#1 Full-Form of ISO
The most common full form of ISO is the International Organization for Standardization. It is an organization that sets standards of various disciplines and objects used around the world.
Representatives from various standard organizations form the ISO and have a job of developing, interpreting, promulgating, amending, or producing technical standards for people to use around the world. It was established on 23rd February 1947 and has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
What is the Standards Organization?
A Standards Organization is a body that looks after and takes care of producing, amending, promulgating, enforcing, coordinating and developing the various aspects of technical, commercial and industrial standards to be used by the adopters of the standards. In the case of a country’s standard organization, its job is to make sure of the aforementioned tasks within the country.
For Nepal, the job is done by the Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metro logy (NBSM) working under the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies. In 1974 with the advent of the government’s Industrial Policy, industrial development in the country was felt needed which required quality production to be made sure by a body to oversee the quality control and appropriate standards.
As a result, a body for the management of standards in Nepal needed to be established. Under the chairmanship of the vice-chairman of National Planning Commission, Nepal Quality Standardization Committee was formed along with the secretariat to the committee called Nepal Institute of Standards (NIS) in 1976.
National rules and guidelines for the standardization of various sectors were done by the NIS following its establishment. In the coming years Nepal Standards (Certification Mark) Act 2037 and Rules 2040 were promulgated.
In 1981 the Nepal Institute of Standards was restructured and then renamed into Nepal Bureau of Standards working under the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies. Nepal Council for Standards was also formed under “Nepal Standard (Certification Mark) Act 2037” to oversee the quality, standards, testing and metro logy activities in Nepal.
Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metro logy (NBSM) is a member body of ISO. ISO has 163 national members who work together to set international standards.
Similar to the NBSM of Nepal there is British Standards Institution (BSI) for the UK, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for Indian, and other such bodies for various other countries. The oldest standards organization was the Engineering Standards Committee established in 1901 in London. It was later expanded into the British Standards Institution.
Understanding ISO certifications
Most commonly in Nepal, we are used to seeing company and production certifications given to companies and production industries by the ISO. Generally, ISO 9000 certifications are given.
ISO 9000 is a quality management system standard that ensures that the company meets certain requirements. The requirements include the quality of production, meeting the expectations of the customers and stakeholders of the company, consistent and good production and alike. This can be summarized by the seven quality management principles (QMP) of the ISO 9000 series as given below:
- Customer Focus : The company needs to keep in mind the needs and requirements of the customers at all times and must put their customers first.
- Leadership : The leaders or managers of the company must create an environment in which the workers can work freely and happily with a focus on achieving the company’s goal.
- Engagement of People : A company consists of people at different roles from managers to general workers. People at all levels of the company must be fully involved to take the company forward.
- Process Approach : The company’s goal is better achieved ( more efficiently and more economically) when the work is done is a well-managed and organized manner.Such systematic process approach is crucial for a company.
- Improvement : The company should set high standards and expectations from itself. Keeping the customers in mind and also trying to make the company better all the time. No room for improvement must ever be wasted,
- Evidence-based decision making : Whenever a decision is to be made within a company, the decision must be based on facts and data rather than assumptions. This not only makes the company better for the workers but for the customers alike.
- Relationship management : A company must have an excellent relationship with all of its partners (suppliers, distributors, etc). A company cannot function well all on its own, so there must be a good and healthy relationship with the partners.
When a company feels like it can meet all of the above requirements, it can apply to be ISO certified. The certification ensures all requirements have been met properly and the company holds a good enough standard to warrant a certification.
The certification can be given by various certification bodies which look at and audit the company to make sure of the requirements. In Nepal, organizations that provide certifications include National Certification and Management Nepal Pvt. Ltd. (NATCM Nepal), Universal Quality Standards Registrar (UQSR.), United Registrar of Systems (URS), etc.
The ISO 9000 series has had 5 versions : 1987, 1994, 2000, 2008, 2015
The ISO 9000:2015 being the latest is currently in effect and has the following contents:
Section 1: Scope
Section 2: Normative references
Section 3: Terms and definitions
Section 4: Context of the organization
Section 5: Leadership
Section 6: Planning
Section 7: Support
Section 8: Operation
Section 9: Performance evaluation
Section 10: Continual Improvement
These can be viewed in detail in the 30-page document about ISO 9000:2015.
Why should you care about standards?
As a customer of any company, you expect the absolute best for the price you pay. One way of ensuring that the company is being honest with you is with the standardization certification. A company has to be well managed and needs to put the needs of its customers first among other things to get a certification.
