The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a network of national standards bodies (‘Member Bodies’) working in partnership with international organizations, governments, industry, business and consumer representatives. It is a bridge between public and private sectors.
Standards and associated documents are developed through over 200 Technical Committees (TC), each representing a specific sector of activity. The technical work of developing standards within each TC is carried out by a Sub-committee (SC) and Working Group (WG) structure. The WGs are made up of experts nominated by Member Bodies, and the role of the WG is to produce, by consensus, a draft standard for eventual publication by ISO following a defined approval and voting process. Standards are voluntary documents, but are frequently adopted in legislation by individual countries or groups of countries.
A major sector in ISO is healthcare technology, and there are about 20 TCs dealing directly or indirectly with healthcare topics. The principal TC for dentistry is ‘ISO/TC106 (Dentistry)’. Its formal scope is ‘Standardization of terminology, methods of test and specifications applicable to materials, instruments, appliances and equipment used in all branches of dentistry’. Within TC106 are seven SCs and over 50 WGs, with a total membership of about 300 experts from 25 participating countries and 21 observer countries, managing over 150 standards.
There is a strong relationship between FDI World Dental Federation and TC106: FDI is a liaison member of TC106, and is represented at TC106 meetings; TC106 is represented in the formal structure of FDI by membership of the Science Committee.
FDI World Dental Federation recognizes the work of ISO TC106 (Dentistry) as important to dentistry and recommends, where possible, the use of TC106 and other ISO standards in the clinical practice of dentistry.