Skip to content

Systematic review and surveys

There are two main ways to follow-up on how the 20 000+ ISO standards are being used: systematic review and surveys.

Systematic Review

All ISO-standards are systematically reviewed, normally every 5 years after publication. More information about the ISO process “systematic review” is available.

Systematic review brochure

In the case of ISO 26000:2010 a systematic review was carried out 3 years after publication in 2013/14 and then in 2016/17 and 2020/21. The next systematic review is expected to take place 2023.

The third Systematic Review: 2020/21

The third systematic review was launched October 15, 2020, and closed March 4, 2021 and the result is a weak majority towards confirm:

  • Confirm: 21 countries 55 % (21/(21+17))
  • Revise/amend: 17 countries 45 % (17/(21+17))
  • Withdraw: 0 countries
  • Abstain due to lack of consensus: 8 countries
  • Abstain due to lack of national expert input: 3 countries

For more information about the ballot contact your National Standards Body or Mr. José Alcorta at ISO.

The second Systematic Review: 2017

The second systematic review was launched January 15, 2017, and closed 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sent out from ISO to all the 160+ National Standards Bodies asking if the standard can be confirmed (kept as it is), withdrawn or changed.

First ballot:
11 member countries voted Confirm (keep as it is)
12 member countries voted Revise (update/change)
7 countries Abstained.
Result: 52 % (12/23) in favor of REVISE. Single majority, but a weak indication.

The content of the technical comments were analyzed and discussed by PPO and its stakeholders advisory group. ISO 26000 PPO sent its consensus recommendations to ISO TMB i July 2017: to revise.

ISO TMB decided more votes were needed and the ballot was extended with one month. The new results:

Extended second ballot:
25 member countries voted Confirm
20 member countries voted Revise
9 member countries Abstained
Result: 56 % (25/45) in favor of CONFIRM. Single majority, but a weak indication.

ISO TMB did the final analysis of the vote/technical comments and decided through an internal ballot, December 2, 2017, that ISO 26000 is confirmed. Thus, the next systematic review will probably be in 2020, hence a revised version of ISO 26000 will be completed in the year 2023 the earliest.

The first Systematic Review: 2013/2014

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 former ISO 26000 PPO has conducted annual surveys of the National Standards Bodies (NSBs) to identify how uptake of ISO 26000 could be supported.

Some interesting findings from the 2016 survey has been compiled in presentation but also summarized:

  • ISO 26000 available in more than 30 languages
  • More than 80 countries have adopted ISO 26000 as national(translated) standard
  • Some 20 countries are planning to adopt ISO 26000
  • More than 20 countries have developed national tools to support 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 a normal amount number of questions related to the standard

Feedback from conferences

In addition the systematic review and surveys there are conferences and fora giving feedback on ISO 26000. 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 decide if they want 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, and local communication
  • Provide more training and awareness raising
    see training
  • Make ISO 26000 free or cheaper
    see how to get a 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 agree.
  • Improve linkages with key international initiatives and organizations
    PPO has developed several linkage documents and more are being developed.
  • 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.
  • Revise ISO 26000 to address various issues
    Will take place if the ISO systematic review recommends this to happen.