The future ISO 26000 standard giving guidance on social responsibility has just passed another important development stage with confirmation that support by ISO’s national members and by participating liaison organizations is strong enough for it to be progressed to a Final Draft International Standard (FDIS), according to a press release. This is the final stage in the development of an ISO standard before it is published as a fully fledged ISO International Standard.

In mid-February, ISO's national standards body (NSB) members voted in favor of moving the Draft International Standard (DIS) version to FDIS status. However, in order to also assess support from the 42 international liaison organizations participating in the ISO Working Group on Social Responsibility (ISO/WG SR), its leadership reviewed the views and comments of these organizations before formally proceeding to FDIS.

The liaison organizations include associations representing business, civil society NGOs, consumers or labor, and include groupings of both inter-governmental and non-governmental origin. They do not have voting rights, but have actively and directly participated in developing ISO 26000 and commenting on the document.

Following the positive mid-February vote, the leaders of the ISO/WG SR have concluded that there is the requisite support for registering the current document as ISO/FDIS 26000.

With this decision now formally confirmed, the ISO/WG SR will next focus on addressing the 2,650 comments received during the course of the vote from ISO members and liaison organizations in order to increase the level of consensus and the quality of the document even further.

With this objective in mind, the group's drafting task force will look into all comments received and prepare proposed ways forward on key topics identified for discussion among the ISO/WG SR experts at its next meeting to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in May 2010.

After the meeting, a new revised document will be finalized based on the agreements reached in Copenhagen. This document will be circulated as an FDIS for a two-month ballot and, if approved on the FDIS vote, ISO 26000 could be published as an International Standard by the end of this year.

ISO 26000 will provide harmonized, globally relevant guidance based on international consensus among expert representatives of the main stakeholder groups and so encourage the implementation of social responsibility worldwide. The guidance in ISO 26000 draws on best practice developed by existing public and private sector SR initiatives and is intended to be useful to organizations large and small in both these sectors.

For more information on ISO 26000 and the ISO Working Group on Social Responsibility, see the dedicated Website:

Working documents including the DIS can be accessed at