Systematic review and surveys

All ISO-standards are systematically reviewed, normally every 5 years after publication. In the case of ISO 26000:2010 it was decided to perform a systematic review after 3 years, in 2013/14.

The second systematic review was launched January 15, 2017, and will close June 5th.  A letter was sent out from ISO to all the 160+ National Standards Bodies asking if the standard can be confirmed (kept as it is), withdrawn or changed. The results from the systematic review will be analyzed by ISO 26000 PPO and we will send our recommendations to ISO TMB who in turn, consulting several sources, will decide after taking membership vote in strong consideration.

The result of the systematic review 2017:  
11 member countries voted CONFIRM (keep as it is)
12 member countries voted REVISE (update/change)
and an additional 7 countries abstained.

52 % (11/23) in favor of revision is indeed a single majority, but a weak indication. Thus, the content of the technical comments were sent together with the votes are analyzed and discussed with the PPO stakeholders advisory group before PPO Secretariat sends its recommendation to ISO TMB (who decides the next steps). A short reflection from this advisory meeting is available.

The result of the 2013/2014 systematic review of ISO 26000:2010 was analyzed by ISO 26000 PPO and the stakeholder advisory group, but also by others. All recommendations were sent to ISO Technical Management Board who decided that ISO 26000:2010 was to remain unchanged for another 3 year period. As a result of the systematic review 2014, the PPO identified some areas that could be considered in any future revision of ISO 26000:2010.

In parallel, the ISO 26000 PPO has conducted annual surveys of the National Standards Bodies (NSBs) and a lot of feedback has been provided to the PPO and ISO with regards to how uptake of ISO 26000 can be further supported.

Some interesting findings from the 2016 survey:

  • ISO 26000 available in more than 30 languages
  • More than 80 countries have adopted ISO 26000
  • Some 15000 copies sold, unknown number disseminated as part of large subscriptions
  • More than 20 countries have developed national tools to supåport ISO 26000
  • Around 20 countries have planned activities to promote ISO 26000
  • According to the responding countries the stakeholder balance is good in the national mirror committees that are still active
  • The national standards bodies receive receive a normal amount number of questions related to the standard

One important feedback session example is the outcome of the Open Forum in ISO 26000 in Geneva 2012 where the participants highlighted the following possible actions:

  • Develop ISO document for assessment, verification or certification of social responsibility
    This is something for the National Standards Bodies and their stakeholders to initiate
  • Develop tools to simplify use of ISO 26000
    This is done locally or through new ISO deliverables initiated by ISO member bodies.
  • Better demonstrate the benefits of ISO 26000
    This is done through various websites (e.g. and for example the
  • Provide more training and awareness raising
    see training
  • Make ISO 26000 free or cheaper
    see free copy
  • Make it easier for SMEs to use ISO 26000
    Many local initiatives exist and the PPO highlighted this at the 2015 Stockholm conference, encouraging the national standards bodies to take initiatives if their stakeholders agreed.
  • Improve linkages with key international initiatives and organizations
    PPO has developed several linkage documents and more are being developed. see ISO 26000 – an introduction
  • Create a process and ISO structure to address the future of ISO 26000
    See above on this page, systematic review is part of that process.
  • Increase stakeholders engagement and action at national and international levels
    PPO and the many stakeholders/experts from the development process have been very active in speaking, training, promoting in parallel with the work done by the national standards bodies who are the key actors in this.
  • ISO/CS and the NSBs to raise awareness and increase the promotion of ISO 26000
    Examples: ISO MENA SR project and the NSB actions taken.
  • Improve the ISO and NSBs website and use of social media
    See and many NSB website examples. This could of course be improved more.
  • Revise ISO 26000 to address various  issues
    Will take place if the ISO systematic review recommends this to happen.