electronics, and much more.

Key Similarities and Differences

While ISO and IEC are separate entities, they do share some commonalities. Both organizations aim to establish global consensus on standards and facilitate international collaboration. Additionally, ISO and IEC both promote interoperability, compatibility, and safety in products, systems, and services.

However, there are fundamental differences between the two. ISO develops standards for various industries and sectors, whereas IEC focuses more specifically on electrical and electronic technologies. ISO's standards are typically applicable to a wide array of fields, while IEC specializes in electrotechnology-related standardization.


In conclusion, although ISO and IEC share similar goals of setting global standards, they serve different purposes within the technical community. ISO's standards encompass a broader range of industries, ensuring compatibility and quality across sectors, while IEC concentrates specifically on electrotechnology and electronics. By collaborating with experts and organizations worldwide, both ISO and IEC contribute significantly to the advancement of technology, safety, and innovation.

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