So, a certified company can be trusted more than an unfortified company. The purpose of these certifications is to ensure that companies are honest to their customers and hold themselves to a high standard which is ultimately beneficial to you, the customer. In Nepal, the role of standards maintenance is played by Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metro logy (NBSM).
Membership of ISO
The ISO has member countries which mostly have their own national standardization bodies. They work together to bring a common standard around the world. Currently, the ISO has 164 members, across three membership categories:
- Member Bodies : Only the member bodies have voting rights in the ISO. These members are the representative standards bodies from the countries. At present, there are 121 member bodies. Nepal is also an Iso member body with the national standardization body of Nepal being Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM).
- Correspondent members : These members don’t have standardization bodies within their countries so they don’t have voting rights. They are, however, informed about any changes that take place in the ISO. There are currently 39 correspondent members.
- Subscriber members : These are the member countries with small economies and are charged with reduced membership fees. These members too cannot vote but are informed about the changes. Currently, there are 4 subscriber members.
#2 Full form of ISO #2
ISO means something completely different than the International Organization for Standardization in the world of photography. While the letter for letter full form does not exist, ISO of photography is used to define the sensitivity of a film to light.
ISO numbers are used in modern photography to represent how the image will turn out in the brightness and detail aspect of photography. Higher the ISO number, higher is the sensitivity of the film (or in today’s world, of the digital sensor) to light.
ISO was the term used when photos were taken in a film rather than digital cameras. The ISO number used to show how the film will respond to light. ISO is a sensitivity rating of the film to light. So, a film of ISO 100 will be less sensitive to the same amount of light than a film of ISO 1000. This is because the low ISO films and high ISO film are manufactured physically different.
The film is made with light-sensitive layers of crystals of silver halide. Low ISO films have layers of the crystals finer. Finer crystal grains of light-sensitive silver halide results in less sensitivity of the film altogether to light. High ISO films, on the other hand, have the crystals larger and more coarse grain is seen. This means, larger crystals are more sensitive to the incoming light.
In digital photography, films are not used. So the physical nature of the crystals and the film is not applicable to them. Image sensors are used that do not behave in the same way to the silver halide crystals to light. So, in digital photography, ISO means something different – applied gain.
Applied gain refers to the process done by digital cameras after the picture has been taken. The camera sensor captures an image when the shutter button is pressed which causes the light the hit the sensor. The sensor then reacts to the photons of light hitting it and creates a digital image.
This image created by the sensor without any alteration done to it is known as a raw image. The digital camera now processes the raw image according to the setting selected by the user. The processing includes ISO as well. When the user has selected a higher ISO value, the camera will make the image brighter by increasing the brightness of individual pixels by a factor. The factor of increase is determined by the ISO number.
The camera has a default ISO of 100 at which the raw image is captured. If the user has selected the ISO to be ISO 300, the camera will still capture the raw image at ISO 100 but will later process the image such that every pixel is bumped up in brightness by a factor of 3 to get the desired ISO 300. This increased ISO comes at a price though. While the image will be brighter, that bump up in brightness will result in the loss of image quality and clarity, which is undesirable.
Using ISO to your benefit
It should be noted that ISO isn’t the only thing that governs the image brightness. Other factors include aperture and shutter speed.
Aperture is the opening that allows the light the hit the sensor. A wide aperture means more light will hit the sensor and the image will be brighter for the same ISO with a small aperture. Setting aperture according to usage is a good idea. The camera settings must have the desired aperture setting for usage including for tripod and handheld shots.
The next factor is the shutter speed. Shutter speed determines the time for which the light will be allowed to hit the sensor. Faster the shutter speed, less time the light hits the sensor and hence the detail of the image might be low. But high shutter speed introduces motion blur. Since light hits the sensor for longer, a moving subject might appear to be blur when the shutter speed is slow.
Motion blur is caused when the subject of the image is moving too quickly. When the shutter speed is slow and the subject is in motion, light from the same part of the subject will hit the sensor at different places causing the same part to be captured multiple times. This is motion blur.
So, for capturing normal daylight shots, the automatic settings will be great. For capturing shots in less light, like a sunset, the aperture needs to be a little wide and the shutter speed a little slow so that light can hit the sensor for a long time creating a better image. In case of low shutter speed though, motion blur should always be taken care of.
While capturing fast-moving objects like vehicles or animals, the shutter speed must be fast. This will ensure that light only hits the sensor for a small amount of time creating a crisp image with no motion blur.