International Electrotechnical Commission
About the International Electrotechnical Commission
Founded in 1906 in London, United Kingdom, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) came about in response to a lack of common measurements, ratings and measurements in the field of electrical science. Initially, this helped to standardise the various voltages, direct currents, plugs, connectors and frequencies used in electrical apparatus. Its continuously evolving standards are now adopted throughout the world.
This leading non-profit standards organisation covers electronic engineering and electrical sectors (collectively known as electrotechnology) in many parts of the world, bearing in mind the current marketplace and safety requirements. International Electrotechnical Commission standards are used extensively across these sectors to help maintain high standards in product manufacturing and services.
Intertek Inform: Your Gateway to the International Electrotechnical Commission
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Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a series of some of the most common questions about the International Electrotechnical Commission.
The International Electrotechnical Commission issues IEC standards for electrotechnologies across a vast spectrum of applications, including medical technology, electromagnetics, multimedia, energy production and distribution right through to household appliances and equipment for the office. It does this by collaboratively developing international standards through its members across 170 countries.
The International Electrotechnical Commission is an independent organisation. It comprises national committees (members) representing their country’s electrotechnical needs.
Membership to the IEC has three levels:
- Full Members – full participation, including managerial and voting rights and the selling and dissemination of IEC international standards country-wide.
- Associate Members – members have limited managerial and voting rights.
- Affiliate Country Programme – this encourages developing countries' involvement and use of international standards.
The International Electrotechnical Commission supports affordable quality infrastructure, sustainability, safety and global trade in electrotechnology. It draws on the knowledge and collaboration of 20 000 experts worldwide to administer best practice systems in relation to equipment, processes, installations and services.
Through approximately 10 000 IEC international standards, it provides a technical framework that enables governments and companies to buy and sell safe, dependable products worldwide.
The work of the IEC directly supports the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals.