Frequently asked questions
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Frequently asked questions

Hereafter a list of questions people frequently ask about the IEC

The IEC is a global, not-for-profit membership organization that brings together 173 countries and coordinates the work of 20 000 experts globally. IEC International Standards and conformity assessment work underpins international trade in electrical and electronic goods. It facilitates electricity access, and verifies the safety, performance and interoperability of electric and electronic devices and systems, including for example consumer devices such as mobile phones or refrigerators, office and medical equipment, information technology, electricity generation, and much more.

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IEC Standards provide instructions, guidelines, rules or definitions that are then used to design, manufacture, install, test and certify, maintain and repair electrical and electronic devices and systems. The IEC develops international standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies. Adoption is voluntary, although they are often referenced in national laws or regulations around the world. Experts from all over the world develop IEC International Standards.

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The IEC has published more than 10 000 standards

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You can purchase all IEC and ISO/IEC publications from either from the IEC Webstore or from IEC National Committees

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The IEC has a clear, well-established and strictly controlled standards development process. It governs the development and publication of IEC International Standards and other types of publications and includes enough time for comments by all stakeholders at different stages of development.

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Horizontal standards deal with fundamental principles, concepts, terminology or technical characteristics, relevant to a number of technical committees and of crucial importance to ensure the coherence of the corpus of standardization documents. 

Horizontal standards are assigned by the Standardization Management Board (SMB) with the purpose of:

  • Ensuring the coherence of the corpus of standardization documents;
  • Avoiding duplication of work and contradictory requirements.
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Conformity assessment refers to any activity that determines whether a product, system, service and sometimes people fulfil the requirements and characteristics described in a standard or specification. Such requirements can include performance, safety, efficiency, effectiveness, reliability, durability, or environmental impacts such as pollution or noise. 

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IECEE is the IEC System of Conformity Assessment for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components.

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IECQ stands for the International Electrotechnical Commission Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components.

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IECRE is the IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Renewable Energy Applications 

 

 

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IECEx stands for the International Electrotechnical Commission System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Explosive Atmospheres.

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If you are interested in contributing to IEC work in standardization or conformity assessment work in an IEC Member country, contact your NC

If you are in a country that is not yet an IEC Member, contact the IEC to investigate how you can get involved: info@iec.ch

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You can check the full list of members here

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The IEC runs an Affiliate Country Programme to enable developing or newly industrializing countries to participate in IEC work without the financial burden of membership.

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The IEC Young Professionals Programme is dedicated to the world's upcoming electrotechnology experts and leaders. It aims to increase their involvement in IEC work.

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The IEC was founded in London and held its first meeting on 26 and 27 June 1906.

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