ISO Show

#161 What trends are in the top 10 ISO Standards?


ISO Standards are internationally recognised as the gold standard for best practice within a variety of subjects and sectors.

But what ISO Standards are the most popular across the whole globe? And are there any trends that can be gleaned?

Thankfully, the International Standards Organization runs a yearly survey to find out!

Join Mel in this weeks’ episode as she breaks down the top 10 ISO Standards Implemented globally, where they are most popular and identifies key trends.

You’ll learn

  • What are the top 10 Implemented ISO Standards?
  • What Standards are gaining traction?
  • Where are the top 10 Standards most popular?
  • Are there any trends within the top 10 Implemented ISO Standards?


In this episode, we talk about:

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[01:10] Episode summary – We’ll be taking a look at the top 10 most popular ISO Standards based on the ISO Survey, run annually by The survey results break down the number of ISO Certificates issued, and highlights which countries and sectors these Standards are most popular in.

We’re basing this episode on the 2022 results, as the 2023 results won’t be out until later this year. We’ll do another episode on the 2023 results to see what’s changed – so keep an eye out for that!

[02:14] #1: ISO 9001 – No surprises here! The Quality Management Standard is still top of the pops. It’s holding strong with a 12% increase based on the previous year.

It’s most popular within the Construction, wholesale & retail, electrical, machinery & equipment sectors.

China is in the lead with number of certificates issues (by a very large margin!), followed by Italy, India, Germany and the UK.

[03:30] #2: ISO 14001 – We’re happy to see the Environmental Management Standard so popular! In fact, it’s had a 21% increase over the previous year!

It’s most popular in China, Japan, Italy, UK and Spain.

Construction is the leading sector, but we’ve also seen an increase in the number of professional services choosing to adopt this Standard.

[04:15] #3: ISO 45001: Coming in at #3 we have the Occupational Health & Safety Management Standard. This has seen an even bigger increase in demand, 29% more than the previous year.

China still leads the way with number of certificates issued, but the UK and Australia are not far behind.

Interestingly, there is little uptake within the Agriculture sector, which is concerning considering they consistently have the highest injury and death statistics year on year (in the UK according to the annual HSE reports).

[05:25] #4: ISO 27001 –  The Information Security Management Standard comes in at #4, with a 21% increase in demand over the previous year.

Unsurprisingly, it’s increased primarily in the IT sector, but that’s followed by transport, storage and communications, along with financial services and real estate / renting.

[06:00] #5: ISO 22000 – The Standard for Food Safety Management makes it into the top 10, with it being more popular in Taiwan and Greece.

The sector specific information for this particular Standard is slim, but it’s applicable to any organisation involved in the making, packing and distribution of food, as well as organisations in the hospitality sector.

[06:30] #6: ISO 13485 – This is the Standard for Medical Devices. The USA are leading the way with certificates issued, followed by France, Germany and Italy.

We’re pleased to see that none of these ISO Standards are in any decline, and only seem to be increasing in popularity as the years go by.

[07:20] #7: ISO 50001 – This is the Standard for Energy Management, if you’d like to learn more about this Standard, check out a few of our previous episodes.

ISO 50001 has seen a 33% increase in demand, which is amazing to see! We hope this is a sign of more organisations taking climate change seriously, and taking the appropriate steps to start reducing their impact.

China is still in the lead where number of certificates issued is concerned, followed by Germany, Spain, Italy and France.  

[08:25] #8: ISO 20000 – The Service Management Standard is still very popular within countries where we see a lot of call center activity.

This used to be known as the ‘IT Service Management Standard’, but it has since evolved and encompasses Service Management as a whole. We did a podcast episode covering this Standard in 2023, so go back and listen if you’d like to find out more.

No surprises to see China still in the lead with number of certificates issued, followed by USA, India, Italy and Spain.

[09:15] #9: ISO 37001 – This one was a surprise, ISO 37001 is the Anti-Bribery Standard.

Blackmores have implemented this Standard in the Construction and Facilities Management sectors, but it’s a shock to see it in the top 10 as it’s always been very niche here in the UK.

This particular Standard is most popular in Peru, followed by Italy, Indonesia, Korea and Brazil.

We were curious about why Peru were in the lead, and it seems that there may be a requirement for certain organisations to have this. Back in 2017, we knew there was a voluntary requirement, but perhaps this has changed in the last few years. If we have any listeners in Peru – we’d love to hear your feedback on this subject!

[10:35] #10: ISO 22301 – The Business Continuity Standard. This Standard is most popular in the UK, and based on our experience, it’s commonly adopted by those in the professional services and IT managed services sectors to help provide resilience and continuity for their Stakeholders.

Other countries where it’s popular include India, China, Greece and Korea.

[11:20] The runners up – These Standards didn’t make it to the top 10, but they were very close:

[12:10] Conclusions – It’s clear to see that sustainability based Standards are becoming very popular. We’re particularly pleased to see the 33% increase in demand for ISO 50001!

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