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A round-up of the 2016 International Standards Organization (ISO) survey.

The annual ISO survey

Each year, the International Standards Organization (ISO) conduct a survey of management system certifications worldwide. The survey for 2016 has just been published.

In order to compile the information in this survey, ISO contact accredited (e.g. by UKAS) certification bodies and request information about the number of valid certificates they have as at 31 December 2016.

This results in the most comprehensive overview of certifications to these standards currently available, despite the fluctuations in the number of certificates from year to year due to differences in the number of participating certification bodies and the number of certificates they report.

This does exclude the certificates issued under non-accredited certification schemes such as that run by APMG. The actual number of certificates issued is therefore higher than listed in these figures.

The survey covers 11 standards including ISO 9001 (quality management), ISO/IEC 27001 (information security management) and ISO 22301 (business continuity management). This is the 2nd year that ISO/IEC 20000-1 has been included in the survey.

ISO/IEC 20000-1 survey results

  • ISO/IEC 20000-1 is 9th in terms of volume of certificates with 4537 certificates reported, an increase of 63% from last year.  The increase is the 2nd highest increase shown.
  • There are fewer certificates for ISO 22301 with 3853 and a smaller 23% increase from last year.
  • This is dwarfed by ISO 9001 with 1106356 (7% increase) and ISO/IEC 27001 with 33290 (21% increase). 

There are interesting detailed figures on the split of certificates worldwide showing a significant increase in East Asia and Pacific:

Table comparing the number of iso certified people in 2015 and 2016

The top 5 countries for certificates are:

Table showing the top 5 countries for iso certified professionals

It is rewarding to see that some countries are starting to use ISO/IEC 20000-1 for the 1st time. Countries that were not listed in 2015 include Armenia, Cyprus, Malta, Moldova and Tajikistan which has gone from 0 to 17 in 1 year. 

The revision of ISO/IEC 20000-1

The revision is on track for issue Q5 2018. The Draft International Standard is now out – do go to your national standards body (BSI in the UK) to comment on this draft as at this stage it is open for public comment.

Any new standard or revision usually leads to increases in certification. See other blogs on the expected changes in the revision.


ISO/IEC 20000-1 certification is growing in importance and popularity.

Click here for further details on the ISO survey.


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