The ISO Survey of Certifications – 2007 indicates certification activity around one or more of ISO's management system standards in 175 countries, up from 170 in 2006 – "a clear demonstration", according to the survey, " that they have become essential tools of the world economy," according to an ISO press statement.

Up to the end of December 2007, at least 951,486 ISO 9001:2000 certificates had been issued in 175 countries and economies. The 2007 total represents an increase six percent over 2006. The increase appears much smaller than in 2006 (+16 percent) and according to the survey several factors may have combined to produce this result:

IOS 14000 Environmental Management System: Up to the end of December 2007, at least 154,572 certificates had been issued in 148 countries and economies. The 2006 total represents an increase of 26 361 (+ 21 percent) over 2006, when the total was 128 211 in 140 countries and economies. The service sectors accounted for 29 percent of certificates issued, up from 27 percent in 2006, according to ISO.

Certification of conformity is not a requirement of the ISO standards themselves, says the organization. Standardards can be implemented without certification. Many thousands of organizations have chosen certification because of the perception that an independent confirmation of conformity adds value, according to ISO.

ISO itself does not perform certification to its standards, does not issue certificates and does not control certification performed independently of ISO by other organizations.