MB012- Project Management Standard Committee

ISO International Standards Process


Note that the references in brackets refer to the ISO/IEC Directives Part 1

Stage 1 - Proposal (M1 to M6)

•  (2.1.6) Time available is 6 months

•  A member of ISO sends a proposal to ISO for a new project.

NOTE : Any member, typically a national standards body, can send a proposal to ISO however they must be able to designate what national body will be responsible for the secretarial role.

•  Proposal is sent by ISO to all member bodies for voting giving them 3 months to respond.

•  (1.5.7) ISO TMB will either form a new Committee or create a new project under an existing committee if 2/3rds of responses are in favour of the proposal and at least 5 of the respondents agree to participate in the project. •  Stage 1 ends when ISO advises that the project has been accepted and the working draft (WD) is made available to participating members.

Stage 2 - Preparatory - Working Draft (WD) (M7 to M12)

•  (2.1.6) Total time available is 6 months

•  In this time period the inaugural meeting of the international committee is held

NOTE : The working draft is often an existing national standard related to the topic matter that can provide a starting point for committee deliberations

•  Stage 2 ends when a committee draft (CD) is circulated to the Committee

Stage 3 - Committee Draft (CD) (M13 to M24)

•  (2.1.6) Time available is 12 months

•  (2.5.2) Members have 3 months to provide comment on the CD from date of circulation

•  Secretariat to circulate comments within 4 weeks of date of circulation

NOTE : This is the most important stage of development as the process requires that all comments from participants must be evaluated and considered. This is where most of the hard work is done.

•  Stage 3 ends when all technical issues are resolved and the draft has been registered by ISO as a Draft International Standard (DIS).

Stage 4 - Enquiry Draft (DIS) (M25 to M33)

•  (2.1.6) Time available is 9 months

•  Draft (DIS) is circulated to members within 4 weeks of registration for a 5 month voting period.

•  (2.6.2) A member may cast a negative vote but for it to be accepted it must be accompanied by technical reasons justifying the vote.


  1. "Technical reasons" are those that IF content in the draft is changed then the member body can change their vote to the affirmative.
  2. The vote is for the suitability of the draft as an International Standard not as a national standard.

•  The DIS is approved if 2/3 of votes are in favour and no more than ¼ of votes are negative.

•  (2.6.5) ISO to circulate a report on the results of the vote within 3 months of ballot closure.

•  (2.6.6) Secretariat to prepare the final text for the draft and forward it to ISO for registration within 4 months from the end of the ballot period.  

NOTE : At this late stage only minor changes are made to the DIS as all P members have had the opportunity to argue their case in Stage 3 CD.

•  (2.6.8) Stage 4 ends when ISO registers the draft as a Final Draft International Standard (FDIS).

Stage 5 - Approval (FDIS) (M34 to M35)

•  (2.1.6) Time available 3 months.

•  ISO to circulate the FDIS to members for a 2 month vote period.

•  Members must submit technical reasons if they are voting negatively.


•  Comments accompanying negative votes are carried forward to when the International Standard is reviewed

•  Voting for a FDIS does NOT mean that a standards body (such as Standards Australia ) has to automatically adopt/adapt it in their home country

•  The DIS is approved if 2/3 of votes are in favour and no more than ¼ of votes are negative.

•  ISO will submit a report to members, within 2 weeks of the end of the ballot period, on voting.

•  Stage 5 ends with the circulation of the report advising that the document will go to publication.

Stage 6 - Publication (M36)

•  ISO publishes the International Standard.



Standards Australia Project Manager
Eddie McGuire
Email: Eddie.McGuire@standards.org.au
P +61 2 9237 6035