ISO Standardisation Process and Concepts

Throughout the stages of a new standard’s development cycle from a new work item proposal (NWIP) to a published international standard, it is the ISO national standards body members, or member countries, participating in the development work in the ISO technical committees, who vote on whether to accept or disapprove the standard in its current stage of development in order to move to the next stage.

The process starts with a NWIP for a new international standard to be developed being justified as being needed and submitted by a member country for ballot. It is considered by participating member countries and balloted. If at least 5 member countries express interest and offer named experts to work on the standard, an ISO working group (WG) is formed of experts who will participate in the work of creating a working draft (WD) which, if approved proceeds to a committee draft (CD).

The CD is then the basis of the work that follows for all national standards body mirror committee’s members and liaisons to comment on and member countries’ mirror committees only (not liaisons), to ballot through to the next stage.

This is the draft international standard (DIS) stage when the standard is open not only for commenting by the national standards body, but also by the general public in the country.

Before a standard finally becomes a new international standard, it undergoes a final draft international standard (FDIS) stage, when only editorial comments are accepted unless a negative vote is entered in which case, a technical reason has to be provided.

Recent changes in the process have been introduced in the ISO Directives whereby it is now possible for a WG to opt out of both the CD and FDIS stages. These allowances will make sense when speed is necessary and advisable given the maturity of the content. More so with the CD stage than the FDIS, WGs are currently erring on the side of opting for a full process.
For an ISO explanation of the process see here.