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ISO Survey – Number of ISO certifications in the world

At QMS, we do an annual analysis of the ISO Survey when published, evaluate these numbers annually through an article on our Blog, and draw our conclusions for every market to use as a benchmark in their strategies.

ISO annually conducts a survey on the quantity of certifications in the world, the so-called ISO Survey, an important parameter to verify the number of ISO certifications in the world. The survey has a base date of the previous year, that is, the numbers listed in it refer to certifications valid until December 31, 2020.

ISO directly contacts certification bodies around the world, requesting the completion of a series of forms to consolidate the data and launch the ISO Survey for the previous year every September.

We emphasize that the ISO Survey is not a survey to be evaluated in absolute numbers, that is, the exact number of certifications of a given Standard, but what is the growth trend, what was the higher or lower percentage, the growth highlights, the scenario for this growth, among others. This is because the survey is voluntary and not all certification bodies accept to participate or are even unable to participate, which provides a very large margin of error in relation to the real numbers.

Therefore, be well aware of this when evaluating the research or reading somewhere about the quantity of certifications in a particular country for a given Standard. That said, let’s analyze.


ISO 9001 – Resilience has always been your strength

The ISO Survey clearly shows a trend of increasing ISO 9001 certifications worldwide, this trend was already observed last year interrupting a fall from 2015 to 2018 due to the transition from the latest version of ISO 9001. This clearly shows the importance of the Standard for many sectors, and the standards of standards, ISO 9001, stronger than ever.

We also emphasize that even in a difficult year like 2020, where some economies and companies collapsed due to the pandemic, ISO 9001 proved resilient and grew, once again growing to the despair of the pessimists on duty.


ISO 14001 – The positive surprise

For us, the big surprise of ISO Survey is the ISO 14001 – Environmental Management Systems, the standard presents a very strong growth in relation to previous years in the world. The ESG theme so talked about in the world was certainly the motto for this increase, and ISO 14001 presents a surprising growth. We credit the strong growth of ISO 14001 worldwide to China, which has seen a significant increase in ISO 14001 certifications.


ISO 45001 – Consolidates strong growth

ISO 45001 showed strong growth, by the absolute numbers we see the number of certifications increase by almost 5x from one year to another. In fact, the growth is justifiable given the period of migration from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001 and also the adoption of several sectors to the new regulation.


ISO 27001 – Keeps growing

The 27001 continues to grow around the world, mainly due to data protection regulations in several countries. The fast pace of previous years has slowed down, but growth continues, and ISO 27001 is one of the main certifications for the next decade.


ISO 37001 – Impressive this growth

ISO 37001 more than doubles the number of certifications worldwide, the youngest standard analyzed here, had an impressive adoption in the world, a growth that places ISO 37001 as one of the main certifications on the planet, in less than 5 years. Imagine in 20 years!



ISO certifications continue to grow all over the world, companies are increasingly looking at this trend and seeking more and more standards to certify their processes and improve their internal management.

You who are a professional who works with any of these mentioned standards, congratulations! You are in a growing market year after year, much to the dismay of the naysayers!

And may the next ISO Survey come in 2022! Until then!


QMS Certification Services is a fully accredited third-party International Certification Body. Operating since 1994, QMS is one of the oldest and most experienced certification bodies auditing and certifying thousands of organizations globally. We have built a great reputation for first-class service, market-leading pricing, and a hassle-free process for our clients. International Recognition: QMS Certification Services is accredited by IAS (INTERNATIONAL ACCREDITATION SERVICE) – a member of the IAF (International Accreditation Forum). All Certificates of Approval are issued under the IAS accredited system in the USA. QMS has auditors and clients all over the world, allowing for multi-country certification for clients.

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