Founded in 1906, the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) is the world’s leading organization for the preparation and publication of International Standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies which are collectively known as “electrotechnology.” Through its Conformity Assessment Board (CAB), the IEC also creates and operates conformity assessment (CA) systems. The IEC is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization that operates on an annual budget of approximately CHF 20 million and its membership comprises one National Committee per country which pays membership fees in order to participate fully in IEC work. Individuals participate in the IEC’s work through the National Committees.
IEC provides a platform to companies, industries and governments for meeting, discussing and developing the International Standards they require. Over 10,000 experts from industry, commerce, government, test and research labs, academia and consumer groups participate in IEC standardization work. The standards-development processes of IEC are built on a foundation of consensus, transparency, and are open to all national committees for participation.
The IEC is one of three global sister organizations (IEC, ISO, ITU) that develop International Standards for the world. When appropriate, IEC cooperates with ISO (International Organization for Standardization) or ITU (International Telecommunication Union) to ensure that International Standards fit together seamlessly and complement each other. Joint committees ensure that International Standards combine all relevant knowledge of experts working in related areas.
All IEC International Standards are fully consensus-based and represent the needs of key stakeholders of every nation participating in IEC work. Every member country, no matter how large or small, has one vote and a say in what goes into an IEC International Standard.
At present, the IEC comprises:
- 83 national committees, 84 affiliate countries
- 100 technical committees and 77 subcommittees
- 531 working groups, 240 project teams, 579 maintenance teams
- Total number of publications as of 12/31/15: 6,895 (including 6,148 international standards)
- Number of publications issued in 2015: 564 (including 480 international standards)
- Average development time for IEC publications in 2015: 32 months